What Is The Estimated Beginning Salary Of An Attorney?

The road to becoming a lawyer is long, time consuming and a lot of work.  Lawyers spend a total of 7 years in school.  They spend four of those years completing their bachelors and three of those years in law school.  To get into law school they have to take the LSAT exam, which requires a lot of studying.  After completing law school they have to take the BAR exam, which can take months of preparation.

After finishing school, a lawyer practices their understanding of the law by helping people in need.  They can help with divorces, land disputes, corporate, and so much more.  Many times these cases are time sensitive and require long hours.

You might be wondering what the payoff is for all of this work?

Beginning Salary

Like most professions, lawyers salary usually increase as they gain more experience.  Below is the average salary by year of experience:

  • 0-5 years: $70,000
  • 5 -10 years: $98,000
  • 10-20 years: $119,000
  • 20 + years:  $139,000


In addition to years of experience, the industry the lawyer practices in plays a big part in salary.  Over time lawyers can expect the following average salaries by sub-specialty.

  • Corporate lawyer: $115,000
  • Divorce attorney: $84,000
  • Employment lawyer: $87,000
  • Estate attorney: $83,000
  • Immigration attorney: $84,000
  • Intellectual property (IP) attorney: $162,000
  • Patent attorney: $180,000
  • Public Defender: $63,000
  • Real Estate attorney: $86,000
  • Tax attorney: $122,000
  • Trial lawyer: $134,000

Job Growth

There will always be a need for lawyers.  It is estimated that by 2030 an estimated 65,000 jobs will open up in the field of law.  Many of these jobs will be at law firms.  However, many companies will hire in-house counsel because companies will try to cut down costs.

Becoming a lawyer is hard work, but the payoff is worth it!


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