As you can see, there is a great deal of variation in the average salary by practice area, especially as you get to about the middle of the list. The highest-paid lawyers on average earn much more than the lowest salaries. For example, intellectual property lawyers have a higher than average annual salary. On the other hand, an immigration lawyer has a lower salary.
The quality of life is not good for great lawyers, but that is why they are paid “a lot of money”. As you can see, the disparity is greater than the average salary between a patent attorney and a divorce attorney. Many people assume that the highest-paid lawyers are corporate lawyers. While corporate lawyers can make millions of dollars, personal injury lawyers, criminal attorneys, and lawyers in other areas of law can also make millions of dollars.
The lawyer would first make sure he has direct federal student loans, then choose an income-based repayment plan and work full time for an employer that meets the PSLF requirements. That's the number one strategy for the highest-paid lawyers making half a million or more. Lawyers in this field practice in a fast-paced environment, requiring them to stay abreast of ever-changing laws and procedures. Lawyers can save a lot of money to pay their debts in law school if they choose the right strategy based on their field of law, where they choose to practice, and the amount of law school debt they have relative to their income.
In addition to the types of lawyers mentioned, the best trial lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers, probate lawyers, and personal injury lawyers are other highly paid legal specialties. Probate attorneys used to rank higher on the list, and intellectual property lawyers have seen their compensation grow tremendously over the years due to high demand. However, a specific area of law does not guarantee that an attorney will earn more than lawyers who work in areas of law that are in high demand. There are more than 800,000 lawyers with different specialty areas and different lawyer salaries.
If you open Google right now and search for a “personal injury lawyer” near me, you'll see approximately 20 personal injury lawyers appear on search engine results pages. There would be a huge difference between the average annual salary of an intellectual property attorney in New York City and the wage compensation of an immigration attorney in Oregon, for example. Most lawyers have legal websites that attract some visitors and maybe, just maybe, convert some visitors into clients. Once again, private loans should be avoided if the PSLF is at stake or if an attorney believes that you will graduate with double your income (or more) in law school student loans.
The size of the law firm is one of the most important factors in a lawyer's salary and will affect your paycheck. The good news is that lawyers can build their student loan repayment strategy around their chosen field of law. These are the average salaries of lawyers and obviously they don't reflect everyone, just the average salary.