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Senior Attorney Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Senior Attorneys in the United States, with median pay hovering around $127K per year. With some bonuses approaching $41K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $46K, overall incomes of Senior Attorneys spread between $82K and $219K depending on individual performance. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Men working as Senior Attorneys who took the survey just slightly outnumber women at 52 percent. Most enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just over two-fifths. The majority of Senior Attorneys claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$80,434 - $193,779
(Median)
$80K
$130K
$190K
MEDIAN: $126,874
10%
50%
90%

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$17.62 - $309.15
(Median)
$18
$82
$310
MEDIAN: $82.00
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
$80,434 - $193,779  
   
Bonus
$587 - $41,226  
Profit Sharing
$959 - $46,369  
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).
)
$81,795 - $219,113  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 450
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
$17.62 - $309.15  
   
Overtime
$-0.49 - $235.83  
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
$587 - $41,226  
   
Profit Sharing
$959 - $46,369  
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).
)
$81,795 - $219,113  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 16

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Job Description for Senior Attorney

  • 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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For Senior Attorneys, advancing into a Senior Corporate Lawyer role, for which the median salary is $154K, is not common but it does happen. An Attorney role is the most prevalent career advancement for Senior Attorneys. Paychecks for that role are $81K on average. The General Counsel position is another common transition for Senior Attorneys; in this role, salaries are typically at the $149K mark.

Senior Attorney Job Listings

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Senior Attorneys usually report a few specific skills. Legal Research and Contract Negotiation are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 4 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Employees educated in Contract Negotiation are typically practiced in Litigation Case Management, too.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Attorney

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


Senior Attorneys generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $97K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $129K. For Senior Attorneys, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $144K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $148K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Senior Attorneys, busy New York offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 21 percent above the national average. Senior Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Detroit (+19 percent), San Francisco (+9 percent), Houston (+8 percent), and Washington (+6 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Senior Attorney's salary, with Chicago Senior Attorneys earning salaries that are 27 percent less than the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Dallas (19 percent less) and Miami (14 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 6%


National Average
$139,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 7%

Entry-Level
up arrow 31%

Skills That Affect Senior Attorney Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 4%

Legal Research
up arrow 4%

National Average
$139,000

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 105 votes.

Gender

Female
48 %
Male
52 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
48%
20 years or more
28%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 60%
vision benefits Vision: 43% employee benefits None: 10%