New Hampshire Bar Association
About the Bar
For Members
For the Public
Legal Links
Publications
Newsroom
Online Store
Vendor Directory
NH Bar Foundation
Judicial Branch
NHMCLE

Keep your contact information up-to-date.

NH Bar's Litigation Guidelines
New Hampshire Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Service Law Related Education NHBA CLE NHBA Insurance Agency
MyNHBar
Member Login
Member Portal
Casemaker

Bar News - November 23, 2007


Compensation for In-House Lawyers Up Sharply, Says Recent Survey


The newly issued 2007 Altman Weil Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey, published with LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®, reports that total cash compensation for in-house lawyer positions in U.S. corporate law departments has risen across the board.

           

“In-house lawyers in management positions saw their total compensation rise between 8% and 14% this year, while non-management lawyers took home from 4.5% to 23% more,” noted Altman Weil principal James Wilber.  “These increases, even after adjusting them for inflation, were very solid.  Generally, as in recent years, base salary increases were relatively modest, with bonuses increasing more than salaries,” he said.

 

Management Positions

           

Chief Legal Officer (CLO) salaries rose 5.8% to a median $300,000 in 2007, supplemented by a whopping 43% increase in bonus dollars of $157,400 according to the survey.  Total cash compensation for CLOs was up 14.3% overall.

           

Division General Counsel earned 10.2% more in salary at $232,000, plus a median $104,600 bonus, for a 13.7% increase in total compensation.   Managing Attorneys salaries rose 4.6% to a median $179,900, augmented by $50,200 bonus – up 8.2% in total cash compensation from the prior year. 

           

Deputy CLOs saw a slight dip in salary, down 1.7% to $215,000, but ended up ahead by 9.6% in total cash comp with an $84,000 median bonus.

 

Non-Management Lawyers

           

Lawyers in non-management positions also saw solid increases in total compensation.  High Level Specialists earned 6.4% more in salary, at a median $168,000, plus a 5% bump in bonus dollars of $44,000, for an increase in total cash compensation of 5.1%. 

           

Senior Attorneys (non-managers with eight or more years’ experience) took home 4.5% more in total cash compensation; Attorneys (with four or more years of experience) earned 11.2% more; and, Staff Attorneys (attorneys with at least one year of experience) saw an increase of 23%.  Recent graduates earned 10.8% more overall in 2007, reporting a median salary of $70,600, plus $4,000 bonus. 

 

Stock Options

           

Stock options represent non-cash payments that can more than double the value of an in-house lawyer’s total compensation package for those who receive them.  Options for Chief Legal Officers had a median fair market value of $900,800 in 2007, down 2% from the prior year’s survey, but still worth more than twice the same group’s total cash compensation.  Stock options for other management positions range in value from 79% to 92% of their total cash compensation.  Non-management lawyers report median option values of between 33% and 49% of their cash compensation.

 

Some Key Variables

           

Size of law department is a key factor in top officer compensation.  Chief Legal Officers in departments with over 25 lawyers took home $645,000 or 56.6% more than the national median in total cash compensation for all CLOs.  At the other end of the spectrum, CLOs in one-lawyer departments earned total cash compensation of $201,500, only a little over half the national median.

           

In non-management positions, practice specialty is a significant differentiator.  “In this era of increasing compliance complexity and shareholder activism, it is not surprising corporations are paying a premium for attorneys with in-demand practice specialties,” commented John Lipsey, Vice President of Corporate Counsel Services for Martindale-Hubbell. “For example, high level specialists with securities expertise earn top dollar, 21.8% more than the national median in total cash compensation.”

           

For Senior Attorneys, Attorneys and Staff Attorneys, a Copyright, Trademark or Patents specialty is the most lucrative. 

 

For further information, visit Altman Weil Publications (www.altmanweilpubs.com) or LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com).

 

 

 

Your New Hampshire resource for professional investigative services since 2005.

Home | About the Bar | For Members | For the Public | Legal Links | Publications | Online Store
Lawyer Referral Service | Law-Related Education | NHBA•CLE | NHBA Insurance Agency | NHMCLE
Search | Calendar

New Hampshire Bar Association
2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 300, Concord NH 03301
phone: (603) 224-6942 fax: (603) 224-2910
email: NHBAinfo@nhbar.org
© NH Bar Association Disclaimer