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The 4 Highest Paying Industries for In-House Counsel

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 13, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When it comes to going in house, or "joining the dark side" as many in house and GCs joke, there are no shortage of perks.

And if you're considering attempting to transition into (or get your start in) an in house or GC roll, you're either doing it for a love of money or a love of industry. If it's the former (which it usually is), first off, you should know that not every in house strikes it rich. It can spectacularly backfire. But if you're going for the gold, below you can read about the four highest paying industries for in house counsel.


Taking the reins this year as the highest paying in house industry, the finance industry is the new hot target for in house job hunters. The heavy regulations and high stakes might translate into a lot of high pressure work, but it also can result in big rewards and bonuses that even make litigators dream of greener pastures.


The entertainment industry pays its lawyers well. It has also exploded in recent years as streaming services and non-traditional broadcast media has begun incorporating new media. In the process, the legal red tape of copyrights, licensing rights, royalties, and all the attendant problems of the entertainment and broadcast industries, lead to rather lucrative, and sometimes interesting or high profile in house work in "the industry."


Oil and gas has always been the epitome of big business. And while Texas tea may might not be as exciting as streaming movies, it has been funding one of the highest paying in house gigs for as long as lawyers have been defending it.


While tech companies frequently make headlines over million- and billion-dollar litigation, most often that litigation money is being made by outside counsel. However, as more tech companies grow, and the biggest tech companies are putting up record profits, the legal departments (and the roles of GCs) continue to expand.

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