The economic high tide that is lifting all costs in law departments is most evident among top legal officers. They’re awash in huge increases in cash and stock compensation.

In fact, this year’s batch of salary surveys shows that the pay of corporate counsel is increasing far faster than the cost of living. But the largesse, at least when it comes to cash compensation, did not necessarily filter down. In fact, Altman Weil, Inc.’s annual survey of compensation shows that the closer one gets to the bottom of a legal department, the more modest and even nonexistent were the gains.

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