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What Are the Highest Paid Lawyers?

Posted in Personal Injury on October 27, 2021

It’s a popular assumption that all those who work in the legal profession are wealthy. This is somewhat of a misconception. True, many lawyers are high-earners, but others struggle to make a decent living.

No one should pursue a career as an attorney solely because they wish to earn a lot of money. That said, some types of lawyers tend to earn more than others. The following breakdown will help you better understand how much money various types of lawyers can expect to earn.

Corporate Lawyers

Corporate lawyers help their clients grow and manage their businesses. They may also be consulted when businesses face various legal challenges.

How much a corporate lawyer may earn can depend on a range of factors. For example, the median salary for a corporate lawyer in New York City is currently $124,998. The median salary for a corporate lawyer in a city that’s home to fewer major corporations might not be quite as high.

Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury lawyers may handle various types of cases.

Examples include the following:

Those are merely a few examples. How much a personal injury attorney may earn can vary depending on their skills. This is because most personal injury attorneys use the contingency fee system.

Clients who hire personal injury attorneys are typically seeking compensation that can help them pay for their medical bills and cover similar losses after accidents. Because they are already coping with economic losses, they should not need to incur additional expenses.

Thus, personal injury lawyers don’t charge them any fees upfront. With the contingency fee system, an attorney only charges their client if they recover compensation for them first. The fee is usually a percentage of the compensation an attorney recovers for their client. This system protects clients from financial risk and motivates personal injury attorneys to aggressively pursue fair settlements.

Tax Attorneys

Tax attorneys assist their clients by handling what can otherwise be complicated and confusing tasks. Although not always the case, tax attorneys often serve companies or high net worth clients.

As a result, it’s not uncommon for a tax attorney to earn a reasonably large salary. The average annual income for a tax attorney in the United States is just over $100,000.

Bankruptcy Lawyers

You may need to enlist the help of a bankruptcy lawyer if you have debts you are struggling to settle. Bankruptcy lawyers can either help clients avoid declaring bankruptcy, or they can ensure that the arrangements made for clients who must file for bankruptcy are fair. The typical salary for a bankruptcy lawyer as of this writing is somewhere between $49,802 and $91,786.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal defense attorney earnings may be substantially higher or lower based on the types of cases an attorney works on. For example, a lawyer who handles cases involving such crimes as theft or minor drug possession may earn a lot less than an attorney who works with clients who’ve been charged with white collar crimes.

Some criminal defense attorneys easily earn six figures or more every year. Others earn less than most teachers.

Pop culture depictions of criminal defense attorneys have not always been fair. The same can be said for personal injury attorneys. Some movies and TV shows have suggested that these types of lawyers are only concerned with making as much money as possible.

There are surely unethical and greedy professionals in any line of work. However, it’s important to understand that just as personal injury lawyers provide representation for victims of accidents and similar circumstances, criminal defense attorneys often serve to ensure those accused of crimes are provided with the right to legal representation guaranteed to all citizens of this country.

This once again highlights the importance of understanding why many get involved in this type of work. Those who aspire to be lawyers are not always in it for the money. On the contrary, they’ve usually done enough research to know they may not become particularly wealthy. However, their desire to participate in justice being served motivates them to pursue what can be a demanding career.