Corporate Attorney Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Corporate Attorneys in the United States, with median pay hovering around $99K per year. The range in cash compensation to Corporate Attorneys ($60K to $203K) includes potential earnings of $31K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Corporate Attorneys, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Men account for the majority of Corporate Attorneys who responded to the questionnaire — 67 percent to be exact. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$58,386 - $180,728
(Median)
$58K
$99K
$180K
MEDIAN: $98,726
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
$58,386 - $180,728  
   
Bonus
$1,000 - $31,262  
Profit Sharing
$0.37 - $32,000  
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).
)
$59,723 - $202,834  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 488
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
$1,000 - $31,262  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.37 - $32,000  
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).
)
$59,723 - $202,834  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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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Many Corporate Attorneys move into a General Counsel role, and folks who currently hold that position report a much higher median income of $149K per year.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Attorney


Corporate Attorneys note just a narrow range of job skills. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Legal Compliance, Legal Document Review, and Regulatory Compliance are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Regulatory Compliance, Legal Document Review, and Legal Compliance. For most people, competency in Contract Negotiation indicates knowledge of 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. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $88K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $121K. Corporate Attorneys with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $145K. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $188K.

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Experience Affects Corporate Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 77%

Experienced
up arrow 36%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$106,000


Skills That Affect Corporate Attorney Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 2%

National Average
$106,000


Legal Document Review
up arrow 17%

Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 69 votes.

Gender

Female
33 %
Male
67 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 60% employee benefits None: 7%
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