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Corporate Lawyer Salary

Corporate Lawyer Salary

What does a Corporate Lawyer do?

A corporate lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in corporate law; the individual typically works for a company and is required to ensure that their respective lawyer adheres to corporate law of the jurisdiction in which the company resides. All companies in developed nations have a team of corporate lawyers. In addition to ensuring compliance issues and the adherence to corporate law, these individuals will also negotiate and construct contracts to ensure that due diligence and the various laws surrounding business deals are complied with. 

As of 2010, there were approximately 72,000 corporate lawyers in the United States; these individuals work on average 50 hours a week with a mean starting salary of 64,000. The corporate lawyer salary will increase to roughly 95,000 after 5 years of work and over 140,000 after 10-15 years. 

The role of the basic corporate lawyer is to ensure the legality of all commercial transactions that the business undertakes. In addition, the corporate lawyer must advise his or her corporation on their legal rights and duties, including the responsibilities of the company’s corporate officers. In order to fulfill such responsibilities, a corporate lawyer must possess advanced knowledge of contract law, securities law, tax law, accounting, bankruptcy, intellectual property rights, zoning laws, licensing laws and the laws specific to the business that they work for.

How much does a Corporate Lawyer make?

As stated above, the corporate lawyer salary will greatly increase so long as the individual remains employed. That being said, the corporate lawyer salary is also dependent on a number of other variables including, their education level, the type of industry they are in, their role within the company, their particular area of specialty and most importantly the company they work for. Corporate lawyer salaries will greatly fluctuate based on the company’s market value, size and overall health. For instance, a large company who pays above the mean will offer higher corporate lawyer salaries than the majority of smaller or regional-based companies. 

Corporate Lawyer Salary based on Experience:

The corporate lawyer salary for individuals with one to four years work experience in their particular field can earn from anywhere between $64,000 to over $125,000. The average corporate lawyer salary for an individual with five to nine years of experience will typically earn between $94,500 to $147,000. Corporate lawyers who are more experienced, for example those with 10 to 19 years of experience will earn somewhere between $100,000 and $180,000.

Corporate Lawyer Salary based on Specialties of Law:

The highest paying specialty for a corporate lawyer, in 2009, was real estate—these individuals average a maximum annual corporate lawyer salary of $175,000. By contrast, corporate lawyers who worked for hospitals only earned a maximum of roughly $148,000. Furthermore, the highest paying employers of a corporate lawyer were private legal practices, where attorneys earned a maximum corporate lawyer salary of roughly $160,000.

Corporate Lawyer Salary based on Education Level:

In July of 2010, a corporate lawyer with a juris doctor degree earned the highest maximum salary of $172,000. Those legal professionals with only a bachelor’s degree in law earned the lowest maximum salary at approximately $102,000.