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Senior Attorney Salary (United States)

Senior Attorneys receive generous compensation in the United States — earning an average of $140K per year, their standard salaries shoot well into the six-figure range. Total cash compensation for Senior Attorneys runs from $85K to $224K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $42K and profit sharing that can reach almost $49K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Senior Attorneys making up 52 percent of survey respondents. Most Senior Attorneys report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and more than half earn dental coverage. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
Senior Attorney Salary (?
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.
)
$83,393 - $193,667
(Median)
83K
100K
130K
160K
190K
MEDIAN: $127,087
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Senior Attorney Salary (?
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.
)
$18.12 - $489.36
(Median)
290
490
MEDIAN: $85.00
75%
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
$83,393 - $193,667  
   
Bonus
$587 - $41,911  
Profit Sharing
$979 - $48,936  
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).
)
$84,941 - $223,991  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 444
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
$18.12 - $489.36  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $55.00  
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$500K$1M$1.5M
Bonus
$587 - $41,911  
   
Profit Sharing
$979 - $48,936  
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).
)
$84,941 - $223,991  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 20
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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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Senior Attorneys sometimes move into a Senior Corporate Lawyer role, where the salary is similar. The most common career progression for Senior Attorneys leads to becoming an Attorney, where pay is typically $80K. However, many Senior Attorneys also opt to become General Counsels, a position that pays $148K on average.

Senior Attorney Job Listings

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Senior Attorneys who responded to the survey indicated only a few skills that they use on the job. 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 Difference By Location

up arrow 21%
San Francisco
up arrow 8%
Houston
up arrow 6%
Washington
up arrow 5%
Los Angeles
up arrow 4%
National Average
$140,000
Sacramento
up arrow 12%
Miami
up arrow 14%
Dallas
up arrow 14%
Atlanta
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Senior Attorneys in New York enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 21 percent above the national average. Senior Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+8 percent), Houston (+6 percent), Washington (+5 percent), and Los Angeles (+4 percent). Falling short of the national average by 15 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Atlanta. Below-median salaries also turn up in Dallas and Miami (14 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Senior Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 5%
National Average
$140,000
Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

Skills That Affect Senior Attorney Salaries

Legal Research
up arrow 3%
National Average
$140,000
Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 116 votes.

Gender

Female
48%
female alumni
 
Male
52%
male alumni

Years of Experience

1-4 years
3%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
49%
20 years or more
28%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 60%
vision benefits Vision: 42% employee benefits None: 11%