What Are the Highest Paid Types of Lawyers?

Many people assume that all lawyers are rich and have a high salary. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for lawyers is $127,900 per year. However, this is the median income, which is the middle number of all salaries, not the average. 

Additionally, this salary is for all specialties, locations, and types of lawyers. Many lawyers make far below this amount. Below, we break down lawyer salaries and how they differ across specializations. 

Factors That Affect an Attorney’s Pay

There are several factors that can affect a lawyer’s pay, including:

  • Where the lawyer attended law school – There is a direct link between the quality of law school a lawyer went to and their pay. Lawyers who can get into one of the top 25 schools in the nation can usually expect to receive higher pay throughout their careers.  
  • Size of the firm – Larger paychecks often coincide with larger law firms. Those firms with 500 or more attorneys usually pay higher than solo firms or other small firms.
  • Geographic location Another significant salary determinant is where the lawyer practices. Certain areas of the country pay more. For example, lawyers in Washington, D.C. (average salary of $192,530) and California (average salary of $171,550) generally earn more than lawyers in Florida (average salary of $128,920). Additionally, lawyers who work in major metropolitan cities typically make more than lawyers who primarily work in small towns or rural areas. 
  • Years of experience The more years of experience a lawyer has, the higher salary that lawyer can generally charge. Additionally, as a lawyer becomes more experienced, they may have the opportunity to become a partner in their law firm, where they can earn even higher salaries. 

Finally, the type of law the lawyer practices can heavily impact their potential salary. 

The Highest-Paid Lawyers – Different Types of Lawyers and Pay

Like doctors, many lawyers focus in certain practice areas. According to Indeed, the highest-paid lawyers and their average national salaries are:

Patent Attorneys – $143,492

Patent attorneys help businesses and individuals obtain patents for their inventions. They help file, submit, and modify applications. They also take steps to protect their clients’ intellectual property rights. 

Corporate Attorneys – $137,364

Corporate attorneys serve the needs of businesses that serve them. This may include:

  • Setting up business entities
  • Structuring transactions
  • Drafting contracts and other legal documents
  • Negotiating business deals
  • Consulting with clients on mergers, acquisitions, and business sales
  • Facilitating the selling, buying, and transfer of ownership interests and corporate assets
  • Providing legal advice about problems that arise
  • Ensuring the business is compliant with various laws and regulations 

Tax Attorneys – $134,322

Tax laws are highly complex, and tax lawyers are handsomely paid in response. Tax lawyers help their clients navigate various tax situations. They may advise them on ways to minimize their tax liability, how to respond to communications from the Internal Revenue Service, and their legal options for dealing with various tax issues concerning local, state, and federal tax authorities. 

Sometimes, tax attorneys may represent clients in court, negotiate compromises with taxing authorities, and represent their interests in front of various tax boards. 

Family Lawyers – $128,809

Family lawyers work on various legal issues concerning families, including:

  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Visitation 
  • Adoption 
  • Domestic violence
  • Social service cases 
  • Move-away cases
  • Military family cases

These are often highly emotional cases dealing with high-stress issues.

Bankruptcy Lawyers – $125,048

Bankruptcy lawyers help individuals and businesses file consumer bankruptcies. Some may act as bankruptcy trustees or protect creditors’ interests in bankruptcy proceedings. Because bankruptcy can concern complex state and federal laws, these lawyers must often have detailed knowledge and experience handling these types of cases.

Intellectual Property Attorneys – $119,583

Intellectual property attorneys help clients with patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property. They help them obtain protections for their intellectual property, as well as defend this intangible property. 

When Your Case Means More Than Money

While all attorneys have to work to make a living, pay is only one factor that affects attorneys. Some attorneys are motivated by helping people who were injured because of the negligence of others. 

For example, many personal injury lawyers have a genuine desire to help people. They do that by fighting aggressively for fair compensation, explaining your legal rights and options, and working on a contingency fee basis so that you don’t have to worry about paying for their services upfront. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm – Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

Contact a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 933-0015