Staff Attorney Salary

Average Staff Attorneys in the United States make around $64K annually. Cash earnings for Staff Attorneys — including $13K in bonuses and $15K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $47K to $104K depending on individual performance. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. There are more female Staff Attorneys who answered the questionnaire than male, making up 62 percent. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$46,408 - $101,200
$46K
$64K
$100K
MEDIAN: $63,864
10%
50%
90%

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$22.30 - $61.82
$22
$35
$62
MEDIAN: $35.00
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
$46,408 - $101,200  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,686  
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).
)
$46,509 - $104,070  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 459
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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
$22.30 - $61.82  
   
Overtime
$65.00  
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 - $12,686  
   
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).
)
$46,509 - $104,070  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 25
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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United States (change)

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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

  • 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


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Staff Attorneys who transition into a General Counsel role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $153K per year. 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 $30K more.

Staff Attorney Job Listings

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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, Contract Management, Legal Compliance, and Legal Document Review are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 13 percent and 17 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Client Interaction, Legal Writing, and Legal Research. Most people who know Legal Document Review also know Contract Negotiation and Litigation Case Management. People who know Legal Research usually also know 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.


Staff Attorneys with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. The average inexperienced worker earns $62K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $70K. On average, Staff Attorneys make $91K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $97K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $65,295

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

With a pay rate for Staff Attorneys that is 29 percent greater than the national average, Chicago offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Staff Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+28 percent), San Diego (+25 percent), Seattle (+20 percent), and Salt Lake City (+20 percent). In Baltimore, salaries are 10 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Workers in Washington and Dallas earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (7 percent less and 6 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Staff Attorney

Gender

Female
62 %
Male
38 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 54 votes.
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
59%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
9%
20 years or more
7%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Staff Attorney Salaries

▲49%

▲39%

▲7%

National Average
$65,000

▼4%

Skills That Affect Staff Attorney Salaries


Contract Management
▲14%



National Average
$65,000


Complex Litigation Case Management
▼2%


Legal Writing
▼10%

Client Interaction
▼20%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 54 votes.

Gender

Female
62 %
Male
38 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
59%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
9%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 74%
vision benefits
Vision: 59%
dental benefits
None: 12%
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