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Corporate Counsel Salary (United States)

Corporate Counsels in the United States typically earn six-figure salaries ($117K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. Lower pay rates hover around $70K, and the higher rates verge on $188K per year. Cash earnings for Corporate Counsels — which occasionally include more than $31K from bonuses and more than $34K from profit sharing — stretch from around $70K to approximately $188K. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Almost all workers enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Corporate Counsels making up 54 percent of workers. The majority of Corporate Counsels claim high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Corporate Counsel 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.
)
$68,421 - $164,280
(Median)
68K
84K
110K
140K
160K
MEDIAN: $109,733
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Corporate Counsel 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.
)
$20.90 - $67.50
(Median)
21
41
53
68
MEDIAN: $41.00
10%
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$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$68,421 - $164,280  
   
Bonus
$1,945 - $31,000  
Profit Sharing
$996 - $34,000  
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).
)
$70,009 - $187,976  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,322
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$20.90 - $67.50  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $88.77  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$1,945 - $31,000  
   
Profit Sharing
$996 - $34,000  
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).
)
$70,009 - $187,976  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 24
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Location:
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United States (change)

Job Description for Corporate Counsel

Corporate counsel work with sales, marketing, and operations by offering appropriate legal and non-legal advice. These professionals are generally retained to work as a legal agent for the business entity.
Read More...
Corporate Counsel Tasks
  • Negotiate and draft commercial contracts.
  • Handle complaints and compliance matters.
  • Provide legal guidance to business and technical departments.
  • Conduct research on legal matters.
  • Work with regulators on business and regulatory issues.

Common Career Paths for Corporate Counsel

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As Corporate Counsels transition into upper-level roles such as Vice President and Associate General Counsel, they may see a strong upturn in salary. a Vice President and Associate General Counsel typically earns $190K per year. Corporate Counsels most often move into positions as Senior Staff Counsels or Associate General Counsels; those groups report median salaries that are $28K higher and $19K higher, respectively.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Counsel

Corporate Counsels seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Real Estate, Securities and Exchange Commision Experience, Intellectual Property , and Contract Negotiation are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Legal Research as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Legal Document Review and Contract Management also typically command lower compensation. Those familiar with Contract Negotiation also tend to know Regulatory Compliance.

Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Counsel

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Corporate Counsels with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. The relatively untested earn a median of $90K per year, but survey respondents who have racked up five to 10 years of experience report a six-figure median of $126K. Corporate Counsels bring in $153K after working for 10 to 20 years. Corporate Counsels who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $162K on average. In this field, workers tend to have anywhere from one to nine years of experience — of those surveyed, more than half land within this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about a fourth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than two percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than one in ten.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
up arrow 32%
Seattle
up arrow 28%
up arrow 26%
San Jose
up arrow 20%
up arrow 15%
Phoenix
up arrow 13%
Washington
up arrow 4%
Atlanta
0%
National Average
$117,000
Boston
up arrow 1%
Dallas
up arrow 1%
Chicago
up arrow 2%
Kansas City
up arrow 3%
Denver
up arrow 9%
Minneapolis
up arrow 23%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Corporate Counsels, busy Los Angeles offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 32 percent above the national average. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and San Jose, top-paying markets where Corporate Counsels rake in more than the national norm (+31 percent, +28 percent, +26 percent, and +20 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Corporate Counsels is geography, with workers in Minneapolis earning a whopping 23 percent below the national average. Employers in Denver and Kansas City also lean toward paying below-median salaries (9 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Corporate Counsel Salaries

National Average
$117,000

Skills That Affect Corporate Counsel Salaries

Real Estate
up arrow 15%
Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) Experience
up arrow 2%
Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 1%
National Average
$117,000
Contract Negotiation
up arrow 3%
Legal Compliance
up arrow 3%
Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 4%
Litigation Case Management
up arrow 4%
Corporate
up arrow 4%
Mergers and Acquisitions
up arrow 10%
Contract Management
up arrow 19%
Legal Document Review
up arrow 24%
Legal Research
up arrow 30%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 314 votes.

Gender

Female
46%
female alumni
 
Male
54%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
36%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 64% employee benefits None: 8%