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Litigation Attorney Salary

On average, Litigation Attorneys in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($101K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A fair number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and just under one-half collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Male Litigation Attorneys who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (61 percent) are men. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$59,067 - $155,326
MEDIAN: $98,163

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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.
$59,067 - $155,326  
$0.00 - $20,378  
Profit Sharing
$2,000 - $33,000  
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).
$60,085 - $170,514  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 295
United States (change)

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.


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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Compensation may take a strong hit for Litigation Attorneys who move to positions like Attorney. Attorneys usually make $80K.

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Popular Skills for Litigation Attorney

Just a handful of professional skills are reported by Litigation Attorneys who took the survey. Fortunate workers who know Complex Litigation Case Management command much higher paychecks, scoring salaries 25 percent above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Legal Research and Litigation Case Management. Those familiar with Legal Research also tend to 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.

Litigation Attorneys who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $74K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $108K. Litigation Attorneys claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $125K. 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 $139K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

For Litigation Attorneys, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 55 percent above the national average. Litigation Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+35 percent), Houston (+19 percent), Tampa (+18 percent), and New York (+17 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Litigation Attorneys is geography, with workers in Boston earning a whopping 25 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 22 percent less in Chicago and 15 percent less in Miami, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Litigation Attorney Salaries

up arrow 38%

National Average

Skills That Affect Litigation Attorney Salaries

Complex Litigation Case Management
up arrow 25%

National Average

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 3%

Legal Research
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 41 votes.


39 %
61 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 80% dental benefits Dental: 46%
vision benefits Vision: 34% employee benefits None: 19%