Senior Attorney Salary

Wages for Senior Attorneys in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($128K) per year. In the world of Senior Attorneys, total cash compensation can vary between $82K and $215K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $41K and $36K, respectively. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just over two-fifths. Job satisfaction for Senior Attorneys is high. Male Senior Attorneys are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 54 percent of the field.

$81,183 - $191,882
(Median)
$81K
$130K
$190K
MEDIAN: $128,479
10%
50%
90%

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$17.45 - $310.94
(Median)
$17
$75
$310
MEDIAN: $75.00
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$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$81,183 - $191,882  
   
Bonus
$979 - $40,534  
Profit Sharing
$985 - $36,065  
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).
)
$82,214 - $214,769  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 455
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$110$220$330
Hourly Rate
$17.45 - $310.94  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $240.00  
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$220K$440K$660K
Bonus
$979 - $40,534  
   
Profit Sharing
$985 - $36,065  
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).
)
$82,214 - $214,769  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 15
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Job Description for Senior Attorney

Typically, senior attorneys are partners at firms who have supervising authority on cases and litigation. They are generally the lawyers who help develop overall case strategies and assign other lawyers, investigators, and researchers to execute those plans. When cases go to trial, senior attorneys may be responsible for them, although it is not uncommon to delegate them to capable associates, as well. In situations where settlements are sought, senior attorneys take the lead and set the parameters for acceptable ranges of compensation.

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Senior 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 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.

Common Career Paths for Senior Attorney


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Senior Attorneys' salaries tend to stay somewhat constant even when they advance into higher-level positions like Senior Corporate Lawyer. On average, Senior Corporate Lawyers get paid about the same as Senior Attorneys do. More often than not, an Attorney role is the next step for Senior Attorneys moving up in the field. Pay for Attorneys is usually $81K. Many Senior Attorneys choose to take on a General Counsel role instead, where salaries are typically $149K.

Senior Attorney Job Listings

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Survey takers who work as Senior Attorneys typically report just a few professional skills. Those who have experience with Contract Negotiation, Legal Research, and Litigation Case Management can expect to be compensated well for these skills. Many workers who know Contract Negotiation also know Litigation Case Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Attorney

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


For Senior Attorneys, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $101K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $137K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $144K in this role. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $145K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


For Senior Attorneys, busy New York offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 10 percent above the national average. Senior Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+8 percent) and Houston (+5 percent). Atlanta ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 15 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Miami (13 percent less) and Minneapolis (10 percent less).

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Experience Affects Senior Attorney Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$141,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

Entry-Level
up arrow 28%

Skills That Affect Senior Attorney Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 3%

Legal Research
up arrow 2%

National Average
$141,000

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 87 votes.

Gender

Female
46 %
Male
54 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
28%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 60%
vision benefits Vision: 45% employee benefits None: 10%
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