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How much money does a lawyer make?

I'm interested in law, but I'm wondering how much money lawyers make because I know I have to go to law school. I know there are different types of lawyers, but I'm interested in how much the different types of lawyers make. Thanks! #law #lawyer #money #compensation

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Jared’s Answer


Here's a neat chart from the Felix Salmon Reuters blog showing the distribution of full-time salaries for students who have graduated from law school (I assume these figures are for the first year after law school, but I'm not 100% sure):

<img alt="Distribution of law salaries" src="http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/files/2010/01/salaries.gif"/>

Important to note about this chart (in the words of the author):

"In order to make law school work (assuming you’re not paying cash for your tuition and living expenses), you basically need to end up in that second hump, over to the right: Biglaw, as it’s known. But a glance at the chart shows that most law students won’t make it there."

While this may not be the rosiest story, it seems like important context!


Thank You for this Information Dominique M.

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J’s Answer

Based on information from the NALP-The Association for Legal Professionals', the average starting salary for lawyers just out of law school was $86,396, but most law school graduates made $65,750, in 2007.

While a corporate lawyer at a top law firm may currently earn between $135,000-$160,000 in the first year out of law school, he/she may also have to work 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. Government lawyers and those who work in-house for a company or organization usually have more reasonable and predictable work schedules but earn a lower starting income. Most of those interested in working for government or nonprofit law can expect a starting salary under $50,000.

Thank You for this Information Dominique M.

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Richard’s Answer

Depends on specialty, location, size of practice (or coorporation if you go that route).

Average is $70,000 per year to start. Average raises to $98,00/year within 5-10 years.

Typically government lawyers make less than those in the private sector.