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Staff Attorney Salary

Pay for Staff Attorneys in the United States sits in the ballpark of $66K annually. Final cash compensation to Staff Attorneys varies from around $46K to approximately $106K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $10K and $10K, respectively. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women Staff Attorneys who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. For the most part, Staff Attorneys enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction.
$45,636 - $101,551
(Median)
$46K
$66K
$100K
MEDIAN: $65,942
10%
50%
90%

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$19.79 - $65.54
(Median)
$20
$34
$66
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
$45,636 - $101,551  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,316  
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $9,744  
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).
)
$45,530 - $106,361  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 676
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
$19.79 - $65.54  
   
Overtime
$14.79 - $83.63  
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 - $10,316  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $9,744  
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).
)
$45,530 - $106,361  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 51
United States (change)

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 sometimes assume positions such as General Counsels. That role pays $148K per year on average. A common career progression for a Staff Attorney is to become an Attorney or a Senior Staff Attorney. Compared to Staff Attorneys, the first group earns $13K more on average, and the second group earns $31K more.

Staff Attorney Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Staff Attorney


Survey results suggest that Staff Attorneys use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Legal Compliance, Legal Document Review, and Litigation Case Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 17 percent. Those educated in Legal Document Review tend to be well versed in Contract Negotiation and Litigation Case Management. Those proficient in Legal Research are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.


For many Staff Attorneys, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $60K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $74K. Staff Attorneys who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $88K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $99K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 23 percent, Staff Attorneys in Chicago receive some of the highest pay in the country. Staff Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+21 percent), Houston (+13 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and Seattle (+12 percent). Staff Attorneys in Philadelphia take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 25 percent less than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Baltimore and Los Angeles (18 percent lower and 15 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Staff Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 47%



National Average
$67,000


Skills That Affect Staff Attorney Salaries



Litigation Case Management
up arrow 3%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 3%

National Average
$67,000

Legal Research
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 149 votes.

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 10%