Corporate Attorney Salary

Wages for Corporate Attorneys in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($99K) per year. Overall cash earnings of Corporate Attorneys stretch from $59K near the bottom to $202K at the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $31K each from bonuses and profit sharing. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Corporate Attorneys claim high levels of job satisfaction. Male Corporate Attorneys are more prevalent than women among those who took the survey — 66 percent of professionals. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$57,659 - $179,444
(Median)
$58K
$99K
$180K
MEDIAN: $98,899
10%
50%
90%

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$13.50 - $200.00
(Median)
$14
$54
$200
MEDIAN: $53.00
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
$57,659 - $179,444  
   
Bonus
$1,011 - $30,891  
Profit Sharing
$0.33 - $32,215  
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).
)
$59,352 - $202,467  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 501
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
$12.91 - $68.78  
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
$1,011 - $30,891  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.33 - $32,215  
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).
)
$59,352 - $202,467  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 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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Corporate Attorneys' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a General Counsel. The average General Counsel brings home $149K per year.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Attorney


Survey takers who work as Corporate Attorneys report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Legal Compliance, Regulatory Compliance, and Legal Document Review are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Legal Document Review as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Regulatory Compliance and Legal Compliance also typically command lower compensation. Most people who know Contract Negotiation also know Legal Document Review.

Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Attorney

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


For many Corporate Attorneys, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $90K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $120K. Corporate Attorneys see a median salary of $141K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Corporate Attorneys who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $182K.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Corporate Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 71%

Experienced
up arrow 32%

Mid-Career
up arrow 12%

National Average
$107,000


Skills That Affect Corporate Attorney Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 1%

National Average
$107,000


Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 18%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 22%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 77 votes.

Gender

Female
34 %
Male
66 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 71%
vision benefits Vision: 60% employee benefits None: 8%