Cookie Consent

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

In collaboration with In-House Connect, we conducted a detailed survey aimed at revealing the compensation landscape for in-house legal counsel across the US.

We received over 850 responses, including insights from nearly 130 Corporate Counsel.

This report provides an overview of the compensation scenario for a Corporate Counsel broken down by experience, location, industry, and the company's growth stage.

Let's delve into our findings and identify the key trends.

Note: All numbers below are annualized.

On average, a Corporate Counsel makes USD 217,865

This number represents the combination of base salary, bonuses, and equity, taking into account factors such as geographical location, experience level, gender, sector, work setup, and the company's financial status.

In comparison, a Compliance Counsel’s compensation touches USD 274,032 and a Contract Manager’s compensation reaches USD 171,219, on average.

Salary components

Average base salary: USD 162,514

This is 10% lower than the average base salary for a Compliance Counsel and 30% higher than the average base salary offered to a Contract Manager.

Average target bonus: USD 23,088

This is 57% lower than the average performance bonus of a Compliance Counsel and 31% lower than what is offered to a Contract Manager.

Average equity component: USD 32,263

This is 18% lower than the average equity component for a Compliance Counsel and 150% higher than the average equity component offered to a Contract Manager.
Average Corporate Counsel Compensation
As per our survey, the highest salary for a Corporate Counsel was found to be USD 1,043,750—including all components—in Los Angeles.

Salary data by years of experience (YOE)

Gaining more experience leads to higher base pay and greatly influences bonuses, as shown below:

Corporate Counsel Compensation by YOE
The average work experience among Corporate Counsel stood at 9.5 years.

Gender-based compensation for Corporate Counsel

On average, males in Corporate Counsel roles make 10.5% more money than their female counterparts.

Below, we break down the compensation for Corporate Counsel by gender, including base pay, bonuses, and equity options:

Corporate Counsel Compensation by Gender

Geographic locations play a role in determining a Corporate Counsel’s compensation

The data below demonstrates that the location of a Corporate Counsel significantly affects their total earnings highlighting the local living costs and diverse demand for legal services across cities.

San Francisco offers the highest base pay at USD 192,568, with Atlanta securing the second spot at USD 180,000.
Corporate Counsel Compensation by Location

Industry influence on a Corporate Counsel’s salary

The pay for Corporate Counsel shows considerable variation across industries.

Education offers the top base salary at USD 185,113, and Technology comes ahead with the highest equity at USD 86,053, illustrating the range of compensation landscape in diverse sectors.

Corporate Counsel Compensation by Industry

The impact of office setup on a Corporate Counsel’s salary

Remote work setups lead with an average base salary of USD 165,158, surpassing the USD 140,865 offered by on-site roles.

Corporate Counsel Compensation by Office Setup

Compensation based on the financing stage of a company

Late Stage/Growth and Public companies lead with the highest base salaries at USD 173,000 and USD 173,879, respectively.

Corporate Counsel Compensation by Company Financing Stage

Average bonus component

While Series C-funded organizations offer the highest bonus component at USD 30,000.

  1. Series A: USD 25,500
  2. Series B: USD 18,000
  3. Series C: USD 30,000
  4. Series D: USD 6,563
  5. Late Stage/Growth: USD 12,944
  6. Private: USD 24,966
  7. Private Equity Owned: USD 23,921
  8. Public: USD 24,408

Average equity component

Companies at the Series C and Public stages distinguish themselves with generous equity packages.

  1. Series A: USD 50,000
  2. Series B: USD 6,333
  3. Series C: USD 74,133
  4. Series D: USD 16,433
  5. Late Stage/Growth: USD 43,535
  6. Private: USD 1,936
  7. Private Equity Owned: USD 4,286
  8. Public: USD 62,086

Maximize your earnings as a Corporate Counsel

This guide provides an overview of compensation for Corporate Counsel in the US, covering all aspects of their earnings.

This report offers current and aspiring Corporate Counsel the necessary information to strategically plan their career advancement. The analysis highlights the significance of factors such as experience, gender, geographic location, industry, work setup preferences, and the financial health of the company in determining compensation for Corporate Counsel.

We hope this helps Corporate Counsel gain insights into current salary trends and strategies for enhancing their position in a competitive job market.

Explore the salary information for other in-house legal positions, such as Contract Manager, Compliance Counsel, Senior Corporate Counsel, etc.

Download the Free Template

Email me the free Business Contract Template

Download the Free Template

Download Our Salary Negotiation Guide

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template

Download the Free Template