News of skyrocketing star ting salaries for law firm associates coast to coast prompted us to ask visitors to insidecounsel.com, "Are increasing law firm salaries driving up in-house counsel pay?" Roughly one-third of respondents answered "yes," with the remaining two-thirds closely divided between "no" and "don't know."
That decidedly mixed result makes sense once you've delved into the leading law department salary surveys for 2006. It quickly becomes apparent that the rate at which compensation is rising depends on a number of factors including geography, company size and practice specialty. With varying sample groups, the surveys reach different conclusions about in-house compensation trends.
Altman Weil's "Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey" gathers data from 277 companies with a median revenue of $2.1 million and 4,200 employees. Hildebrandt's "Law Department Survey" includes 201 companies with a median revenue of $8 billion and 20,000 employees. And Mercer Human Resource Consulting's "Finance, Accounting and Legal Survey" compiles responses from 2,300 companies with median revenue of $960 million and 2,000 employees.
While the findings differ, each survey slices and dices the data so you can compare your salary, bonus and options against the median in a variety of contexts. Put your compensation to the test using the sampling of survey results in our 2007 Comp Report.