Show Me The Money: 10 Fields of Law Paying the Highest Lawyer Salary

Being a lawyer is one of the most exciting jobs on the planet. Lawyers get to argue important cases in court that can change lives, the law, and even the future. Lawyers are essential when it comes to defending the rights of people, and societies around the world could not survive without them.

Because lawyers are so important to the survival of society, they are some of the highest paid workers on the planet. Lawyers have similar duties and knowledge, but most lawyers have an area of the law they are experts in, and different types of lawyers make different incomes.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the areas of law with the highest lawyer salary, the types of cases in those areas, and the average salary for lawyers in that area.


1. Corporate Law

A corporate lawyer is one of the highest paid areas of law due to the immense responsibility they have. Their main job is to make sure that company transactions are legal, but they also help the company with creating contracts, gather and go over evidence, give legal advice related to business transactions and taxation, and a long list of other responsibilities. 

Corporate lawyers must have a wide range of knowledge about business, including knowledge of tax law, international law, accounting law, and litigation. Corporate lawyer salaries range from $30,000 – $100,000, but law students who graduate at the top of their class can make upwards of $165,000 their first year. 

The average salary for a corporate lawyer is around $99,000 a year, which makes it one of the higher paid positions for lawyers. The amount of money corporate lawyers get paid depends on their knowledge and experience, meaning that lawyers with a few years under their belt get paid more. 

2. Intellectual Property Law

Physical property is valuable, but some of the most valuable property isn’t physical, it’s intellectual. Intellectual property is an idea, concept, or design that belongs to someone or a company, and intellectual property lawyers defend these ideas, designs, and concepts from other people or companies that don’t own them.  

Intellectual property lawyers work in a wide range of industries, such as art, technology, music, film, and writing. Intellectual property lawyers usually have an industry that they specialize in and have lots of knowledge about, making them especially valuable. 

An intellectual property lawyer salary is high, and the average lawyer salary for intellectual property lawyers is $131,000 a year. This makes intellectual property lawyers one of the best-paid positions in the legal space. 

3. Medical Law

Modern medicine has come a long way, but doctors still make mistakes, and medical lawyers are there to make sure justice gets delivered. Medical lawyers have a wide range of responsibilities and specialties; some medical lawyers help hospitals and clinics with their legal needs and some medical lawyers represent patients in medical malpractice lawsuits. 

Medical lawyers need specialized knowledge about medicine and how the law relates to practicing medicine, so they are very valuable to law firms and medical organizations. There are endless areas of medical law to specialize in; some medical lawyers are experts in offbeat topics like medical implants, medical insurance, and medical case studies. 

The average salary for a medical lawyer is around $151,000, which makes it one of the highest paid lawyer positions. Medical lawyers with rare specialties or medical lawyers working for big hospitals can make even more. 

4. Patent Law 

Patent law can get complicated, but a patent lawyer’s main job is to judge whether an invention gets patented or not. They give corporations and individuals advice on how to navigate the patent process, and once the patent gets filed, the protect the patent from infringement. 

Patent lawyers also help create the language of the patent, research existing patents, and oversee patent cases in court. Patent lawyers usually have training in intellectual property law to help them make sure that patents aren’t infringing on other patents and this means they also have a very high salary. 

The average salary for patent lawyers is almost $130,000, but their pay depends on different factors, like the size of the company they work for and their knowledge of certain areas of patent law. 

5. Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law is one of the most important areas of law for the average person. Personal injury lawyers handle cases that involve people who get injured or traumatized by the wrongdoing or negligence of another person or company. They defend the rights of people who get hurt and taken advantage of, which makes them very important and respected. 

These lawyers help their clients by fighting for compensation for any financial losses or any suffering they experience. This usually involves interviewing witnesses, reviewing the details of the case, and researching the laws involved in the case. These cases usually involve accidents like car accidents, industrial accidents, and equipment failure. 

The average salary for a personal injury lawyer is around $73,000 a year, which might seem low, but many personal injury lawyers don’t have a set income because they work on contingency fees. This means that they get a percentage of the compensation that their client gets, which can sometimes be millions of dollars. 

Choosing a personal injury lawyer can be tricky because you have to make sure they are looking out for your best interest. If you’ve been in an accident in Colorado, a Denver Personal Injury Attorney can answer all your questions and help you with your case.  

6. Family Law

Family law is another important area of law for the average citizen. Family law attorneys deal with cases involving divorce, child custody, adoption, marriage agreements, and domestic violence. Family law attorneys are usually the mediators in a divorce and talk to both people during the process and make sure it goes well. 

These cases usually involve interviewing clients and working with them to come to an agreement. The average salary for a family law attorney is around $70,000, but more experienced lawyers in private practice make much higher amounts. 

7. Criminal Law

Criminal lawyers represent the most vulnerable people in the legal system: people on trial. Criminal lawyers give people who get arrested for a crime legal representation in court, arguing for their innocence and release. Criminal lawyers are the backbone of the legal system because they make sure that justice gets served when people’s lives are on the line. 

Criminal lawyers need to have good debate skills and an analytical way of thinking to be successful and serve their clients. Criminal lawyers can also negotiate plea deals for their clients if they plead guilty, making sure that receive an appropriate sentence. 

Criminal lawyers who work in the public sector make an average of $51,000 a year, but lawyers who work in private firms can earn up to $80,000 their first year, so it is still a high paying position. Different criminal lawyers have different areas of expertise, so choosing the right criminal lawyer can have a big impact on the outcome of a case. They earn lots of money for their impact on a case and can influence public opinion with news conferences and press releases. 

8. Tax Law

Tax law might not sound exciting, but it is a very important area of law. Tax lawyers tell their clients how the law affects their tax rate and make sure they are saving their clients money. Tax lawyers also deal with the tax agencies for their clients, managing communications and arranging payments for them. 

The average salary for a tax lawyer is around $100,000 a year, and tax lawyers’ incomes increase as they gain more experience. This makes it a great choice for people who want a steady, dependable career. 

9. Real Estate Law

Real estate lawyers have a wide range of responsibilities and are essential to any large real estate deal. Real estate lawyers help their clients by researching and handling issues related to zoning, property development, and tenants. 

Real estate lawyers also help review and complete the paperwork that is part of real estate deals to make sure that the information is right and all the steps of the sale are done. Strong attention to detail and good writing skills are essential for a real estate lawyer because they have many complicated details that need attention. 

The average salary for a real estate lawyer is about $90,000 a year, but real estate lawyers who specialize in negotiating contracts can earn a very high salary. 

10. Legal Education 

Teaching legal education as a law professor is a high paying job that requires a law degree. Law professors usually need years of experience as a lawyer before they can teach, but lawyers who become law professors can earn a very high salary. Lawyers who have experience and know about areas of law like intellectual property or patent law can get even higher salaries. 

The average salary for a law professor is about $166,000 a year, making it one of the highest paying legal jobs in the world. Lawyers need lots of experience and knowledge to become law professors, but if they can get a position as a professor, they will have a dependable, high salary. 

Start Earning A Lawyer Salary

Now that you know what types of lawyers earn the most amount of money, you can start planning your own legal education and start earning a lawyer salary. 

If you’re planning your legal defense or looking for a lawyer, please visit our blog for more information. 

Image Credits: Lawyer from Worawee Meepian/Shutterstock

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