What is a Staff Attorney?
“Staff Attorney” is a catch-all phrase describing lawyers who dedicate their services to a specific organization. This may include a corporation, government entity, academic institution, or not-for-profit. They use their legal expertise to help deal with day-to-day legal issues with which their organization needs regular assistance. A Staff Attorney’s duties include research, analysis and writing about complex legal issues.
Given the wide range of potential employers, the day-to-day duties of a Staff Attorney employed by a legislative body, for example, may vary considerably from the responsibilities of a Staff Attorney at a corporation down the street. It all depends on what legal services the organization needs on an ongoing basis.
- Juris Doctor degree
- State Bar admission
- 3 years of prior associate-level experience in a particular area of expertise
Staff Attorney Essential Skills
- Exceptional negotiation and interpersonal communication
- Meticulous, detail-oriented approach to work matters
- Up-to-date understanding of the key legal issues germane to an organization
- Ability to communicate persuasively — in writing, speaking, and via audio-visual technologies
Staff Attorney Roles & Responsibilities
- Develop and conduct in-house presentations for training or professional development
- Advise executives on the potential legal ramifications of proposed organizational policies and procedures
- Protect an organization’s rights in its interactions with external parties
- Perform factual and legal research and analysis
- Attend legislative committee meetings, and prepares legislation
- Draft and reviews contracts, employment agreements, and a wide variety of legal correspondence
- Review documents at the request of a partner