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Staff Attorney Salary

Median pay for Staff Attorneys in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $66K per year. Overall cash earnings for Staff Attorneys stretch from $46K on the lower end to $107K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $10K from bonuses and $10K from profit sharing. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women Staff Attorneys who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. For the most part, Staff Attorneys enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$45,854 - $101,831
(Median)
$46K
$66K
$100K
MEDIAN: $65,589
10%
50%
90%

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$20.01 - $64.56
(Median)
$20
$30
$65
MEDIAN: $30
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
$45,854 - $101,831  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,160  
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).
)
$45,735 - $106,555  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 698
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
$20.01 - $64.56  
   
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 - $10,160  
   
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).
)
$45,735 - $106,555  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 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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While Staff Attorneys do not often become General Counsels, the job pays $149K per year on average. Staff Attorneys typically move into roles as Attorneys or Senior Staff Attorneys, and those positions pay $14K more and $31K more, respectively.

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, Legal Compliance, Legal Document Review, and Litigation Case Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people who know Legal Research also know 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 is an important factor influencing the compensation of Staff Attorneys. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $60K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $74K. Staff Attorneys bring in $86K after working for 10 to 20 years. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $100K.

Pay Difference by Location


Staff Attorneys will find that Chicago offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 22 percent. Staff Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+19 percent), Houston (+15 percent), Seattle (+12 percent), and New York (+8 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 18 percent south of the national average, can be found in Philadelphia. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Baltimore and Milwaukee (16 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Staff Attorney Salaries




National Average
$67,000


Skills That Affect Staff Attorney Salaries



Legal Document Review
up arrow 2%

Litigation Case Management
0%

National Average
$67,000

Legal Research
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 125 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: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 9%
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