Corporate Counsel Salary (United States)

Corporate Counsels enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($117,123) annually in the United States. Pay starts at $70,009 and can approach $187,976 per year on the higher side. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Almost all workers report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the greater part collect dental insurance. Women are just slightly outnumbered in the field, with male Corporate Counsels making up 54 percent of workers. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The figures in this outline were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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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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For Corporate Counsels, career advancement has a positively large impact on pay. Approaching the top of the pay scale, a Vice President (VP) & Associate General Counsel will earn $77K more than someone not as far along in their career. When Corporate Counsels are ready for the next step in their career, they often become Senior Staff Counsels or Associate General Counsels, where they can expect an additional $28K or $19,268 per year.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Counsel

Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Those who have experience with Real Estate can expect to be compensated well for these skills, typically earning 15 percent more than the national average, respectively. 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. Most people experienced in Contract Negotiation also know Regulatory Compliance.

Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Counsel

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many but not all Corporate Counsels, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Salaries jump from $90K at career start to more than six figures at $126K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $152K. A 20-year tenure heralds decreased salary growth, and Corporate Counsels who have made it this far report earning around $162K per year. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 26 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 2 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 6 percent. More than half of respondents report one to nine years of experience.

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, working in the bustling city of Los Angeles has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Other big spenders include San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and San Jose, top-paying cities where Corporate Counsels see paychecks higher than average (+31 percent, +28 percent, +26 percent, and +20 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Corporate Counsels in Minneapolis earning a whopping 23 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Denver (-9 percent) and Kansas City (-3 percent).

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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%