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What Law Jobs Pay the Most?

published July 27, 2015

( 146 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)

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Summary: With such a variety of career options, which legal jobs pay the most?

What law jobs pay the most?

Although many think that lawyers are all filthy rich, this could not be further from the truth. Many lawyers do not break $50,000 per year. The median salary for attorneys is $75,803. However, which jobs pay the most?
  1. Corporate lawyers

Corporate lawyers help businesses with their daily activities, as well as major deals such as mergers and acquisitions. Since a number of skills are required for these positions, most attorneys start anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year, with the average corporate law salary being $98,823.
  1. Patent Lawyers

Patent lawyers help individuals determine whether their inventions qualify for patent protection. Many have advanced training in intellectual property, and have specialized skills and additional education in other fields, such as biology or engineering. The median annual salary for such attorneys is $129,500.
  1. Criminal Lawyers

Criminal lawyers defend everyone from individuals who commit petty theft to serial killers. The median salary is $51,810 for public defenders, but those who practice in large law firms may earn up to $115,000 per year.
  1. Tax Attorneys

Tax attorneys represent individuals or organizations in handling their relationships with local, state, and federal tax agencies. They must remain apprised of the most recent developments in tax law, and must have strong accounting skills. Most tax attorneys start between $55,000 to $83,000, and the median salary is $99,690.
  1. Real Estate Attorneys

Real estate lawyers assist clients with commercial and residential real estate transactions. These transactions require the analysis of a mountain of legal documents. The median salary for real estate lawyers is $90,125.
  1. Family Lawyers

Family lawyers handle custody battles, divorce cases, and a number of other claims that must be filed in the family court system. The median annual salary of these attorneys is $70,828.
  1. Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury attorneys assist those who were injured by the negligence of another. They may represent clients in medical malpractice cases, car accident cases, or slips and falls. The median salary for these attorneys is $73,000.
  1. Civil Rights Attorneys

Civil rights lawyers defend the rights of the public. For example, they commonly handle discrimination claims and excessive force claims. Most specialize in a particular civil rights area. These attorneys start around $45,000, and may earn up to $200,000. Federal government civil rights attorneys earn an average of $130,210, but state government civil rights attorneys earn around $82,910.
  1. Intellectual Property Attorneys

Intellectual property attorneys, like patent attorneys, protect their clients' products from infringement. Most often, these attorneys help their clients obtain copyright protection for their works. These attorneys earn a median of $131,728.
  1. Medical Attorneys

Medical attorneys work with health professionals to interview experts, analyze medical records, and assist with malpractice lawsuits. Some work for attorneys, and others represent clients in a private practice. These attorneys earn, on average, around $150,881.

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