Corporate Counsel Salary (United States)

Compensation for Corporate Counsels in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($117,123). Pay generally spreads from $70,009 to $187,976 per year. Total cash compensation to Corporate Counsels bottoms out near $68,421 and approaches $164,280 on the high end; the bigger paychecks include approximately $31K from bonuses and almost $34K from profit sharing. Experience level and geography each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Men make up a slight majority of Corporate Counsels (54 percent). The majority of Corporate Counsels claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed 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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
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 progression may result in a considerable increase in compensation. Typically, a Vice President (VP) & Associate General Counsel, an upper-level role, can earn an extra $77K annually than those further down the career ladder. Corporate Counsels moving up in their career tend to step into positions as Senior Staff Counsels or Associate General Counsels, where paychecks increase by $28K or $19,268 per year.

Corporate Counsel Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Corporate Counsel

Corporate Counsels seem to require a rather large skill set. 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. The majority of those 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.
For many but not all Corporate Counsels, a key factor in salary decisions is experience; more experience generally yields higher pay. After five to 10 years, starting pay of $90K grows to $126K, exceeding six figures. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $152K. The 20-year mark seems to bring slower salary growth, and Corporate Counsels at this tenure level tend to see their incomes plateau to $162K. 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. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; more than half of respondents fit between this range.

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.
With a pay rate for Corporate Counsels that is 32 percent greater than the national average, Los Angeles offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. 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. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Denver (-9 percent) and Kansas City (-3 percent).

Related Job Salaries

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%
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