The NJ Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics Wage Survey, July 2006, gathered data from lawyers practicing in New Jersey who voluntarily responded. According to a summary in the NJ Lawyer, Vol. 15, Dec. 4, 2006 at 4, the survey reports 1,140 in-house lawyers with insurance and other financial services companies, 1,060 in “management of companies,” 260 in manufacturing, 100 in educational services, 60 wholesale, 50 “other services,” 40 healthcare and social assistance, 30 retail, 30 construction, 20 accommodation and food services, and unspecified numbers of lawyers employed by utilities.
For the record, average salaries for these lawyers were $113,090 for finance and insurance; $112,000 for construction; $138,000 for wholesale, $143,000 for retail; and $134,000 for manufacturing.
It appears from other sources cited in the article that New Jersey has about 32,000 lawyers within companies. If we assume that number and recall that the total of in-house lawyers in New Jersey from the July 2006 survey comes to around 2,790, they account for somewhat less than one-tenth of the total lawyer population.
Note, however, that the Department of Labor survey misses about one-third of New Jersey’s practicing lawyers, so if we were to add that missing percentage to the corporate total (another 300 or so), the percentage of in-house counsel would likely exceed ten. Other data has suggested about one in-house lawyer for each ten private practitioners (See my posts of Sept. 25, 2005 on ACC census data; and Dec. 3, 2006 on possible Fortune 500 staff figures.).