What is the average salary for a corporate lawyer

What is the average salary of a corporate lawyer? This is a common question amongst those who want to become one of those professionals. Corporate lawyers are highly specialized legal experts working in different sectors, with the main focus being mergers and acquisitions of companies, establishment and partnership with foreign entities, liquidation or simplification of businesses. There is an average salary for every position in any company, this is also true for corporations as well. Even if there are no exact values published by law firms themselves, we can estimate an approximate range of salaries based on several factors such as positions held by present employees, firm revenue, and overall market trend.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a corporate lawyer was $128,260 in May 2016. The 10th percentile earned less than $69,090 and the 90th percentile earned more than $189,800.

What is the average salary for a corporate lawyer


Entering into a career as a corporate lawyer can be financially rewarding, but several factors will contribute to the final compensation you receive. The salary range for this position is between $84,000 and $208,000, but starting salaries are closer to $50,000 in a smaller law firm or city. Larger firms will pay more for those who hold advanced degrees and specialize in specific areas of practice. Geography also plays an important role when determining how much compensation you can expect to earn as an attorney working within the corporate sector.

Standard Salaries

Since the level of competition for jobs is so high, most lawyers are paid relatively well. In 2017, the average lawyer salary was $121,020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for lawyers was $98,010 per year or $47.03 per hour in May 2017. Wages varied with experience and location—the highest paying states are New York (median of $157,400), California ($145,260) and Washington DC ($136,700).

However, there are many factors that determine how much you will earn as a corporate lawyer including:

  • Your geographic location: Location matters! Lawyers in major cities like New York City and San Francisco tend to be paid more than their counterparts elsewhere because there is more demand for their talents and skillsets – especially if you’re working for a large law firm or corporation which pays premium rates as part of their recruitment strategy;
  • The size of your employer: Law firms with over 50 attorneys tend to pay higher salaries than smaller firms;

Geographic Variations

The average salary for a corporate lawyer will vary depending on the geographical location of the company, as well as where the job is located and how much it costs to live there. In addition, the type of company you work for can also impact your earnings.

For example, if you work in California and want to start at a big-name firm like Skadden Arps or Latham & Watkins, expect to make between $160K and $200K per year. However, if you’re working for a smaller firm with fewer clients (like one that specializes in entertainment law), then your starting salary may be closer to $80K—but keep in mind that this figure includes bonuses and other perks like healthcare coverage and retirement plans.

If you have an undergraduate degree from Harvard University or Yale University with excellent grades and extracurricular activities under your belt—and maybe even some prior experience working at firms—then don’t worry about taking the lowest offer on paper: Your potential salary may actually be much higher than what’s listed!

Additional Factors

The average salary of a corporate lawyer is only one factor in the decision to join a firm. Other factors include:

  • Experience and education: The average salary of a corporate lawyers with 5 years’ experience ranges between $135,000 and $160,000 annually. Lawyers with 10 years’ experience can earn up to $200,000 per year.
  • Location: If you want to work in Los Angeles or New York City, then expect your salary offer to be higher than those offered for more rural areas like Kansas City or Des Moines.
  • Industry: Corporate law firms that work with major corporations pay their attorneys better than firms that only deal with small businesses and startups. Companies like Google will typically pay more than smaller businesses such as Joe’s Plumbing Shop because they need specialized knowledge from their lawyers and also offer greater opportunities for advancement within the company (i.e., becoming a partner).

Career Outlook

If you’re a lawyer with an interest in corporate law, you may be wondering: what is the future of the field? Fortunately, demand for corporate lawyers will continue to grow. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that there are currently over 5 million jobs for attorneys in America today, and this number is expected to increase as more businesses open and expand their operations. According to some projections by Forbes magazine, it’s possible that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 500,000 lawyers nationwide—which means that not only are there plenty of opportunities available now but also plenty more coming down the line!

There are many different factors that can impact the salary of a corporate lawyer.

It’s important to note that there are many factors that can impact the salary of a corporate lawyer. The most important factors are the location, experience, specialization, industry and size of company. You may also have a better chance of earning more money if you work with a larger team or have been in practice for longer.

In addition to these global factors, there are several other things that can affect your salary as an individual:

  • Number of clients (more clients means higher pay)
  • Number of years in practice (experience helps boost salaries)


Corporate lawyers are in high demand, and they deserve the salaries they earn. In fact, it’s a good idea to invest in your education so that you can become one of these professionals.

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