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GC Salaries at Fortune 1000 Companies Top $1.4M: Survey

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Want to become a general counsel, or curious to know how much your peers make? A new GC salary survey by Equilar may be the thing to read as it provides some interesting data and insight into the world of general counsel.

While the most frequently asked question may be how much general counsel get paid, there's other interesting data to be gleaned from the survey, such as which law schools GCs attended, the gender gap in GC salaries, and the best industries for GCs to work in, reports

Here are four highlights from the general counsel salary survey:

  1. Median pay comes in at more than $1.4M. The study found that the median total compensation for general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies was $1,409,982. While this may sound high, compare it to the median pay for chief executives at these same companies, which came in at $9.6 million.
  2. Go to Harvard. If you want to get one of these high-paying jobs, your best bet may be to attend Harvard. Harvard topped all law schools with the most alumni serving in general counsel roles at Fortune 500 companies, the survey found. Other schools in the top three included Georgetown University and the University of Virginia. Surprisingly, Yale and Stanford did not appear in the Top 10.
  3. The glass ceiling is not quite broken. Of the 174 general counsels disclosed in public filings, only 27 were women, the survey found. And of the female general counsels, they were usually paid about 7 percent less than their male counterparts.
  4. Work in the food and beverage industry. Not surprisingly, general counsels in the tech and finance industries were in the Top 3 for highest salaries. Surprisingly, GCs in the food and beverage industry were also in the Top 3, making slightly more than their brethren in finance.

What's the upshot of this survey? Male general counsels who attended Harvard are probably millionaires. But then again, that's probably not surprising to most people.

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