The Compensation Puzzle: An Added Piece Is ‘Compensation Culture’

Compensation packages often consist of a base salary, a bonus, equity with a range of structures, and then a benefits package. The compensation structure can vary at a private company versus a public company. Heather Fine, a partner in the in-house counsel recruiting team at Major, Lindsey & Africa, gives insight into the topic of compensation for in-house attorneys. 

Fine writes that having a grasp of a company’s “compensation culture” or their philosophy on compensation remains important. The compensation culture dictates salary ranges and knowing the culture helps attorneys with negotiations. It is the way in which a company thinks about and allocates different components of its compensation packages. This philosophy varies depending on the company’s size, industry, location and whether the company is public or private. 

Some companies have a compensation culture that comes with a higher cash component in its base salary but weaker in the bonus structure for attorneys. Conversely, a company may offer a weaker salary but have a rewarding bonus structure or higher equity.

Fine writes that knowing what is important to you can help you in matching to a company that aligns with your needs. This can help attorneys when negotiating a compensation package.  

Are you interested in learning more about compensation culture?  Read more in this article.

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