In-house compensation for lawyers – has the pandemic had an effect? Covid-19 certainly has had a significant effect on the labor market, due mainly to safety-aligned “shelter in place” and lockdown orders. But as we begin to hear of possible viable vaccine candidates, what can we expect and what is happening now? Certainly legal employers have once again started to increase their attorney hiring as the country slowly emerges from shutdown mode. Whether in-house compensation for lawyers will increase is, like many other questions, yet to be seen.
“In a pre-Covid galaxy far, far away, compensation in the legal profession was a rocket heading straight for the sky. From associates in Big Law (1st year associates earning a base salary of $190,000!) to Chief Legal Officers (earning up to multiple millions a year) and everywhere in between, the money was a far cry from the legal profession of yesteryear. Several factors contributed to the rise in lawyer compensation including a strong economy, the emergence of new and life-changing technologies, a robust hiring market…and a more limited candidate pool. It seemed like the end to this compensation explosion was nowhere in sight. Enter 2020. It will be a year that will go down in history – and as one that shepherded in an invisible invader that brought the world to a screeching halt…and to its knees.”
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