Inhouse Counsel Salaries – 2022 Guide

Inhouse Counsel Salaries

Inhouse Counsel Salaries – Introduction

Inhouse counsel salary data is not easy to find or consistently reported, but we’ve collected resources to help you in your search. There are many ways to compare your inhouse counsel salary or law firm salary with those of your peers, and to help you determine if you are being compensated fairly. You may want to review some of the guides we have listed, speak to recruiters or test the waters yourself by applying for an in-house counsel law job, General Counsel job, or better yet these days, a remote legal job!

Let us know if you find other resources as we are always looking to keep this in-house counsel salaries guide as informative as possible

Robert Half’s 2022 Inhouse Counsel Salaries Guide

Robert Half Legal has released its latest report which contains data on projected inhouse counsel salaries for 2022. The report uses percentage tiers this year as a way to present in-house counsel salary data, but a little bit differently than prior years. The percentage tiers apply across the range of in-house counsel positions by years of experience, with General Counsel at the top and in-house counsel with 3 or less years of experience at the bottom. Robert Half is a market leader in what they do and they are used as a reference point by many in the employment, recruiting and staffing place. Keep up with them, as they continue to put out great content useful for lawyers and always have a ton of in-house job listings.

Using these percentage tiers, Robert Half Legal’s guide shows a salary range of $140,500 to $230,500 for a General Counsel from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile, $128,500 to $190,000 for an in-house counsel with 10+ years experience from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile, $88,750 to $147,000 for an in-house counsel for an in-house counsel with 4-9 years experience from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile, and $72,500 to $121,500 for an in-house counsel with 0-3 years experience from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile.

The Robert Half Salary Guide gives guidance on inhouse counsel salaries for positions in demand, as well as methods for adjusting the inhouse counsel salaries based on where the in-house attorney will be working.  The Robert Half Legal Guide is a great resource and worth a close review by all inhouse counsel – to get access to more granular data, head over to Robert Half Legal.

Robert Half’s Legal Salary Calculator

In addition to their in-house counsel salary guide, Robert Half provides a salary calculator on their website that can help you calculate an in-house counsel salary range and midpoint salary by different levels of in-house positions and geographic location. This can help you see what potential in-house counsel compensation might be in different parts of the country.

Major, Lindsey & Africa and Ironclad In-House Counsel Salary Reporting – 2021

Ironclad performed the Herculean task of aggregating and collecting data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Major, Lindsey & Africa to put out a report in 2021 that should prove helpful to many in-house counsel:

“Ironclad compiled the most recently available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) to review how in-house counsel salaries compare to lawyer earnings in every state. Data on average lawyer earnings includes a range of attorney titles from legal aid workers to partners at law firms. MLA’s data narrows in on in-house counsels in particular, providing compensation data for 29 states and Washington D.C.”

If you work in one of these States or Washington, D.C. (or want to), check out this in-house counsel salary data.

Major, Lindsey & Africa’s 2020 Global In-House Counsel Compensation Survey

The 2020 Global In-House Counsel Compensation Survey was developed in partnership with Western Management Group and reviewed the responses from 3,900 respondents in 36 countries to gain an understanding of how in-house legal professionals are being compensated globally.

“The survey collected compensation data from Chief Legal Officer/ General Counsel, Regional/Country General Counsel, Deputy/Assistant General Counsel, Senior Counsel, Counsel and Chief Compliance Officers. Data collected included, base pay, actual and projected bonus pay, company size, company revenue and demographics.”

Within the United States, the report surveyed “Total Annual Actual Cash” from the General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer level to the Counsel level, with a range from $503,078 to $201,277, respectively. There is also a tremendous amount of data presented as to bonuses, target bonuses, and even breakdowns by gender, company revenue and industry. The study is worth a read, and can be downloaded here.

BarkerGilmore’s 2020 In-House Counsel Compensation Report & 2020 General Counsel Compensation Report

BarkerGilmore’s In-House Counsel Compensation Report for 2020 is available online. BarkerGilmore’s report is the most recent data released on in-house counsel compensation, and has significant data for those tracking in-house salary trends. BarkerGilmore has also released a 2020 General Counsel Compensation Report, which will be of interest to current and aspiring General Counsel. Some of the high-level trends in the report are summarized in their General Counsel Compensation: A Deep Dive blog post. It is clear from the latter that the pandemic has had a major effect on General Counsel compensation, and a recovery may take time as their blog post indicates:

“Today, General Counsel are carrying greater weight on their shoulders, working endless hours, and managing stress with anticipation that bonuses and equity awards for 2020 will be significantly reduced — or not paid at all. Some of these remarkable leaders may not receive the appreciable performance awards to which they are accustomed, and of which they are deserving, until full economic recovery is achieved, likely several years from now.”

Recruiters Know Inhouse Counsel Salaries

Don’t rely solely on guides, work with legal recruiters in your area as they are often able to use their experience to estimate in-house counsel salaries for different types of positions and their general geographic region. They can also give you their thoughts on how in-house counsel salaries really compare “on the ground” based on the cost of living in different areas. If you are lucky enough to be comparing offers, it is good to know what your purchasing power will look like.

Want To Find Inhouse Counsel Salaries for Specific Jobs?

If you are looking to find in-house counsel salaries for specific jobs, you should consider testing the market yourself. There are thousands of in-house counsel jobs and even many General Counsel jobs and remote legal jobs waiting to be filled, and by getting yourself in the job hunt you’ll get yourself closer to seeing what your skills and experience are worth. You may be surprise to find that you can command a better in-house counsel compensation package at another company, especially when the market is hot. A good idea is to check keep track of the latest legal jobs in the cities and practice areas that interest you. These legal job postings may contain salary information that will help you get a sense of what the range may be for positions you are interested in.

Get Our Newsletter To Stay Up To Date On Inhouse Counsel Salaries

Don’t forget to sign up to our free weekly newsletter to get updates on inhouse counsel salaries! We often feature articles relating to inhouse counsel salaries and in-house counsel job listings that may list their salary range in the job posting.

In addition, our newsletter features announcements of recent general counsel appointments and, with a little sleuthing and use of online tools, you may be able to find out what kinds of general counsel salaries these heavy-hitters might be taking home.


This is part of our How to Get an In-House Counsel Job series, which contains other articles that may interest you.


Check out our Inhouse Counsel Guides page for other articles and resources of interest.