Lawyer Salary – Top 9 Law Careers

There is an extensive range in lawyer salaries depending on the law they practice. Criminal defense attorneys, for example, typically earn less than a corporate lawyer. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

This article will look at the different types of lawyer salaries and what you can expect to make depending on your field of expertise.

We will also provide an attorney salary guide to get an idea of how much money you could potentially earn as a lawyer.

Law Firms

Law firms are entities that provide legal services. They can be private or public and can be made up of a single lawyer or many lawyers. Law firms can also be affiliated with other businesses, such as accounting firms or banks.

The size of a law firm can be large or small, depending on the number of lawyers it employs and its geographical reach.

There are many different types of law firms, each with its area of specialty.

  • For example, some firms may focus on criminal law, while others specialize in business law, and some firms may even offer a combination of both.

Top 9 Law Careers

Real Estate Lawyer

Attorneys provide advice to clients in property and commercial transaTheding the tenant neighbors’ zoning and property development issues is also a subject in property law.

A real estate lawyer’s salary is largely dependent on the amount of experience they have and the city or state in which they practice. On average, real estate lawyers earn a higher salary than other lawyers.

  • Salaries for experienced real estate lawyers can range from $100,000 to $300,000 per year.
  • The average salary for a real estate lawyer in New York City is $200,000 per year.
  • In Los Angeles, the average salary for a real estate lawyer is $250,000 per year.

The median salary for all lawyers in the United States is $120,910 per year. The top 10% of lawyers earn more than $208,000 per year, and the bottom 10% of lawyers earn less than $54,990 per year.

Civil Rights Lawyers

Civil rights lawyers defend civil rights and fundamentals. A typical civil rights case may involve supporting someone in a discriminatory matter. Similarly, the issue concerning alleged improper actions by authorities is covered by the Civil Rights Act.

The average salary for a civil rights lawyer is $83,000. However, salaries can vary depending on experience and location.

Civil rights lawyers who work in small firms or rural areas may earn less than those in large firms or urban areas.

Salaries for civil rights lawyers also vary depending on the type of law they practice. Lawyers specializing in constitutional law or civil rights litigation may earn more than those who practice general civil rights law.

Related: The Best Law Schools

IP Lawyer Salary range

Intellectual property laws are complex, and it requires deep knowledge of relevant statutes and creative and analytical thinking techniques. Intellectual property attorneys and copyright attorneys ensure intellectual property inventions created by people receive law protection and are not abused by competition.

IP lawyers have expertise across various industries like music, art design technologies, and writing. Generally speaking, intellectual property is considered as most crucial property.

According to recent surveys, the average salary for an IP lawyer is around $160,000.

However, this can vary depending on the size of the firm, the location, and other factors.

  • The median salary for an IP lawyer is $145,000.
  • The top 10% of earners make more than $208,000, while the bottom 10% earn less than $79,000.

Family lawyer salary

Family law has an extensive range. Family lawyers can handle custody agreements for child adoptions, pre-nuptial agreements, and divorces.

Many lawyers specialize and are experts in a particular area. Lawyers can often help clients dissolve the marriage to determine what property to divide.

The specialty also includes child support, custody, and domestic violence.

The pay scale shows the median annual salary for family attorneys is $75,333 per year, and a family law degree is highly linked to experience.

Tax lawyer salary range

Tax lawyers represent the companies, organizations, and individuals who handle federal and state tax authorities. Most tax attorneys advise businesses and individuals daily on all aspects of taxes.

They monitor legislation and help clients understand the possible impacts of such changes. Practice tax law requires excellent math and accounting abilities and an analytical mind.

In 2021 the average income from tax attorneys was 106,204 dollars.

Criminal Law

A criminal law attorney specializes in defending individuals and businesses facing a criminal conviction. The responsibilities of an experienced criminal lawyer include researching the facts of the matter and interviewing witnesses.

A criminal defense attorney’s job is to advise clients of their legal rights and outline what to expect during legal proceedings.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for criminal defense lawyers is $58,510 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Half of the criminal defense attorneys earn more than this amount, and half earn less.

The lowest-paid 25 percent of criminal defense lawyers earned $39,160 or less per year, while the highest-paid 25 percent earned $93,970 or more per year.

Related: Unjust Laws

Patent Lawyer Salary

In essence, patent attorneys must evaluate the validity of inventions for patents. They guide private inventors and corporate inventors who seek to obtain patents. Patent lawyers defend the patent if infringement happens.

According to, the median patent lawyer salary is $122,000, and the top earners make over $187,000 per year.

  • Job satisfaction is high, and the job outlook is excellent, with a projected 15% growth rate through 2026.

Corporate lawyers

A corporate lawyer is an attorney who represents businesses and organizations in legal matters. Corporate lawyers may work in-house for a specific company or work in private practice.

Their job duties may include advising clients on contract negotiations, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property.

Corporate lawyers need to specialize in many different fields. Among other specialties in Corporate law is the law of contracts in tax and finance.

Starting salary

Usually, a corporate lawyer will earn a base salary of about $30,000 – $100k per annum, depending on the size of the market.

Most law graduates expect higher wages and lucrative careers when they graduate.

The Forbes website lists some of the top-rated courses, including Columbia Legal School, where students are expected to earn a salary above $168,800 per year. Several universities produce reputable graduates, including Harvard University and the University of Virginia.

Average salary

In 2022 the average corporate lawyer’s salary will be $123,229.

Corporate lawyers are paid to learn new skills, significantly affecting their salary.

Lawyers finding their niche in corporate law can expect an increase in their salary each year. In-house legal practitioners are paid less money than attorneys in larger firms charging outrageous fees.

Personal Injury Lawyer Salary

The firm specializes in helping individuals and families with injuries resulting from negligence. When an accident occurs, a personal injury lawyer represents their clients to get justice. Almost all of these matters fall within tort law. To assist in recovering the loss from negligence, a lawyer may contact the plaintiff and assess their case to identify the specific problems.

A personal injury attorney typically earns a salary from $40,000 to $100,000.

  • However, some attorneys may earn a higher salary if they have many years of experience or are partners in a law firm.
  • In addition, some attorneys may reach a bonus if they win a case or settle a case out of court.

A personal injury attorney typically works on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if they win a case or settle a case out of court. If an attorney does not win a case or settle a case out of court, they will not receive any payment.

Related: Labor Laws

Contract Law

Contract law is the area of law that governs the formation and enforcement of contracts. Contract law is essential because it helps to ensure that parties to an agreement can rely on the promises made to them and that they can seek redress if those promises are not upheld.

Best-paying cities for lawyers

Most metropolitan cities that receive the most compensation for lawyers include:

San Jose

San Francisco

Los Angeles

Washington, D.C.

Best-paying states for lawyers

The states and districts where lawyers pay the highest median wage include:

California ($179470)

New York ($174 016)

Massachusetts ($169120)

Connecticut ($158190)


If you’re interested in becoming a lawyer but don’t know which type of law to practice, consider your earning potential. Corporate law is generally a more lucrative field than criminal defense law.

However, there are many other factors to consider when choosing a type of law to practice, such as job satisfaction and lifestyle. The best way to determine which type of law is right for you is to speak with practicing lawyers and learn about their experiences.


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