Corporate Lawyer Salary
Average pay for a Corporate Lawyer in the United States is considerable, rounding six figures at $102K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $51K and $131K, respectively — total cash payment to Corporate Lawyers can bottom out near $59K or peak near $305K depending on individual performance. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Most enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to nearly two in five. Making up 76 percent of those who took the survey, male Corporate Lawyers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Most people on this career path report moderate levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Corporate Lawyer
Corporate lawyers are responsible for all aspects of corporate law practice. This includes all legal processes related to the formation, operation, and governance of a corporation or corporation-like entity such as a limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or alliance. The corporate lawyer may be responsible for helping establish a new corporation, which requires filing articles of incorporation and adhering to all relevant federal, state, and local regulations. Once a corporation has been established, corporate lawyers give advice on its business transactions with other entities and provide advice about regulations, licensing of new technologies, and managomg all legal disputes regarding operations. Corporate lawyers are also responsible for providing advice and planning related to corporate mergers, acquisitions, and other large-scale strategic deals.Read More...
Corporate lawyers typically work in an office environment during regular business hours, although there is a high likelihood of overtime due to the demanding and fast-paced corporate atmosphere, especially when major deals, acquisitions, or restructurings occur. Corporate lawyers work closely with other members of the legal team, such as trademark and patent lawyers, to ensure the legality of all aspects of corporate operations. They meet with regulatory agencies to negotiate and ensure compliance with laws and other regulations. They also advise upper management on corporate strategy and regulatory issues. Some travel is required to meet with regulators, as well as observe and advise at satellite corporate offices and sites.
Corporate lawyers must have a juris doctor degree and membership in a state bar (typically the state in which the corporation operates). Experience of up to 10 years is required, as this may be a high-level position within the corporation that has extensive responsibilities.
Corporate Lawyer Tasks
- Advise clients in business transactions, claim liablility, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits or legal rights and obligations.
- Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.
- Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
- Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions; evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments for presentation of cases.
- Analyze and interpret laws, rulings and regulations with probable case outcomes for individuals and businesses.
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Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Lawyer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $98K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $135K. For Corporate Lawyers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $153K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $167K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Corporate Lawyers, Washington offers exceptional salaries, 60 percent above the national average. Corporate Lawyers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+48 percent), New York (+21 percent), Chicago (+17 percent), and Detroit (+7 percent). Corporate Lawyers in Atlanta make 33 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Philadelphia (33 percent less) and Miami (20 percent less).
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Key Stats for Corporate Lawyer
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