Senior Attorney Salary

Generous salaries abound for Senior Attorneys in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($131K) per year. In the world of Senior Attorneys, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $46K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $75K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $80K and $236K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Male Senior Attorneys are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 53 percent of the field. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$78,106 - $196,896
$78K
$130K
$200K
MEDIAN: $131,462
10%
50%
90%

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$42.78 - $446.98
$43
$55
$450
MEDIAN: $55.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$78,106 - $196,896  
   
Bonus
$1,479 - $46,150  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $75,000  
Commission
$6,000  
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).
)
$79,726 - $235,927  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 236
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$150$300$450
Hourly Rate
$42.78 - $446.98  
   
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$300K$600K$900K
Bonus
$1,479 - $46,150  
   
Commission
$6,000  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $75,000  
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).
)
$79,726 - $235,927  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 10

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Senior Attorney

A great deal of legal work, including both civil and criminal litigation, is done with teams of lawyers. A senior attorney is the person who helps to manage such teams. He or she is normally a partner in a firm or a high-level specialist retained by one. The senior attorney typically directs the preparations of the team in representing a client. The senior attorney also represents the team when meeting with the legal representatives from the adversarial side of a case. Should the case be argued in court, typically the senior attorney takes the lead in presenting his or her team's information and arguments.

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Senior Attorney Tasks

  • 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.
  • Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Senior Attorney


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Though it's uncommon, some Senior Attorneys move into roles as Senior Counsels, where they can earn incomes averaing out to a slightly higher $168K per year. The most common promotion for Senior Attorneys is an Attorney position, which usually brings in $81K a year. Another standard transition for Senior Attorneys seeking advancement is to assume a General Counsel role, where pay is often $153K.

Senior Attorney Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Senior Attorney


Senior Attorneys report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Fortunate workers who know Regulatory Compliance can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 20 percent above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Negotiation, litigation, and Contract Management. For most people, competency in Contract Negotiation indicates knowledge of Regulatory Compliance.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Attorney

Pay by Experience for a Senior Attorney has a positive trend. An entry-level Senior Attorney with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $91,000 based on 24 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Senior Attorney with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $133,000 based on 74 salaries. An experienced Senior Attorney which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $148,000 based on 126 salaries. A Senior Attorney with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $163,000 based on 66 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $141,398

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Senior Attorneys that is 27 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Senior Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+17 percent), Minneapolis (+17 percent), Boston (+13 percent), and Portland (+10 percent). Senior Attorneys in Los Angeles earn salaries far below the national average by 34 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Below-median salaries also turn up in Miami and New York (13 percent lower and 12 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Senior Attorney

Gender

Female
47 %
Male
53 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 32 votes.
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
30%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Attorney Salaries

▲16%

▲4%

National Average
$141,000

▼6%

Entry-Level
▼36%

Skills That Affect Senior Attorney Salaries

Regulatory Compliance
▲20%


Legal Research
▲2%


National Average
$141,000

Intellectual Property (IP)
▼5%

Contract Management
▼7%

litigation
▼13%

Negotiation
▼17%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 32 votes.

Gender

Female
47 %
Male
53 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
30%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 85%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
vision benefits
Vision: 57%
no benefits
None: 12%
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