Responses to a survey from BarkerGilmore published Tuesday show that compliance function employees with a Juris Doctor have a higher median total compensation than those who do not have the degree.
The higher total compensation for compliance professionals with a law degree spreads from the chief compliance officer and managing compliance officer, to those in the compliance function with no direct reports. The survey garnered responses from compliance professionals from public and private companies with 2018 revenues of less than $5 million to those with more than $5 billion.
Chief compliance officers with a law degree have a total median compensation of $407,832 while their counterparts without a law degree, who have an advanced degree, have a median compensation of $275,000, according to the report. Managing compliance officers with a law degree have a total median compensation of $296,033 while their counterparts with an advanced degree make $205,000 in total compensation. Lower employees in a compliance function with a law degree make approximately $172,000 a year while those with an advanced degree make $137,000 in total compensation. The results of the survey shows that those with a graduate degree or only a high school diploma make less than those with an advanced degree.
Dimitri Mastrocola, a partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa in New York, said one of the reasons he believes pay for chief compliance officers with a legal background is because of the high market for attorneys.
"In order to attract and retain JD talent into compliance positions you have to compete on compensation,” Mastrocola said.