Management skills trumps traditional legal prowess says report

New report reveals average salaries, confirms gender differences and highlights management skills trump legal prowess.


The nearly 113,000 general counsel in the United States are paid on average $408,000 per annum, according to a new study. The data also reveals management skills are being valued over legal

Management skills needed

The findings come from the ‘2019 General Counsel Landscape’ report, undertaken by contracts review automation firm LawGeex in partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel. The reports reveal that management skills are the top skill listed in LinkedIn profiles, cited by 53 per cent of all general counsel. These skills are followed by litigation (47 per cent), corporate law (41 per cent), and, legal writing (35 per cent). Women make up 31 per cent of the gc population, while male gcs in the US are paid an average of 39 per cent more than their female counterparts. Finance is the number one industry attracting US gcs than any other industry, with 17 per cent percent. The industry is followed by government (10 per cent), technology (10 per cent), and, manufacturing (10 per cent).

Scarce skills

The study also finds that skills related to ‘business’ comprise the top words used by companies when recruiting a gc, based on an analysis of 100 job ads for the general counsel position in the US, followed by compliance. Traditional legal expertise such as knowledge of agreements, risk, contract and drafting are somewhat scarce. The study also reveals that 70 per cent of those taking the top legal jobs have an in-house legal background rather than a law firm. ACC president and ceo, Veta T Richardson, noted ‘the role of general counsel in the United States has witnessed unparalleled growth in power and prestige in the past decade.’ The free analysis and report can be downloaded here.

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