Staff Attorney Salary
Staff Attorneys in the United States can expect to earn an average of $65K 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 $103K. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Female Staff Attorneys survey participants are more prevalent than men — 63 percent of professionals. Most Staff Attorneys like their work and job satisfaction is high. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance.
|Salary||$45,827 - $100,420|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $12,719|
|Profit Sharing||$659 - $14,899|
|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).)
|$46,157 - $103,309|
|Hourly Rate||$24.51 - $66.98|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $12,719|
|Profit Sharing||$659 - $14,899|
|Total Pay (||$46,157 - $103,309|
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. (Copyright 2017 PayScale.com)
Staff Attorney Tasks
- Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries
- Analyze and interpret laws, rulings and regulations with probable case outcomes for individuals and businesses
- Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions; evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments for presentation of cases
- 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
Staff Attorneys who go on to become General Counsels may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for General Counsels is $153K annually. When Staff Attorneys are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Attorneys or Senior Staff Attorneys. Those roles pay an additional $15K and $30K, respectively.
Staff Attorney Job Listings
Popular Skills for Staff Attorney
Staff Attorneys report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Contract Negotiation, Contract Management, Legal Compliance, and Legal Document Review are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 11 percent and 16 percent. Those listing Client Interaction as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Legal Writing and Legal Research also typically command lower compensation. 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
Pay by Experience for a Staff Attorney has a positive trend. An entry-level Staff Attorney with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $62,000 based on 358 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Staff Attorney with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $70,000 based on 111 salaries. An experienced Staff Attorney which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $91,000 based on 56 salaries. A Staff Attorney with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $97,000 based on 32 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 27 percent, Staff Attorneys in Chicago receive some of the highest pay in the country. Staff Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in New York (+27 percent), San Diego (+24 percent), Seattle (+19 percent), and Salt Lake City (+19 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 11 percent south of the national average, can be found in Baltimore. Employers pay around 8 percent less in Washington and 7 percent less in Dallas, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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Key Stats for Staff Attorney
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