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Corporate Attorney Salary

Salaries for Corporate Attorneys in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($99K) per year. Incomes of Corporate Attorneys vary widely depending on performance components; bonuses and profit sharing that can occasionally exceed $31K cause paychecks to spread between $60K on the low end and $203K on the high end. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. More than half of Corporate Attorneys (67 percent) survey respondents are men. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Corporate Attorneys. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$58,038 - $180,316
(Median)
$58K
$99K
$180K
MEDIAN: $98,845
10%
50%
90%

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$13.41 - $201.34
(Median)
$13
$54
$200
MEDIAN: $54.00
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
$58,038 - $180,316  
   
Bonus
$1,010 - $31,396  
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).
)
$59,572 - $202,827  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 492
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
$13.41 - $201.34  
   
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
$1,010 - $31,396  
   
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).
)
$59,572 - $202,827  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 18

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United States (change)


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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


Professional skills reported by Corporate Attorneys are few in number. 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.


Corporate Attorneys generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Individuals with fewer than five years of experience earn $90K on average, but those in the five-to-10 year group see a six-figure median of $118K. Corporate Attorneys bring in $144K after working for 10 to 20 years. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $187K on average.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Corporate Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 75%

Experienced
up arrow 35%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$107,000


Skills That Affect Corporate Attorney Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 1%

National Average
$107,000


Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 19%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 21%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 73 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
20%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

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