Despite rampant inflation and a looming recession, in-house lawyer compensation continues its meteoric rise boosted by bonuses that are also being deployed to recruit new hires. How does your pay package stack up? Our In-House Counsel Salaries Guide can help you evaluate how your compensation compares to similarly-situated in-house lawyers. Competition is not decreasing, it is increasing despite the overall economic conditions, and there are a plethora of General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer jobs open around the United States. One factor that may be boosting in-house lawyer compensation is the tremendous increase in remote legal jobs, which give in-house counsel candidates from lower cost jurisdictions the chance to compete for coveted in-house counsel jobs at companies based in larger metro areas where compensation is typically higher.
“Total cash compensation for top lawyers at U.S. companies has jumped by an average of 15% since 2020, driven partly by higher bonuses as companies fight to retain in-house legal talent in a competitive market….General counsel and chief legal officers in the U.S. reported average total cash compensation of $578,446 in the survey of in-house pay by legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. That figure, which includes base salaries and bonuses, increased from $503,078 in 2020….In addition to top company lawyers, average pay has also increased since 2020 for nearly all other in-house legal positions surveyed in the U.S. and globally… ‘The market has been extremely competitive for talent in the in-house world,’ said Melba Hughes, a partner and executive director of in-house counsel recruiting at Major, Lindsey & Africa. She said pay, including bonuses, is often an important tool to recruit prospective in-house hires.”