The Five Types of Lawyers Who Make the Most Money

The Five Types of Lawyers Who Make the Most Money

A lawyer considering a career in personal injury law may find that potential annual income differs greatly from a lawyer working in real estate law, because specific industries that hire attorneys that are known to pay higher salaries. Lawyers working in air transportation, mining, or the oil industry will earn more than those working for toy companies. 

Some fields of law do have higher overall earning potential, and those interested in a high-paying career as an attorney may be most interested in pursuing certain legal fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an annual median income of $120,910 for all lawyers in the United States as of May 2018 but also indicated that some attorneys can earn substantially higher salaries, with wages exceeding $208,000 for the top 10 percent of those working in this field. 

Whether a lawyer owns a firm or is employed by the government or another law firm will affect earnings. Where a lawyer works also affects income; the District of Columbia, for example, has the highest annual average salary for lawyers, at $189,560, according to the bureau, while it’s common for lawyer in parts of Kentucky to earn less than $69,000 per year. 

Personal injury lawyers 

Canadian law firm specializes in personal injury law. Personal injury lawyers work with individuals who have been hurt and help them pursue a suit against the party responsible. A person who is in a car accident may seek the services of a personal injury lawyer to receive compensation for physical injuries or pain and suffering. Salaries can reach as much as $164,000 per year for those with experience, making it a lucrative field of law.

Corporate lawyer

Although starting salaries may vary, a new corporate law attorney often earns as much as $165,000 U.S. per year when entering this field of law. Corporate attorneys are hired by companies to handle legal interests. This may include reviewing contracts and documentation, as well as company practices, to ensure they comply with the law. When a company is pursuing a merger or purchase of another company, it will also seek counsel from corporate lawyers to review their rights and determine the value of the purchase or merger.

Medical lawyer

Medical lawyers pursue cases of medical malpractice. When a person believes that a medical facility or staff have been negligent and their negligence has caused death, disability or pain and suffering, they may hire a medical lawyer to pursue a claim. Even individuals who did not receive standard care may have a claim. As of 2012, medical lawyers were bringing home median salaries higher than $130,000 U.S. per year, with experienced, successful medical lawyers earning as much as $187,199 annually. 

Intellectual property lawyers

A few specialty areas within intellectual property law have specific income levels and duties. One is patent law. Patent lawyers help inventors legally protect their work so that others can’t steal it. This ensures that they profit from their creation. As of 2019, patent lawyers brought home an average salary of $134,000 annually. Other intellectual property lawyers may specialize in trademark law or may work on contracts in the film, book or music industries.

Tax attorneys

With experience and proven skills, tax attorneys can earn as much as $196,000 per year, according to Tax lawyers are in demand from both individuals and corporations. Their job is to break down the tax laws and advise their clients and file their taxes. They confirm what is deductible; they may also advise companies as they make business decisions so that they can be certain of the tax implications.


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