Corporate Counsel Salary

On average, Corporate Counsels in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($108K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. The bottom of the pay range sits near $69K, and the top verges on $185K per year. Including potential bonuses and profit sharing proceeds (more than $30K for each in exceptional cases) overall income bottoms out near $69K and hits $185K on the high end. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Corporate Counsels making up 55 percent of survey respondents. The majority of Corporate Counsels claim high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$67,568 - $163,326
(Median)
$68K
$110K
$160K
MEDIAN: $107,985
10%
50%
90%

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$23.99 - $99.67
(Median)
$24
$43
$100
MEDIAN: $42.00
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
$67,568 - $163,326  
   
Bonus
$983 - $30,428  
Profit Sharing
$981 - $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).
)
$68,770 - $185,398  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,298
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
$23.99 - $99.67  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $88.08  
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
$983 - $30,428  
   
Profit Sharing
$981 - $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).
)
$68,770 - $185,398  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 25
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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 progress into high-paying roles like Vice President and Associate General Counsel, where median compensation is $192K annually. When Corporate Counsels are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become General Counsels or Associate General Counsels. Those roles pay an additional $34K and $20K, respectively.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Counsel


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Corporate, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, and Securities and Exchange Commision Experience are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 14 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Legal Document Review, Legal Research, and Contract Management. Most people who know 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.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Corporate Counsels. Whereas the median salary for inexperienced employees is approximately $90K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $128K. Corporate Counsels with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $147K. Corporate Counsels who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $155K.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 31 percent, Corporate Counsels in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Corporate Counsels can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+28 percent), New York (+26 percent), Los Angeles (+22 percent), and Houston (+15 percent). Trailing the national average by 16 percent, Minneapolis is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers pay around 10 percent less in Denver and 9 percent less in Atlanta, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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Experience Affects Corporate Counsel Salaries




National Average
$116,000


Skills That Affect Corporate Counsel Salaries

Corporate
up arrow 14%

Real Estate
up arrow 8%


Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) Experience
up arrow 3%

National Average
$116,000

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 2%

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 2%

Regulatory Compliance
up arrow 3%

Legal Compliance
up arrow 4%

Mergers and Acquisitions
up arrow 9%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 216 votes.

Gender

Female
45 %
Male
55 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
36%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 6%
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