Average Salary
$96,402
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
31,669
Job Openings

Staff Attorney Careers

A staff attorney is a legal professional responsible for handling the day-to-day legal matters of an organization. They apply their legal expertise to analyze and write reports regarding complex legal issues. To do this, they perform research, carry out pre-litigation analyses, and draft their legal opinions to assist senior lawyers in their cases. They usually report to the head of legal or senior legal managers.



Staff attorneys typically work at law firms or corporate organizations within the legal department. One may focus on a particular area of law or work as a generalist. Depending on the area of specialty, a staff attorney works closely with other professionals in their line of work. A successful staff attorney should be well-versed in current legal trends, and they should have research skills, communication skills, and attention to detail.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a staff attorney. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.35 an hour? That's $96,402 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 50,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Staff Attorney Do

There are certain skills that many staff attorneys have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a staff attorney, we found that a lot of resumes listed 28.8% of staff attorneys included legal advice, while 7.2% of resumes included counsel, and 6.4% of resumes included legal documents. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the staff attorney job title. But what industry to start with? Most staff attorneys actually find jobs in the professional and non profits industries.

How To Become a Staff Attorney

If you're interested in becoming a staff attorney, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 36.8% of staff attorneys have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.4% of staff attorneys have master's degrees. Even though most staff attorneys have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a staff attorney. When we researched the most common majors for a staff attorney, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on staff attorney resumes include master's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a staff attorney. In fact, many staff attorney jobs require experience in a role such as law clerk. Meanwhile, many staff attorneys also have previous career experience in roles such as legal extern or attorney.

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Average Salary
$96,402
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
31,669
Job Openings

Staff Attorney Career Paths

Top Careers Before Staff Attorney

Law Clerk
20.6 %
Attorney
10.1 %

Top Careers After Staff Attorney

Attorney
26.5 %

Staff Attorney Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Staff Attorney

Staff Attorneys in America make an average salary of $96,402 per year or $46 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $183,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $50,000 per year.
Average Salary
$96,402
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range101k - 200k$143k$142,597
Washington, DC
Salary Range81k - 154k$112k$112,171
New York, NY
Salary Range74k - 148k$105k$105,169
Richmond, VA
Salary Range75k - 142k$104k$103,961
Fort Lee, NJ
Salary Range68k - 136k$97k$96,505
Hartford, CT
Salary Range66k - 135k$95k$94,589
$47k
$200k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Staff Attorney-Civil Rights Commission
Staff Attorney-Civil Rights Commission
State of Indiana
State of Indiana
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$47,47606/26/2021
$47,476
Staff Attorney-0088Ar
Staff Attorney-0088Ar
State of Connecticut
State of Connecticut
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$90,20306/25/2021
$90,203
Trial Court Staff Attorney
Trial Court Staff Attorney
Florida Department of Corrections
Florida Department of Corrections
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$48,92506/25/2021
$48,925
Trial Court Staff Attorney
Trial Court Staff Attorney
State of Florida
State of Florida
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$48,92506/25/2021
$48,925
Staff Attorney
Staff Attorney
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$60,00006/25/2021
$60,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Staff Attorney Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Staff Attorney. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Staff Attorney Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Staff Attorney resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Staff Attorney Demographics

Gender

female

50.4 %

male

45.0 %

unknown

4.6 %

Ethnicity

White

79.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.1 %

Black or African American

5.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.1 %

French

12.3 %

German

4.8 %
See More Demographics

Staff Attorney Education

Degrees

Doctorate

54.9 %

Bachelors

36.8 %

Masters

4.4 %

Top Colleges for Staff Attorneys

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

8. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,391
Enrollment
8,568
See More Education Info

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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
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Top Skills For a Staff Attorney

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 28.8% of staff attorneys listed legal advice on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Best States For a Staff Attorney

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a staff attorney. The best states for people in this position are California, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey. Staff attorneys make the most in California with an average salary of $125,741. Whereas in Virginia and New York, they would average $103,661 and $102,121, respectively. While staff attorneys would only make an average of $97,392 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Staff Attorney Jobs:
291
Highest 10% Earn:
$190,000
Location Quotient:
2.53
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Staff Attorney Jobs:
1,135
Highest 10% Earn:
$182,000
Location Quotient:
1.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Staff Attorney Jobs:
1,021
Highest 10% Earn:
$168,000
Location Quotient:
1.62
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Staff Attorney Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ staff attorneys and discovered their number of staff attorney opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Legal Aid Society was the best, especially with an average salary of $86,307. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison follows up with an average salary of $187,199, and then comes American Civil Liberties Union with an average of $64,719. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a staff attorney. The employers include Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Ascensus, and NRDC

1. Legal Aid Society
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$86,307
Staff Attorneys Hired: 
172+
2. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$187,199
Staff Attorneys Hired: 
61+
3. American Civil Liberties Union
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$64,719
Staff Attorneys Hired: 
38+
4. Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$133,380
Staff Attorneys Hired: 
38+
5. Public Defender Services
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$177,601
Staff Attorneys Hired: 
33+
6. Legal Aid NC
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$86,439
Staff Attorneys Hired: 
33+

Staff Attorney Videos

Updated October 2, 2020