Senior Attorney Salary
Senior Attorneys in the United States see excellent average salaries — about $129K annually. Total cash earnings of Senior Attorneys range from $80K on the low end to $234K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $50K and $75K, respectively. Residence and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women make up a slight majority of Senior Attorneys (57 percent) survey respondents. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. For the most part, Senior Attorneys enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
|Salary||$76,755 - $193,575|
|Bonus||$1,750 - $51,204|
|Profit Sharing||$0.00 - $76,398|
|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).)
|$77,597 - $232,437|
|Bonus||$1,750 - $51,204|
|Profit Sharing||$0.00 - $76,398|
|Total Pay (||$77,597 - $232,437|
Job Description for Senior Attorney
A great deal of legal work, including both civil and criminal litigation, is done with teams of lawyers. A senior attorney is the person who helps to manage such teams. He or she is normally a partner in a firm or a high-level specialist retained by one. The senior attorney typically directs the preparations of the team in representing a client. The senior attorney also represents the team when meeting with the legal representatives from the adversarial side of a case. Should the case be argued in court, typically the senior attorney takes the lead in presenting his or her team's information and arguments.Read More...
The senior attorney is typically the first conduit for the client being represented. In the case of civil litigation, this lawyer will work with the client to understand the goals of any lawsuits or court orders being sought. In criminal cases, the senior attorney will normally conduct preliminary interviews with the client to help assess how the legal team should proceed. The senior attorney will then direct other lawyers on the team to comb through evidence and report on progress. The attorney will also outline and assess the strength and evidence of the case he or she can present and begin to work towards a resolution.
A senior attorney must possess a law degree from an accredited university law school. He or she also must be a member in good standing of the bar association or accrediting organization with jurisdiction in the area. A senior attorney typically works in an office environment, but he or she should expect that long hours, field work, and travel are an integral aspect of this job. (Copyright 2017 PayScale.com)
Senior Attorney Tasks
- Advise clients in business transactions, claim liability, 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.
- 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.
- Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions; evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments for presentation of cases.
Common Career Paths for Senior Attorney
Senior Attorneys who advance into the role of a Senior Counsel are fairly uncommon. Senior Counsels on average earn $168K per year. More often than not, an Attorney role is the next step for Senior Attorneys moving up in the field. Pay for Attorneys is usually $81K. Many Senior Attorneys choose to take on a General Counsel role instead, where salaries are typically $153K.
Senior Attorney Job Listings
Popular Skills for Senior Attorney
Senior Attorneys report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Lucky workers who know Regulatory Compliance can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 22 percent above average. Contract Negotiation and Legal Research are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 4 percent and 22 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Negotiation, litigation, and Contract Management. Those familiar with Contract Negotiation also tend to know Regulatory Compliance.
Pay by Experience Level for Senior Attorney
Pay by Experience for a Senior Attorney has a positive trend. An entry-level Senior Attorney with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $91,000 based on 24 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Senior Attorney with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $133,000 based on 74 salaries. An experienced Senior Attorney which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $148,000 based on 126 salaries. A Senior Attorney with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $163,000 based on 66 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For Senior Attorneys, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Senior Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+19 percent), Minneapolis (+19 percent), Boston (+14 percent), and Portland (+12 percent). Senior Attorneys in Los Angeles earn salaries far below the national average by 33 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Miami and New York are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 12 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively.
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Key Stats for Senior Attorney
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 44 votes.