Last year wasn’t lucrative for in-house lawyers in the U.S., but they didn’t lose ground either, despite the recession. In-house salaries remained flat in 2009, according to a new survey by the international legal recruiting firm Laurence Simons.

For example, average salaries for corporate counsel with 4 to 5 years of experience fell slightly in 2009 to $145,300, down from $147,000 in 2008. Meanwhile, pay for those with 8 to 9 years of experience increased slightly to $175,000, up from $174,000 the year before.

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