Press Release

ALM Intelligence Releases 2020 Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey

The Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey is the most comprehensive analytical resource for reviewing and setting law department compensation

New York, NY – December 16, 2020 – ALM Intelligence has just released the 2020 Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey.  The 2020 edition of the survey shows how America’s top corporations compensate their in-house legal staff by giving insights into compensation packages—including salary, bonus, and total cash and stock options—across nine positions and numerous regions, department sizes, and industries. 

This year’s survey was conducted from March to September 2020 and included data from over 1,900 US lawyers.   

“The annual Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey provides law departments with relevant data and a meaningful benchmark to evaluate the equity and competitiveness of their department’s compensation structure,” said Michelle Matroni, Research Manager, ALM Intelligence.

Highlights from this year’s survey include:

  • Like 2019 results, individual merit and company performance stand out as the main factors used in the annual formal performance evaluation process to determine lawyers’ salary/bonus compensation components
  • At $385K, the national average salary among chiefs is on par with 2019 findings
  • Total compensation for division counsel is highest in law departments with over 50 lawyers
  • The number of years in the position has little impact on the average salary for non-management attorneys
  • Total compensation for recent graduates increased vs. last year

“This is critical intelligence for law firms”, said Patrick Fuller, Vice President of ALM Intelligence. “There is a significant disconnect and growing compensation gap between large law firms and their in-house counterparts, and that has been exacerbated during this past year”. 

For more information or to obtain the full version of the survey, visit:

Legal Compass subscribers can download the full results by logging in to Legal Compass here.


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