The average Staff Attorney in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $64K per year. Cash earnings for Staff Attorneys — which occasionally include more than $13K from bonuses and more than $15K from profit sharing — stretch from around $46K to approximately $104K. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. More than half of Staff Attorneys (62 percent) survey participants are women.

$46,141 - $101,138
(Median)
$46K
$64K
$100K
MEDIAN: $63,554
10%
50%
90%

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$20.07 - $65.89
(Median)
$20
$31
$66
MEDIAN: $30
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$46,141 - $101,138  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,719  
Profit Sharing
$675 - $14,544  
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).
)
$46,330 - $103,909  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 476
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$20.07 - $65.89  
   
Overtime
$60.17  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,719  
   
Profit Sharing
$675 - $14,544  
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).
)
$46,330 - $103,909  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 27
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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 may progress into high-paying roles like General Counsel, where median compensation is $152K annually. The most common next step for a Staff Attorney is to become an Attorney or a Senior Staff Attorney. The former position pays an additional $16K per year on average, and the latter position pays $31K more per year.

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Popular Skills for Staff Attorney


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Legal Compliance, Legal Document Review, and Litigation Case Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Legal Writing and Legal Research. A tool kit that includes Legal Research also typically contains Litigation Case Management and Contract Negotiation. Most people skilled in Legal Document Review are similarly competent in Contract Negotiation and Litigation Case Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Staff Attorney

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


Staff Attorneys generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. The average inexperienced worker earns $62K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $71K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Staff Attorneys make a median salary of $76K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $100K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $64,947

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

Surpassing the national average by 30 percent, Staff Attorneys in Chicago receive some of the highest pay in the country. Staff Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+26 percent), New York (+25 percent), Houston (+25 percent), and Seattle (+14 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Baltimore, 10 percent below the national average. Workers in Nashville and San Francisco earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (10 percent less and 6 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Staff Attorney Salaries




National Average
$65,000


Skills That Affect Staff Attorney Salaries



Legal Document Review
up arrow 1%

National Average
$65,000

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%

Complex Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%


Legal Writing
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 52 votes.

Gender

Female
62 %
Male
38 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
57%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
medical benefits
Vision: 59%
dental benefits
None: 11%
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