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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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2022 Law Department Compensation Survey

ACC partners with Empsight to offer annual compensation data for in-house legal professionals. Our annual data collection is conducted in the spring and is published in late September. We offer benchmarking data for individuals (based on self-reported data) and benchmarking data for legal departments (based on company/HR-sourced data). Click on the respective links below to know more. You can view the executive summary report below, which presents a high-level overview of the self-reported data collection.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What salary benchmarks are included in the reports?

    See the respective report webpages to view a list of metrics included in each report. The reports for legal departments included an expanded set of metrics due to the data being sourced from HR departments rather than from individuals.

  • What demographic segments are reported?

    The compensation metrics are segmented by the following demographics in the benchmarking reports where there is sufficient data to report out:

    • Industry
    • Law Department Size – Number of Lawyers
    • Company Revenue
    • Legal Specialty – only in self-reported data reports
    • Geography – US Major Metropolitan Areas
    • Law School Class
    • Law School Rank – Top 20 vs Not Top 20
  • How is the data collected?

    The survey was structured to enable the collection of compensation data at both the individual level and at the company level.

    The individual-level survey is structured as a conventional online survey and is intended for a single individual to report their own compensation data.

    By company-sourced we mean that we allow for the data to be reported for all positions in the legal department. For smaller departments, this might be handled by the general counsel or legal operations professional. For larger departments, the company-level version almost always requires HR or the compensation department to fill out the survey on behalf of all legal positions.

  • When was the data collected?

    ACC and Empsight fielded the compensation survey questionnaire between May 3 and June 3, 2022, through an online survey platform. The data effective date is March 1, 2022.

  • What differentiates ACC's compensation data from others on the market?

    See the recent ACC Docket article Reliable Compensation Data for In-house Legal Professionals to learn about the key differentiating factors.

  • Is the data Safe Harbor Compliant?

    Yes. Our data collection and reporting standards conform with the Safe Harbor guidelines to ensure confidentiality. We recognize that compensation data is highly sensitive, and we have instituted several important practices to preserve confidentiality.

    Compensation data is not reported where there are fewer than five participants, no single organization's data represents more than 25 percent of any reported statistic, and the data must be three months old prior to reporting. Additional minimum participant thresholds are used when presenting percentiles in a statistical distribution. See our practices on our data confidentiality webpage.


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