Informational Blog


HOW MUCH MONEY DO LAWYERS MAKE A YEAR : Choosing an occupation can be both thrilling and nerve wrecking and there are many factors that decide what profession you seek for like passion, area of interest, strengths and weaknesses and most importantly how much money one can make. Among zillions of people with numerous dreams several people dream to be a lawyer. Pursuing law as a career has always been ritzy. From Abraham Lincoln to Mahatma Gandhi to Barack Obama there are many famous personalities who chose law as a career and their lifestyles, even before embracing themselves as bigwigs, were anything but substandard.

Although it’s inadequate to predict the exact salary of a lawyer and generalize it, we can surely discuss how much money do lawyers make a year.



In layman’s terms, a professional who is qualified to offer advice to people in legal matters and can represent them in the same is a lawyer. One may also hear the terms solicitor, barrister or attorney but these are almost the same. Simply put, someone who practices law is a lawyer.

With unrolling globalization and liberalization, the demand for advocates is getting up. People around the globe are dynamic in ideologies, continuously shaping their mindsets and challenging the conventional beliefs and laws. Lawyers here play the key role they protect the rights of their clients- a business, community, group or an individual and guide them in legal matters.

So, what makes you qualified to be a lawyer? The academic journey of law is laborious similar to that of other putative occupations. Specialization in law is a must, degree like LLB, BA+LLB, Juris Doctor, LLM and others. The sphere of law is broad and complex, the more you practice the better you get.



Lawyers can be classified in two broad categories:

Civil lawyer, who deals with civil disputes, frauds and other non-criminal offenses.

Criminal lawyer, who deals with criminal offenses specifically.

However, depending on the area of specialty, lawyers can be further classified as corporate lawyer, divorce lawyer, debt lawyer, immigration lawyer, bankruptcy lawyer, defense lawyer, employment lawyer, health insurance lawyer, tax lawyer, real estate lawyer, trial lawyer, which is considered as one of the highest paid legal professional, to name some of them.

A lawyer can choose whether to opt private practice or to work with the government, Center, State or local authorities. One can be a law school professor as well. With appropriate skills, knowledge and experience, one can achieve the prestigious post of a judge.

How much money do lawyers make a year can be positively determined by the profession they choose and paycheck will only increase with time and experience.

While seeking a career in law it is important to know about the work environment as well. A lawyer may have the following occupational outlook:

  1. Advocate
  2. Legal Advisor
  3. Judge
  4. Litigator
  5. Government jobs and armed forces
  6. Law professor
  7. Corporate advisor
  8. Self employed lawyer

And can also go for legal reporting and publishing.

It is very important to do the basic introspection before coming to any decision.


Pay slip is a driving factor in opting an occupation. Although it varies from segment to segment in the same domain for instance a rookie will never be paid on par with a veteran. There is a difference in wages of different kinds of lawyers e.g., the trial lawyers earn more and those who are majorly involved in preparing legal documents earn less. The judges, unquestionably, have higher pay rates.

The lawyers working with the government and local authorities get a fixed salary and accommodations whereas the lawyers who prefer private practice grab unequal income throughout the year. This makes it difficult to conclude an exact amount as emoluments for lawyers. However, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational outlook handbook, the median annual wage for lawyers was $122,960 in May 2019. There is also a prediction of 4 percent increase in the employment of lawyers from 2019 to 2029, which is neither rising nor declining; this indicates that the occupation of the lawyers is quite reliable.

The lawyers working with the government can earn upto $ 8180 minimum. This number varies greatly with the developed, developing and underdeveloped countries.

The wages and occupational outlook of lawyers can be easily influenced by factors like-

  1. Geographical area
  2. Economic conditions of a country
  3. Government policies
  4. Constitutional structure
  5. International relations
  6. Skills of a lawyer
  7. Experience in law practices
  8. Proper knowledge and educational qualifications.
  9. Winning cases

The landlocked countries that have issues relating to immigrants can pay the immigration lawyers more as compared to those where immigration is not that a big issue. Similarly developed countries have higher monetary value and hence the lawyers there are wealthier than that of developing or underdeveloped countries. The government of various countries come up with lawyer specific policies to support law and justice. In the same manner the complex constitution of a country provides numerous loopholes in the domain of law hence serving the lawyers with  more opportunities. These factors along with the interpersonal skills, knowledge, experience, exposure to a better work environment and number of cases won in case of a trial lawyer largely determines how much do lawyers make in a year.

Lawyers are an important entity of a society. They not only guide people in legal matters but also are watchful for law and justice. Although the work pressure is immense and most of the lawyers work full time usually more than 40 hours a week. The paper works and trials in court can be exhausting but lawyers are well thought of.


The future of law and legal expertise is remunerative as their demand in the market will only increase with time. There are a plethora of job opportunities in law one can go from conventional method of practicing law to unconventionally opting to be a legal journalist and reporter. With time and experience one can aim for the apex designations like ‘attorney general’ or ‘solicitor general’ within the government itself and with such a multitude of job opportunities comes the variation in the wages and emoluments. People often choose to work for NGOs and prefer social work over money but at the end it’s all about the choices and preferences.


Shivangi Srivastava

Shivangi Srivastava is an aesthete, a bibliophile, to be more specific and an engineer, living in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She has been a co-author of more than 5 anthologies. Her constellation of words driven by her inquisitive nature, are her pride possessions. Aiming to be an author, presently she is polishing her writing skills and learning something new everyday as a freelance content writer.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button