A new study by recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the 2020 In-House Counsel Compensation Survey, shows that top in-house lawyers at U.S. companies earn substantially more than lawyers in comparable positions outside the U.S. The MLA study, conducted in partnership with business advisory firm Western Management Group and based on 3,900 responses, took place last year before the coronavirus took its toll on some in-house pay packages. The study also shows that gender pay inequity persists. (See chart below.) At U.S. companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenue, male law department leaders earn 49% more than their female colleagues, according to MLA, averaging $1.11 million in total cash compensation compared to $739,436 for females in similar roles. MLA’s in-house counsel recruiting leader, Lee Udelsman, told Bloomberg Law he was surprised that in-house lawyers in the U.S. earn 45% more than those elsewhere, attributing the disparity to different views of lawyers in the U.S., where more top in-house counsel report directly to the CEO and are part of the executive leadership team. Udelsman says that has a direct impact on effectiveness and compensation. As for gender disparity, the survey shows there is still work to be done to close a stubborn gap. “What the data obviously reflects is that we’re not there yet—women are still getting paid less for doing the same work,” Udelsman said. Check out the full survey here.
Published June 11, 2020.