It’s kind of strange that some lawyers seem to be very wealthy and others are struggling to make ends meet. Unless you’re familiar with the industry it may be hard to understand the disparity in the amounts of money that one lawyer makes over another. The truth of the matter is that lawyers can choose to specialize in certain areas of law practice similar to how physicians have different specialties and the pay scales are a lot different. With this in mind, here are the five types of lawyers that make the most money.
5. Corporate Lawyer – $98,822 annually
Corporate Layers make an average of $98,000 annually, but some of the more successful ones can make well into the triple digits in their salaries, while some make as low as $66,000. The average is $98,000 per year. A corporate lawyer provides clients with counsel on legal matters pertaining to a variety of different business transactions including the sale of businesses, acquisitions, and mergers. They perform a lot of contract preparations and read through offers to ensure that the legalese is in the best interests of their clients, which are usually corporations and businesses. They also assist in the creation of new companies, draft myriads of contracts, they assist in sourcing venture capital, in the selling and purchase of ownership interests and a variety of major business transactions. Lawyers working in corporate law possess a high intellectual level with a keen knowledge of the law as it pertains to business and the corporation as well as impeccable client skills.
4. Tax Attorneys – $99,690 annually
Tax Attorneys make between $80,000 and $105,000 annually with an average annual salary of $99,640. This type of attorney represents an organization when they are dealing with government taxing agencies which include federal, state and local entities. Tax attorneys are responsible to their clients for the preparation of legal documents that involve liabilities and for developing plans that help in saving taxes. The tax structure within the United States is an ever-changing animal and tax attorneys are required to stay on top of all changes to the law as they are enacted and when they are proposed. They must know if and when proposed changes to the law are scheduled to take place. This requires constant research and study in addition to their day to day responsibilities. Tax lawyers must complete a Juris Doctor degree and must be admitted by a state bar. They must also have previous experience as the leader of a department with between 2 to 4 years of experience in the tax arena.
3. Trial Attorneys – $101,086
The trial attorney must have a strong and comprehensive knowledge of the law. They are also charged with the responsibility of staying abreast of current trends and changes to the law as they occur throughout the length of their careers. New cases may set precedents that they must be familiar with when addressing certain aspects of the law. They must have keen instincts and be able to spot small details that could have a significant impact on their cases. They must be able to think on their feet, organize their thoughts and incorporate new information while formulating a plan or strategy while speaking in many cases. The best trial attorneys are confident and know the law inside out. They understand how to work within established laws and how to use precedents to influence the outcome of their cases from a legal perspective. They must also possess impeccable verbal and writing skills as they spend a great deal of time divided among speaking and writing to others in matters that pertain to the trial. They must also maintain a sharp memory for remembering significant facts that may come in handy during a trial. They must not only be artfully persuasive, but they must also maintain legal accuracy when stating their cases.
2. IP Attorneys – $140,972 annually
IP is short for Intellectual Property. These are the second highest paid attorneys in most cases. There are three separate categories within intellectual property law that they must be well-versed in and aware of. These are patents, trademarks, and copyrights. There is a high earning potential for intellectual property lawyers because there are times when the facts regarding intellectual property are hard to dissect and prove evidentially. This type of layer typically deals with patents that protect inventors rights and prevent others from infringing on these rights by making similar products or inventions for the period of time that the patent is in force. The application process for a patent can be quite challenging, even for IP attorneys and their expertise on the matter is in high demand.
1. Medical Lawyers – $150,881 annually
Medical Lawyers typically make the highest yearly salary. This type of lawyer provides their clients with a variety of legal advisement and services related to medical law. This includes the areas of health care law, personal injury, medical malpractice and a variety of other related areas. Medical lawyers generally represent health care clinics and hospitals.