Updates and advice for attorneys and law departments.

2014 Salaries: Contract Attorney Jobs in DC

Contract attorneys fulfill many important functions in law firms and corporate legal departments. For attorneys who work on contract, the opportunity can provide valuable experience, exposure to new and challenging projects in the law, and a chance to take a “trial run” with a legal department or other employer before saying “yes” to full-time, regular employment.

What is the Salary Outlook for Contract Attorneys?

Salaries for contract attorneys in the Washington, DC area are, on average, 21 percent higher than salaries for contract attorneys nationwide, according to Job-seekers looking for contract work can expect an average salary of about $75,000 within the District of Columbia. For contract attorney positions within the federal government, the average salary is $73,000.

Because salaries for contract attorneys have fluctuated a great deal in recent months, however, a range of possible salaries faces contract lawyers and should be expected. Salaries for government contract attorneys are susceptible to changes in the federal budget and other legislative decisions.

What Work is Available for Contract Lawyers in DC?

Contract attorneys provide a range of services for their temporary employers. Document review is one of the most common tasks contract attorneys perform. The average salary for document review is lower than the average contract attorney salary overall: document review lawyers can expect average salaries around $58,000. However, work tends to be steady, as legal departments regularly need document review help.

According to, temporary attorneys hired to handle contract negotiations or to work in publishing law are also common positions in the Washington, DC area. These attorneys make slightly higher average salaries than those who merely do document review. On average, attorneys in publishing pull in $92,000, while attorneys handling contracts may make $103,000 or more.

I’m Looking for Contract Work. What Should I Do?

If you’re looking for work on a contract basis as an attorney or other legal professional, talk to a recruiter who specializes in placing attorneys in your area. Your recruiter can help you determine what contract positions are a good “fit” for you.

Contact our talented and experienced team today.

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