If you’re considering a career in law, then you’ll need to think about your specialty. Your choice could make a drastic impact on your future; it’ll help determine what legal jobs you might be eligible for. You may have already decided on your specialization already.
If you haven’t, however, picking one could be difficult. Several factors will shape your decision, with your interests and passions being the largest. You might want to think about money, however. While most legal jobs are paid relatively well, they’re not paid the same.
Some will have a much higher potential salary than others. If how much your potential income will be is a factor in your decision, then you’ll want to consider what the best paid legal jobs might be.
Though this will vary depending on experience, location, and other factors, the median income should still be quite high.
The Best Paid Legal Jobs
Criminal Defense Lawyers
You might not expect a criminal defense attorney to be well paid. While that might be the case for some public defenders, it can be much different in the private sector. That’ll typically involve specializing in corporate or white-collar crime. These can be some of the more competitive areas to break into.
You’ll also have to put a significant amount of work into the role. The job not only entails representing your clients in court but also researching and preparing cases, participating in jury selection, and developing your arguments. And that’s without even mentioning communicating with clients.
Outside of compensation, this can be a rewarding role, primarily when you’re able to prove a client’s innocence.
Chief Legal Officers
Chief legal officers work with larger corporations and oversee their legal departments. Depending on the size of the company, the salary can hover around $200,000 or more. There’s a significant amount of work involved in this, as you’ll typically oversee a large team.
Many companies that have chief legal officers tend to have national or international teams. As a CLO, you’ll be responsible for legal activities across all of these operations. That’ll include remaining compliant in each market, which could be difficult abroad.
It’ll also take quite some time to get to this role, as you’ll be expected to have about a decade of experience or more. A corporate law specialty would be more than recommended, if not mandatory, to earn this role.
Taxes are an unfortunate fact of life. Accountants aren’t the only people involved in this, especially when any issues come up. Real estate planning and legal matters involving the IRS are just some of the services that tax attorneys offer. They also work with companies and businesses to reduce their tax obligations.
Tax attorneys can also be essential consultants for anybody establishing a business, especially with contracts. Though this wouldn’t be the flashiest of the best paid legal jobs, it does offer quite a high salary. The median income for a tax attorney is $99,000, although this can often go above $150,000 with more experience.
As long as there are employers and employees, there will be employment attorneys. These legal professionals ensure that the relationship between an employer and employee is balanced and fair. Typically, you can expect to represent either one of these parties, although you could also work on behalf of unions.
These can be one of the more complex legal jobs, as there are countless facets to business law. You’ll also need to worry about tax law and a few other areas. You’ll be quite well compensated for this, though. The average salary for employment attorneys is $81,000, although this can easily reach six figures.