There are some 113,000 general counsel in the United States, but a statistical analysis being released today suggests that they are surprisingly homogeneous. The typical GC is male, between 35 and 54 years old, probably attended Harvard Law, and is most likely based in California or New York. While GC compensation varies widely, the average, including bonuses, is $408,077.

These are among the findings of The 2019 General Counsel Landscape, a report compiled by the contract-review automation company LawGeex in cooperation with the Association of Corporate Counsel. The report analyzed data derived from a variety of sources, including an extensive analysis of GC’s LinkedIn profiles, as well as public filings and other public data sources. The report’s compensation analysis uses data from the ACC 2018 Global Compensation Report.

Gender drives the greatest disparity among GC, the report finds. Sixty-nine percent of all GC are men. Among the Fortune 500, 71 percent are men. Compounding that disparity, male GCs are paid 39 percent more than women GCs — an average of $453,625 for men compared to $326,477 for women. Of the 10 top-paid GC in the U.S., just one is a woman.

Perhaps not surprisingly, women and men perceive the situation differently, the report says. Among women in-house counsel, 48 percent say there is “definitely” a gender pay gap. Among men in-house counsel, only 8 percent agree with that.

At the same time, the report finds that the Fortune 500 have ramped up their hiring of women GCs in the past year, with 43 percent of the 46 GC job vacancies filled by women.

The report does not provide numbers on racial diversity among GC. However, it says that diversity is being introduced slowly into the profession, broadening opportunities for finding the best legal talent. The report quotes Elisa Garcia, general counsel at Macy’s and formerly regional counsel for Latin America for Philip Morris International, who says her Spanish-speaking background gave her an advantage. “Frankly, my being a Latina woman has actually helped me because of the Spanish language skills, and not just the language skills, but the cultural skills and my ability to work within the region.”

With regard to compensation, the report finds that the average pay for a GC is $408,000, including base salary and bonuses. But compensation varies widely, with the bottom 5 percent earning $110,000 or less, the top 5 percent earning $1.25 million or more, and the top 0.1 percent earning over $4.75 million. On average, GCs at biotechnology firms earn the most, with average compensation of $847,305.

In drawing its statistical portrait of the typical GC, the report found:

  • The average pay for a GC is $408,000, including base salary and bonuses.
  • 63 percent are age 35-54 and 29 percent are 55 and over. Notably, 8 percent are under 34.
  • 3 percent of GCs have master’s degrees in business administration.
  • The top state for GCs is California, where 13 percent are located. Second is New York, with 10 percent of all GCs.
  • New York is also where GCs are paid the most, topped by the two highest-paid GCs, Morgan Stanley’s GC Eric Grossman, who is paid $6.95 million in salary, and Laureen Seeger, head of the legal department at American Express, who is paid $6.7 million.
  • The industry with the most GCs is finance, with 17 percent, followed by government, tech and manufacturing, each with 10 percent.
  • On average, every company with 1,000 employees or more employes a GC. But about 10 percent of GC work at companies with 10 or fewer employees.
  • 15 percent of GC attended one of the top 14 law schools. Among the Fortune 500, 35 percent attended one of these schools.

Overall, GCs are taking on greater levels of leadership and managerial responsibility within their companies, the report says. Further, the job of GC is often a stepping-stone to a higher role within a company, including CEO.

The full report is available for download from LawGeex.


LawGeex, a company whose product uses artificial intelligence to help in-house legal teams automate the review and approval of everyday contracts, is today announcing the closing of a $12 million Series B funding round led by venture capital fund Aleph.

This investment brings the total funding for LawGeex to $21.5 million. In March 2017, LawGeex raised $7 million. Previous investors, including Lool Ventures, also participated in this round.

LawGeex was founded in 2014 by international lawyer Noory Bechor and  AI expert Ilan Admon. It is principally headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel and it has an office in New York City. While it has customers all over the world, most of its customers are based in the United States.

Aleph’s other investments include workspace company WeWork; Lemonade, a provider of renters’ and homeowners’ insurance; Wix, for building websites; group videochat app HouseParty; and others. Aleph partner Eden Shochat will join the LawGeex board.

This news follows several recent investments in legal AI companies, including $10 million in Luminance in November, $8.7 million in ROSS in October, and $12 million in Casetext in March 2017.

“I think this is investment is now showing the market that this is no longer an emerging technology,” LawGeex vice president of marketing Shmuli Goldberg told me last week. “One of the things that we’ve seen so far is that the adoption of legal AI is already huge. We’ve seen some reports say over 60 percent of large businesses are using some form of legal AI. The market is no longer in an embryonic stage.”

LawGeex will use the financing to “double down” on the field of AI contract review in which it is already established, Goldberg said. In addition, it will expand its capabilities within that field, to cover different types of contracts, to enable review of both incoming and outgoing contracts, and to provide redlines and markups of reviewed contracts.

The LawGeex platform is designed to help businesses with their day-to-day individual contracts, as opposed to AI contract platforms such as eBrevia or Kira Systems that focus on due diligence review of large numbers of contracts.

In February, LawGeex revealed that its AI bested top U.S. lawyers in accurately spotting risks in everyday business contracts. The study saw the LawGeex AI achieve an accuracy of 94 percent, while the lawyers achieved an average of 85 percent. It took 92 minutes for the lawyer participants to complete all five NDAs compared to only 26 seconds for the LawGeex AI.

Two weeks after announcing her departure as assistant general counsel at Microsoft, Lucy Bassli has joined LawGeex, the artificial-intelligence contract review company, as chief legal strategist.

“LawGeex exemplifies what I hope to see more of in the legal tech space — an honest approach to sales, product development, and service delivery,” Bassli explained in a blog post this morning. “Magic buttons don’t exist, but with the right process optimization and resource stratification, technology can amplify efficiencies to an unimaginable level.”

At Microsoft, Bassli oversaw global legal operations and contracting and developed a reputation in the legal industry as an innovative leader in that area. She has been recognized as an Association of Corporate Counsel Value Champion, and included by The National Law Journal on its roster of Outstanding Women Lawyers.

At LawGeex, Bassli will focus on helping customers extract optimal value from LawGeex, while providing strategic advice and leadership, according to an announcement released this morning. Through her recently formed consultancy InnoLegal Services, She will also continue to work independently with law firms, alternative legal service providers, and in-house legal teams on improving their contract processes.

LawGeex was founded in 2014 by international lawyer Noory Bechor and AI expert Ilan Admon. It enables businesses to automate their contract approval process, improving consistency and operational efficiency. Its technology combines machine and deep-learning algorithms, text analytics, and expert knowledge to enhance contract reviews.

“LawGeex knows that I can bring my experience to help their customers extract optimal value from their very sexy AI solution,” Bassli said in her blog post. “Yes – this was the perfect combination for me. I already found contracting sexy for years. Now with AI it is mind-blowing.”