Senior Attorney Salary

Salaries for Senior Attorneys in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($129K) per year. In the world of Senior Attorneys, total cash compensation can vary between $82K and $214K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $41K and $46K, respectively. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Senior Attorneys making up 54 percent of survey respondents. Job satisfaction for Senior Attorneys is high. A large number enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just under a half. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$80,179 - $191,142

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$13.40 - $484.79

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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
$80,179 - $191,142  
   
Bonus
$975 - $40,914  
Profit Sharing
$985 - $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).
)
$81,794 - $213,890  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 454
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$170$340$510
Hourly Rate
$13.40 - $484.79  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $244.17  
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$500K$1M$1.5M
Bonus
$975 - $40,914  
   
Profit Sharing
$985 - $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).
)
$81,794 - $213,890  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 13
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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 tend not to experience significant pay changes as they move up the career ladder to roles like Senior Corporate Lawyer. The two jobs pay about the same on average. 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 $149K.

Senior Attorney Job Listings

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Typical Senior Attorneys report a focused set of job 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.


Senior Attorneys with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $99K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $136K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $145K in this role. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't higher than less experienced individuals' earnings.

Pay Difference by Location


For Senior Attorneys, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 9 percent greater than the national average. Senior Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in New York (+9 percent) and Houston (+7 percent). Los Angeles is the lowest-paying area, 15 percent south of the national average. Atlanta and Miami are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 15 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively.

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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 29%

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 80 votes.

Gender

Female
46 %
Male
54 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
4%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
28%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 61%
vision benefits Vision: 46% employee benefits None: 10%
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