Corporate Attorney Salary (United States)

Corporate Attorneys enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($107,140) annually in the United States. Pay begins at $58,248 on the low end and climbs to $217,341 per year near the top. Overall cash allowance—including $31K bonuses and $161K profit sharing proceeds—ranges between $56,451 and $195,697. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city. For the most part, Corporate Attorneys enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Corporate Attorney Salary (?
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.
)
$56,451 - $195,697
(Median)
56K
74K
99K
140K
200K
MEDIAN: $98,822
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Corporate Attorney Salary (?
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.
)
$8.79 - $295.43
(Median)
49
81
300
MEDIAN: $48.00
50%
75%
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$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$56,451 - $195,697  
   
Bonus
$1,216 - $30,661  
Profit Sharing
$0.40 - $161,488  
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).
)
$58,248 - $217,341  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 512
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$100$200$300
Hourly Rate
$8.79 - $295.43  
   
Overtime
$2.30 - $193.92  
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$200K$400K$600K
Bonus
$1,216 - $30,661  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.40 - $161,488  
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).
)
$58,248 - $217,341  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 26
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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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Additional career progression does not lead to a big boost in pay for Corporate Attorneys. Typically, those who move into a Corporate Counsel role will bring in a similar salary to their current position.

Corporate Attorney Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Attorney

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Corporate Attorneys with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. After five to 10 years, starting pay of $90K grows to $118K, exceeding six figures. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $142K. Pay continues to grow for Corporate Attorneys after two decades on the job, and average earnings come to $185K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 19 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than 10. A majority of respondents report one to nine years of experience.

Pay Difference By Location

New York
up arrow 29%
Los Angeles
up arrow 21%
Houston
up arrow 5%
Chicago
up arrow 1%
National Average
$107,000
Miami
up arrow 5%
Austin
up arrow 8%
Atlanta
up arrow 15%
Orlando
up arrow 35%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Corporate Attorneys, working in the bustling city of New York has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Corporate Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+21 percent) and Houston (+5 percent). Corporate Attorneys in Orlando report much lower salaries than the rest of the country—35 percent below the national average—proving that residency is a major factor in overall pay. Workers in Atlanta and Austin earn less than others in this profession; their -15 percent and -8 percent-salaries fall short of the national average.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Corporate Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 72%
Experienced
up arrow 34%
Mid-Career
up arrow 11%
National Average
$107,000

Skills That Affect Corporate Attorney Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 2%
National Average
$107,000
Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 97 votes.

Gender

Female
32%
female alumni
 
Male
68%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 58% employee benefits None: 9%
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