If you want to see what's valued in any organization, find out what gets funded. Let's look at what gets funded in the legal system. The answer is $400/hour associates who have very little practical experience under their belts (even if they're smart as whips in terms of citing the relevant facts in Pennoyer v. Neff). The average judge makes much less money than the average associate in a large law firm. Senior level associates make multiple times what a federal judges make. And partners make multiple times that.
Do any of us begrudge these outside counsel their pay?
By accepting unwarranted salary increases for associates and ignoring the long-overlooked need to increase judges' pay, corporate counsel and the clients they represent stand to lose on both counts. And our profession will be the poorer for these shortcomings as well.
Let's work together to ensure that what is valued is what gets funded. Let's demand sane pay for associates, value for legal services provided to our clients and a reasonable wage for the most experienced leaders of the profession in our judiciary. ACC pledges to work on behalf of the in-house profession in the next year to accomplish these goals. Write me if you're with us: firstname.lastname@example.org.