Corporate Lawyer Salary

On average, Corporate Lawyers in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($101K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. Total incomes of Corporate Lawyers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $40K from bonuses and close to $48K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $55K and $254K. Residence and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Corporate Lawyers. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a majority earn dental coverage. Male Corporate Lawyers are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$54,626 - $201,006
(Median)
$55K
$100K
$200K
MEDIAN: $100,515
10%
50%
90%

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$12.82 - $481.77
(Median)
$13
$98
$480
MEDIAN: $98.00
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$90K$180K$270K
Salary
$54,626 - $201,006  
   
Bonus
$99.33 - $40,380  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $48,479  
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).
)
$54,569 - $254,322  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 227
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
$12.82 - $481.77  
   
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
$99.33 - $40,380  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $48,479  
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).
)
$54,569 - $254,322  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 23
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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.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Corporate Lawyers. Whereas the median salary for inexperienced employees is approximately $91K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $116K. Corporate Lawyers bring in $149K after working for 10 to 20 years. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $190K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Corporate Lawyers, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Corporate Lawyers will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+70 percent), Chicago (+48 percent), New York (+18 percent), and Houston (+9 percent). Corporate Lawyers' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Corporate Lawyers in Atlanta bring in salaries that are 29 percent lower than the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Philadelphia (29 percent lower) and Boston (21 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Corporate Lawyer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 84%

Experienced
up arrow 45%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$103,000


Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
26 %
Male
74 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
19%
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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