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What Are the Highest Earning Types of Lawyers?

What Are the Highest Earning Types of Lawyers?

Are you thinking about entering the legal profession and becoming a lawyer? If so, congratulations!

Being an attorney can be a rewarding and potentially lucrative career to get into, as your job is to protect the legal rights of your clients, and you also get to debate other lawyers in court. If this sounds appealing, then becoming an attorney may be the ideal career path.

Chances are, you’re wondering about salary—after all, you have bills to pay. Today, we’re profiling top-earning lawyer specialties so you can more easily tailor your career to support your lifestyle.

Choose a Specialized Field

Most top-earning lawyers specialize in their fields—some accident attorneys may specialize in collisions, while others focus on worker’s compensation cases. Specializing in a field can give you an edge.

As a specialist, you have in-depth knowledge that a generalized attorney is often lacking, which often means higher hourly rates. Some examples of specialized legal fields include but are not limited to the following:

You probably noticed that prosecuting attorneys are not on the list. While this is a specialized field, don’t expect to earn the big bucks. Prosecutors are a crucial part of the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, their pay is not on a case-by-case basis. Instead, prosecutors receive an annual salary paid by the state, which dramatically decreases their earning potential as an attorney.

What Affects Lawyers’ Salaries

A few factors can affect your salary as a practicing attorney. Your level of experience is a key factor. You can expect to charge a higher hourly rate the longer you practice law. Where you decide to practice is another deciding factor. Your legal specialty may be in demand. This often translates into a higher salary.

Attorneys in rural areas tend to make less than their counterparts in heavily populated areas. Your field of specialty also affects your potential earnings. For example, defense lawyers in private practice tend to earn more than state-level prosecutors. However, in some cases, the opposite is true. A prosecutor can earn more than a court-appointed defense attorney.

For example, the national average salary for a prosecutor is around $152,275 annually compared to $117,570 brought home by a defense attorney.

Top Paying Lawyer Fields

The list of possible fields you can specialize in is extensive, but here’s a look at some of the top-paying attorneys.

Immigration Attorney

Immigration lawyers are in high demand, as their job is to help people successfully and legally take up residence in another country. They work with U.S. citizens looking to relocate abroad and those entering the United States, and their clients include individuals, couples, and families.

Some immigration lawyers also specialize in some aspects of criminal law to assist clients entering the country illegally.

Personal Injury Attorney

As a personal injury attorney, you have multiple career options: you can specialize in a specific type of accident or enter into a more generalized practice. When it comes to finding clients, there’s rarely an issue. Accidents happen daily.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration or NHTSA, in 2020, 14,386 car accidents were reported. Add in other types of accidents, and you’re looking at a busy work schedule.

Civil Litigation Attorney

As a civil litigation attorney, you’ll spend a lot of time in small claims and civil courts. Your clients are often pursuing litigation against companies and corporations. Some of these settlements can be substantial, and a portion goes towards paying your legal fees.

Depending on the size of the case, your portion of the settlement can easily push you toward the top of the earnings tier.

Real Estate Attorney

As a real estate attorney, you can focus on commercial or residential properties. Your primary workload involves preparing legal documents, overseeing real estate transactions, and occasionally dealing with litigation.

Both types of real estate specialties can result in significant earnings. You can also work in both commercial and residential real estate, but this will require extensive preparation. The laws can vary depending on the type of property.

Corporate Attorney

As a corporate attorney, you’ll represent organizations and large corporations. Your duties can include negotiating business deals, preparing legal documents, and ensuring the company is complying with all regulations and laws.

Most corporate attorneys are salaried, and earnings vary depending on the company and your experience.

Contact a Lawyer When You Need Legal Representation

Navigating the legal process on your own can be overwhelming, so it’s important to seek the assistance of a lawyer to help guide you through the process.

With a wide range of legal specialties available, you have the opportunity to find a lawyer who is perfectly suited to your specific case. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one today for the guidance and support you need.

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