Staff Attorney Salary
An average Staff Attorney in the United States can expect to take home roughly $63K annually. 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 duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most Staff Attorneys like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Female Staff Attorneys survey participants are more prevalent than men — 62 percent of professionals.
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.Read More...
Attorneys must complete a bachelor's degree and a three-year law program, in addition to passing their state's written bar exam. Qualities that employers look for in job candidates include being an effective communicator, having strong leadership qualities, and having previous experience as a staff attorney. Potential employees must be experienced within the relevant area(s) of law and have a firm grasp on the skills and day-to-day duties required by their individual employer.
Staff 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 Staff Attorney
For Staff Attorneys, progressing to a General Counsel role may result in a significant raise. On average, a General Counsel can earn $152K annually. 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 $16K more on average, and the second group earns $31K more.
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Popular Skills for Staff Attorney
Survey results imply that Staff Attorneys put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Legal Compliance, Contract Management, and Legal Document Review are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 17 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Client Interaction, Legal Writing, and Legal Research. People who know Legal Research usually also know Litigation Case Management and Contract Negotiation. Those educated in Legal Document Review tend to be well versed 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.
Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Staff Attorneys. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $62K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $70K. Staff Attorneys claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $79K. Staff Attorneys who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $99K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Staff Attorneys, New York provides a pay rate that is 29 percent greater than the national average. Staff Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+26 percent), Chicago (+24 percent), Houston (+20 percent), and Salt Lake City (+5 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Baltimore, 10 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Washington (6 percent less) and Philadelphia (2 percent less).
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Key Stats for Staff Attorney
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