When people see someone relaxing on a yacht or driving a nice car up the driveway of a large house, they usually assume that person is a lawyer. The truth is that there are many different kinds of lawyers in this country and they do not all make the same amount of money. We can look at the average criminal attorney and the average civil attorney as comparisons, but it also helps to include public defenders and district attorneys in that discussion as well.
Criminal Defense Attorney
A criminal defense attorney is the kind of private attorney you will usually see on television talking to the media about a criminal case. While not all criminal lawyers talk to the media, they all do represent criminals of various types and attempt to get their clients lenient sentences. On average, a criminal defense attorney makes $9,950.00 per month.
Civil Court Attorney
The large majority of civil court attorneys represent clients in personal injury cases. Depending on your clientele, this type of lawyer work can also grab a part of the spotlight and give you some fame you can use to raise your rates. On average, a personal injury attorney makes around $5,000.00 per month.
When a court assigns a lawyer to a defendant who cannot afford one, the court assigns a public defender. In most states, the public defender system is overwhelmed with cases and that makes public defenders extremely busy legal professionals. For their efforts, the average public defender in the United States makes about $5,000.00 per month.
A district attorney is a generalized prosecutor who works on behalf of a city, county, or state. A district attorney usually has a staff of people working for them, but the district attorney is the primary legal authority calling all of the shots for their office. This is a job that is usually won in a public election, and the average salary for a district attorney is around $6,100.00 per month.
Real Estate Attorney
A real estate attorney is someone who specializes in real estate transactions. While it is common to find real estate attorneys among those general practitioners who dabble in many fields of law, this particular legal field is becoming more and more specialized. The income for a real estate attorney can vary from state to state, but in general a real estate attorney makes about $11,000.00 per month.
A corporate attorney is a specialist who only works for a specific corporation and not a law firm. These professionals are commonly referred to as in-house legal experts and they make about $8,500.00 per month.
Law school can seem like the best way to easy money, but lawyers put in a lot of hours and work very hard for their pay. It takes years to become an attorney, and a long time to establish the kind of reputation that will help you to make the top tier in income.