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Litigation Attorney Salary

Litigation Attorneys in the United States can expect to earn a very generous salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $98K) surpassing six figures annually. Cash earnings for Litigation Attorneys — including $20K in bonuses and $50K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $60K to $173K depending on individual performance. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and just over two-fifths earn dental coverage. Men make up a slight majority of Litigation Attorneys (53 percent) who responded to the survey. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$59,182 - $155,761
(Median)
$59K
$98K
$160K
MEDIAN: $97,631
10%
50%
90%

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$17.87 - $342.55
(Median)
$18
$65
$340
MEDIAN: $65.00
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$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$59,182 - $155,761  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,313  
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $50,000  
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).
)
$60,211 - $173,066  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 353
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$120$240$360
Hourly Rate
$17.87 - $342.55  
   
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$240K$480K$720K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,313  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $50,000  
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).
)
$60,211 - $173,066  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 12

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Litigation Attorney

A litigation attorney is a lawyer who specializes in dealing with lawsuits and representing either plaintiffs or defendants in cases. Often simply called a litigator, they oversee the entire process of taking a lawsuit to court. This process is quite often lengthy, and it is necessary for the litigation attorney to be patient and detail-oriented.

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Litigation Attorney 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 liability, 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.

Common Career Paths for Litigation Attorney


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Many Litigation Attorneys transition into upper-level roles like Attorney. However, Attorneys do report a slightly lower median income of $81K per year.

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Popular Skills for Litigation Attorney


Professional skills reported by Litigation Attorneys are few in number. Most notably, skills in Complex Litigation Case Management, trial, Litigation Case Management, and Legal Research are correlated to pay that is above average. Legal Research and Litigation Case Management as skills, however, tend to be associated with significantly smaller paychecks. Most people experienced in Legal Research also know Complex Litigation Case Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Litigation Attorney

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Litigation Attorneys. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $73K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $106K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Litigation Attorneys who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $124K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $147K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 42 percent, Litigation Attorneys in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Litigation Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+38 percent), Los Angeles (+20 percent), Houston (+19 percent), and New York (+17 percent). Litigation Attorneys in Boston report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 24 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in San Diego and Miami (17 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Litigation Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 46%



National Average
$100,000


Skills That Affect Litigation Attorney Salaries


trial
up arrow 7%

National Average
$100,000

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 46 votes.

Gender

Female
47 %
Male
53 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 80% dental benefits Dental: 45%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 19%
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