Staff Attorney Salary

An average Staff Attorney in the United States can expect to take home roughly $67K per year. 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. Experience level 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. Almost all enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. Women make up a slight majority of Staff Attorneys (57 percent) survey respondents. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$46,117 - $102,931
(Median)
$46K
$67K
$100K
MEDIAN: $66,702
10%
50%
90%

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$19.89 - $64.56
(Median)
$20
$32
$65
MEDIAN: $32.00
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
$46,117 - $102,931  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,221  
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).
)
$45,991 - $108,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 715
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
$19.89 - $64.56  
   
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 - $10,221  
   
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).
)
$45,991 - $108,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 56
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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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There are some Staff Attorneys — though it's uncommon — that transition into General Counsels, where earnings are an average $149K annually. Career advancement for the typical Staff Attorney often leads to becoming an Attorney or a Senior Staff Attorney; median salaries in these positions are $13K higher and $29K higher, respectively.

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Popular Skills for Staff Attorney


Survey takers who work as Staff Attorneys report a focused set of job skills. 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 skilled in Legal Research are similarly competent in Litigation Case Management and Contract Negotiation. Those proficient in Legal Document Review are, more often than not, also skilled 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 seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Staff Attorneys. 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. After working for 10 to 20 years, Staff Attorneys make a median salary of $86K. Deeply experienced professionals who boast more than 20 years of experience haul in an ample $106K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Staff Attorneys that is 25 percent greater than the national average, Dallas offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Staff Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+25 percent), New York (+20 percent), San Diego (+19 percent), and Seattle (+16 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Philadelphia Staff Attorneys earning much less — 26 percent less — than the national average. Employers pay around 18 percent less in Baltimore and 7 percent less in Columbus, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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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%

Litigation Case Management
0%

National Average
$68,000

Legal Research
up arrow 2%

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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