Corporate Counsel Salary

Corporate Counsels in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $109K per year on average. Pay ranges from $69K on the low end to $187K per year on the high end. Overall incomes of Corporate Counsels generally bottom out at around $69K and peak near $187K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $31K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Male Corporate Counsels are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 54 percent of the field. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$67,698 - $164,179
(Median)
$68K
$110K
$160K
MEDIAN: $109,037
10%
50%
90%

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$25.00 - $100.00
(Median)
$25
$45
$100
MEDIAN: $44.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$67,698 - $164,179  
   
Bonus
$997 - $30,955  
Profit Sharing
$310.27 - $30,201  
Commission
$0.00  
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).
)
$69,434 - $186,938  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,476
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$25.00 - $100.00  
   
Overtime
$-0.50 - $89.40  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$997 - $30,955  
   
Commission
$0.00  
Profit Sharing
$310.27 - $30,201  
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).
)
$69,434 - $186,938  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | 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.

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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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Corporate Counsels may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Vice President and Associate General Counsel. The latter position pays an average of $194K annually. Career advancement for the typical Corporate Counsel often leads to becoming a General Counsel or an Associate General Counsel; median salaries in these positions are $34K higher and $20K higher, respectively.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Counsel


Corporate Counsels report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Intellectual Property, Corporate Governance, Securities and Exchange Commision Experience, and Real Estate are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Mergers and Acquisitions, Legal Research, and Legal Document Review. Most people skilled in Contract Negotiation are similarly competent in Regulatory Compliance.

Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Counsel

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Corporate Counsels, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. The average beginner in this position makes around $93K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $131K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Corporate Counsels make a median salary of $144K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $153K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $116,550

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for Corporate Counsels, 29 percent above the national average. Corporate Counsels can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+26 percent), New York (+26 percent), San Francisco (+25 percent), and Washington (+24 percent). In Minneapolis, salaries are 13 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Denver and Atlanta (11 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Corporate Counsel Salaries




National Average
$117,000


Skills That Affect Corporate Counsel Salaries

Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 3%

Corporate Governance
up arrow 1%

Real Estate
0%

Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) Experience
0%

National Average
$117,000

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 3%

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 3%

Legal Compliance
up arrow 4%

Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 4%

Corporate
up arrow 7%




Mergers and Acquisitions
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 221 votes.

Gender

Female
46 %
Male
54 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
36%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 83%
medical benefits
Vision: 70%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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