Legal Law

How Much Do Lawyers Really Make?

We see it on television all the time; High-priced attorneys presiding over important cases and making money left and right. However, the reality is usually quite different.

Yes, there is great earning potential as a lawyer, but it takes years of practice and experience before you can really capitalize on your degree. Let’s take a look at exactly how much you can expect to earn from your law degree.

If your career path leads you to join a private law firm directly after college, your salary will vary greatly depending on where you plan to settle. The career path of an attorney is not that different from the career path of a journalist: start small, build a name, and work your way up. If you plan to start in a city with a population of less than 150,000-200,000, you can expect to make less than $ 50,000 a year for the first few years.

If you think you have enough credentials or connections to land a job in a midsize market like San Antonio or Minneapolis, your salary can go from $ 70,000 to $ 100,000. Of course, if you’re at the top of your class and ready to take on the world from the start, you can easily make between $ 150,000 and $ 200,000 a year in places like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. .

While these numbers sound optimistic, you need to take into account the fact that each year thousands of people graduate with their law degrees and the competition for these jobs, even low-paying ones in the smallest cities, is extreme. Refine your resume and get your things in order before you try to apply.

Based on government statistics released just a few years ago, the salary you earn can vary greatly depending on the type of law you practice and where you choose to practice it.

For example, the median earnings of lawyers who worked directly for a company like Microsoft generated approximately $ 131,000 a year. If you are employed by the federal government as an attorney, you can expect to earn just under $ 100,000 a year.

If you provide general legal services or are self-employed as a lawyer, your income drops to $ 93,000 a year. Your salary will go even lower if you work for state or local government organizations. They usually earn around $ 67,000 a year. If you are working for a university or college, your income for five years out of school drops to $ 60,000 a year.

As you can see, your fortune is directly influenced by where you choose to practice law once you leave school. Of course, any law school graduate without a job will be quick to tell you that each and every one of these jobs is better than no job, but the promise of riches that many law students think is a right tends to be something that they achieve in a decade. by the way.

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