Staff Attorney Salary

Average Staff Attorneys in the United States make around $67K annually. Cash earnings for Staff Attorneys — including $10K in bonuses and $10K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $46K to $108K depending on individual performance. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Women Staff Attorneys who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Work is enjoyable for Staff Attorneys, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction.

$46,095 - $102,802
(Median)
$46K
$67K
$100K
MEDIAN: $66,823
10%
50%
90%

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$19.92 - $64.34
(Median)
$20
$34
$64
MEDIAN: $33.00
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$46,095 - $102,802  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,247  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $9,635  
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).
)
$45,981 - $108,159  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 721
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$28$56$84
Hourly Rate
$19.92 - $64.34  
   
Overtime
$15.21 - $81.37  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,247  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $9,635  
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).
)
$45,981 - $108,159  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 57
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Job Description for Staff Attorney

Staff attorneys are legal employees who work for a variety of organizations, often as full-time employees. Staff attorneys use their legal expertise to help deal with the day-to-day legal issues with which their organization needs regular assistance. The daily duties of a staff attorney might include advising their employer on legal matters, performing pre-litigation analysis, conducting research as it pertains to legal matters within their organization, and carrying out legal proceedings. Staff attorneys usually work in an office within their company's legal department, where they look over paperwork, prepare analysis, and carry out other jobs required by their supervisors. Their supervisors might include senior staff attorneys and/or the head of the legal department. This is typically a full-time position, although overtime may be required as tasks require. In all tasks, staff attorneys must follow relevant privacy regulations.

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Staff 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 Staff Attorney


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Staff Attorneys who advance into the role of a General Counsel are fairly uncommon. General Counsels on average earn $149K per year. Staff Attorneys most often move into positions as Attorneys or Senior Staff Attorneys; those groups report median salaries that are $12K higher and $28K higher, respectively.

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Popular Skills for Staff Attorney


Survey results suggest that Staff Attorneys put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Legal Compliance, Legal Document Review, and Litigation Case Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people experienced in Legal Document Review also know Contract Negotiation and Litigation Case Management. The majority of those who know Legal Research also know Litigation Case Management and Contract Negotiation.

Pay by Experience Level for Staff Attorney

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


Staff Attorneys with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $61K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $75K. Staff Attorneys with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $87K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $106K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Staff Attorneys, Dallas provides a pay rate that is 25 percent greater than the national average. Staff Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+23 percent), New York (+20 percent), San Diego (+20 percent), and Seattle (+15 percent). Staff Attorneys in Philadelphia earn salaries far below the national average by 26 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Employers also pay below the national average in Baltimore (18 percent lower) and Columbus (7 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Staff Attorney Salaries




National Average
$68,000


Skills That Affect Staff Attorney Salaries



Legal Document Review
up arrow 2%

National Average
$68,000

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%

Legal Research
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 118 votes.

Gender

Female
57 %
Male
43 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 58% employee benefits None: 9%
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