Corporate Attorney Salary

Corporate Attorneys receive generous compensation in the United States — earning an average of $98K per year, their standard salaries shoot well into the six-figure range. Overall incomes of Corporate Attorneys generally bottom out at around $60K and peak near $202K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $31K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The majority of Corporate Attorneys (68 percent) survey respondents are male. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$58,063 - $179,921
(Median)
$58K
$98K
$180K
MEDIAN: $98,218
10%
50%
90%

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$13.50 - $200.00
(Median)
$14
$55
$200
MEDIAN: $55.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$58,063 - $179,921  
   
Bonus
$1,003 - $31,016  
Profit Sharing
$0.60 - $31,027  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$59,680 - $201,941  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 496
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$70$140$210
Hourly Rate
$13.50 - $200.00  
   
Overtime
$12.69 - $70.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$140K$280K$420K
Bonus
$1,003 - $31,016  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.60 - $31,027  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$59,680 - $201,941  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 19
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Job Description for Corporate Attorney

Corporate attorneys are experts in legal matters related to businesses. Corporate attorneys must complete an undergraduate degree and then three years of law school to obtain their Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. To practice as an attorney, he or she then must pass the state bar examination in the state he or she intends to practice. Corporate attorneys usually work in an office environment, with support staff available. Corporate attorneys usually work either in private practice or part of a larger legal group, serving as outside counsel, advising and representing multiple client companies, or employed as in-house counsel, working only in the interests of one organization. Corporate attorneys often work long hours, especially during a trial, and their jobs often are highly stressful. Corporate attorneys must be well-versed in a spectrum of business-related laws and regulations, with exceptional analytical ability and attention to detail.


Corporate Attorney Tasks

  • Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions; evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments for presentation of cases.
  • Analyze and interpret laws, rulings and regulations with probable case outcomes for individuals and businesses.
  • Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
  • Advise clients in business transactions, claim liablility, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits or legal rights and obligations.
  • Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.

Common Career Paths for Corporate Attorney


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Advancing into a General Counsel role seems to be a popular career move for Corporate Attorneys, and folks who currently work in the latter position report a notably larger median income of $149K per year.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Attorney


Corporate Attorneys report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Mergers and Acquisitions, Legal Document Review, and Legal Compliance are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Regulatory Compliance, Legal Compliance, and Legal Document Review. Those educated in Contract Negotiation tend to be well versed in Legal Document Review.

Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Attorney

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Corporate Attorneys. Whereas the median salary for inexperienced employees is approximately $88K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $119K. Corporate Attorneys claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $143K. Corporate Attorneys who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $187K.

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Experience Affects Corporate Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 78%

Experienced
up arrow 36%


National Average
$105,000


Skills That Affect Corporate Attorney Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 1%

National Average
$105,000

Mergers and Acquisitions
up arrow 9%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 14%


Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 70 votes.

Gender

Female
32 %
Male
68 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 7%
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