Corporate Lawyer Salary

Wages for Corporate Lawyers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($100K) per year. Cash earnings for Corporate Lawyers — which occasionally include more than $41K from bonuses and more than $49K from profit sharing — stretch from around $54K to approximately $255K. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a majority earn dental coverage. Making up 73 percent of those who took the survey, male Corporate Lawyers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. The majority of Corporate Lawyers claim high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$54,306 - $199,073
(Median)
$54K
$100K
$200K
MEDIAN: $100,284
10%
50%
90%

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$12.79 - $484.79
(Median)
$13
$100
$480
MEDIAN: $100
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$90K$180K$270K
Salary
$54,306 - $199,073  
   
Bonus
$484.79 - $40,506  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $48,936  
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).
)
$54,186 - $254,898  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 223
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$170$340$510
Hourly Rate
$12.79 - $484.79  
   
Overtime
$16.70 - $40.69  
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$500K$1M$1.5M
Bonus
$484.79 - $40,506  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $48,936  
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).
)
$54,186 - $254,898  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 22
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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.

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Corporate Lawyer Tasks

  • 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.
  • Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
  • 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.

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Pay by Experience Level for Corporate Lawyer

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


For many Corporate Lawyers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $90K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $116K. Corporate Lawyers bring in $146K after working for 10 to 20 years. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $180K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Corporate Lawyers, 70 percent above the national average. Corporate Lawyers will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+70 percent), Chicago (+41 percent), New York (+19 percent), and Houston (+10 percent). Corporate Lawyers in Atlanta take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 29 percent less than the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Philadelphia (29 percent lower) and Boston (21 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Corporate Lawyer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 75%

Experienced
up arrow 42%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$103,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 9 votes.

Gender

Female
27 %
Male
73 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 84% dental benefits Dental: 63%
vision benefits Vision: 47% employee benefits None: 16%
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