Partners aren’t the only ones who earn seven-figure salaries. Some chief operating officers and executive directors earn a cool $1 million each year. Of the 75 executives who responded to our COO salary question, 9 percent reported 2006 compensation of at least $1 million. Of those, 85 percent are at firms that have their largest office in New York. For many the million-dollar number represents upside potential: The largest single response, at 43 percent, was compensation in the range of $300,000�499,000.

At the largest firms — those with 500 or more attorneys — all of the respondents reported making at least $300,000. While at firms with fewer than 500 attorneys, 47 percent reported making $300,000 to $499,000, and 18 percent reported earning less than $300,000. But COOs at these firms weren’t shut out of the $1 million club; two reported earning more than $1 million.