At the recent InsideCounsel SuperConference, the legal search firm of McCormack Schreiber distributed its In-House Counsel Salary Survey. The firm had gathered self-reported salaries for 2010 through 2012 from 163 in-house attorneys. Based on the scattergram they created and a linear regression equation, they produced a formula.
What the report refers to as “Total Compensation” means salary plus bonus, but excludes the value of any equity awards. Total Compensation equals $140,000 plus 7.23 times the number of years since the lawyer graduated from law school (“Y=140 + 7.23x”). If you have been out of law school ten years, that would add about $72,000 to the base of $140,000, as an example. The executive search firm is based in Chicago and its compensation data may have come mostly from lawyers in that region, so I suppose you could adjust this formula’s base amount for your city’s relative cost of living.