Contract Attorneys specialize in helping clients negotiate, draft, review, and manage contracts. They specialize in resolving disputes or arranging agreements between parties, whether those parties are individuals or businesses. A Contract Attorney may be called upon to write briefs and legal opinions, consult with clients and conduct interviews with persons and entities involved in legal cases. Another responsibility of a Contract Attorney may be to resolve disputes relating to contracts.
A Contract Attorney needs to be able to interpret complex technical language and communicate the terms of the contracts they draft. Contract Attorneys are typically involved in civil law matters, which requires them to research business statutes and regulations.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Discuss the proposed terms of a contract with clients
- Draft contracts
- Review proposed contracts
- Interpret terms of a contract
- Negotiate contracts
- Resolve disputes involving contracts
Education and Background
This position requires a Juris Doctorate as well as a license to practice law in the state where the candidate will work.
A background in business or contract law is preferred.
Skills and Competencies
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Knowledge of federal and state contract laws and regulations
- Research skills
- Analytical thinking
- Negotiation skills
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Contract Attorney with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $48,000
- Tampa, Florida: $55,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $45,000
- Miami, Florida: $53,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $57,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $60,000
- Houston, Texas: $60,000
- Los Angeles, California: $70,000
- New York City, New York: $73,000
- Seattle, Washington: $58,000
- Overall: $63,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $55,000
- Tampa, Florida: $65,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $70,000
- Miami, Florida: $80,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $88,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $80,000
- Houston, Texas: $71,000
- Los Angeles, California: $100,000
- New York City, New York: $85,000
- Seattle, Washington: $79,000
- Overall: $80,000
Similar Job Titles
- Contract Specialist
- Contract Manager
- Commercial Contract Attorney
Contract Attorneys are required to have a Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school and a license to practice law in the state where they work. A bachelor’s degree is necessary to pursue a J.D. degree. College coursework in subjects like business administration, corporate law, negotiations, and similar subjects is also recommended.
Most attorneys start in law firms as associates, then progress along either a partner or non-partner track, leading to positions as partners, senior attorneys or of counsel.
There are some significant trends that industry observers say Contract Attorneys should be aware of in the coming years. According to the digital document signing company DocuSign, data security is a significant issue in managing contracts. The trend toward moving in-house data storage to more secure, cloud-based storage options is expected to continue, as is building provisions for data security and privacy into contracts between businesses and both consumers and other businesses.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is also becoming increasingly common in the legal field. Legal teams are using AI to automate things like document creation and internal workflows, as well as using AI to make clauses and concepts in contracts into searchable and filterable data.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for attorneys is expected to grow by six percent between 2018 and 2028, which is an average growth rate.
The typical work hours in an office setting for a Contract Attorney are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, many attorneys work more than 40 hours a week, especially when preparing for trials or nearing deadlines.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
- Law Jobs
- Law Crossing
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