Salary and Pay for Lawyers
This varies quite a bit, of course, based on experience and specialty. Moreover, many lawyers work for themselves. They charge their clients an hourly rate.
For some general sense, here is some data from the U.S. Department of Labor:
In 2002, the median annual earnings of all lawyers was $90,290. The middle half of the occupation earned between $61,060 and $136,810. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $44,490; at least 10 percent earned more than $145,600. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of lawyers in 2002 are given in the following tabulation:
- Management of companies and enterprises $131,970
- Federal government $98,790
- Legal services $93,970
- Local government $69,710
- State government $67,910
Median salaries of lawyers 6 months after graduation from law school in 2001 varied by type of work, as indicated here:
All graduates: $60,000
Private practice: $90,000
Judicial clerkship and government: $40,300
Salaries of experienced attorneys vary widely according to the type, size, and location of their employer. Lawyers who own their own practices usually earn less than do those who are partners in law firms. Lawyers starting their own practice may need to work part time in other occupations to supplement their income until their practice is well established.
Most salaried lawyers are provided health and life insurance, and contributions are made on their behalf to retirement plans. Lawyers who practice independently are covered only if they arrange and pay for such benefits themselves.
Here is more input from FAQ Farmers:
- I am a pre-law student, and I have done extensive amounts of research on the field of law. The salary amount, of course, varies with location you would like to practice at or what kind of law you are thinking of doing. But the average salary starting out (Example: your first year in a law firm) is estimated to be anywhere from $60,000-$70,000 per year. The more experienced you are does nothing but helps you; the average for a successful lawyer can be anywhere from $200,000 to sometimes 1 million plus. As I said before, it's all about where you practice and how much experience is "under your belt".
- There are too many variables to be able to give a proper answer to your question. A freshly graduated law school student will be lucky to get $30k a year, while a highly experienced and well known trial lawyer could make millions in a year.
- It's difficult to be specific without knowing the area in which the attorney would be practicing, how long the person has been practicing, the geographical area and so forth. An attorney who caters to the wealthy can make a great deal of money while one who works for the ACLU is rather far down the economic ladder. Being a practicing attorney is much the same as being a doctor or educator one makes the decision as to how they wish to apply their knowledge and acts upon it in the way that reflects their personal ideology.
- The average amount that lawyers make is from 100-300 dollars an hour. It depends on how much you charge the clients.
- It depends upon the type of practice that one chooses. The majority of attorneys do not make the enormous sums that the general public believes. Attorneys practicing family or general law have an average yearly salary of $65,000 to $72,000.
- Depends on where you work. Different kinds of lawyers earn different kinds of salaries. In Canada, the starting salary for a person with a law degree is around C$74,300 In Canada, the average salary for all lawyers is around C$99,200. In Canada, most lawyers earn on average about C$29.75 per hour. This is from workfutures.bc.ca. Of course, lawyers don't only earn money by representing clients in court or drawing up legal documents. Lawyers can earn commission by referring their clients to other lawyers with an expertise in a certain area of the law. Depending on the reputation of the referred lawyer, commissions can go as high as C$50,000.
- The middle half of all lawyers earned between $61,060 and $136,810 a year in 2002. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $44,490. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $145,600 a year. The pay for lawyers depends on whom they work for. It also depends on how long they have been lawyers and on how many special things they have learned about the law. In general, lawyers are among the highest paid workers in the country.