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.
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.
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.