How Much Do Lawyers Make?
How much do lawyers make? Lawyers are often thought as being incredibly rich. It is certainly a staple of television and movies, after all, to show that an attorney has gained millions upon millions of ill-gotten dollars. Real life, though, is quite a bit different. Lawyers function in many different capacities, and some are shockingly low paid. How much a lawyer makes will vary by career field, location, and by type of practice.
When most people think of lawyers, high-powered law firms come to mind. These individuals tend to make a fair bit more than the average U.S. worker, clocking in at an average of around $79,000 per year, with many lawyers in larger cities weighing in with six figure salaries. Unfortunately, most of these individuals tend to work insanely long hours, with some starting attornies working sixty to seventy hours per week. Balanced out per hour, these attornies tend to pull in wages that are roughly equal to those that make about $54,000 per year.
The big money tends to be in private practice, which should surprise few that are famliar with the business of the law. When the attorney can keep all of the profit sharing limited to a small staff, it is possible for the lawyer to average around $120,000 per year. On the other end of the spectrum, a Public Defender may only pull down around $49,000 per year. It seems that it all depends on what field the lawyer works in.
Regardless of how much lawyers make, they spend a lot of time paying bills. Between law school tuition, student loans, and the various costs of practicing, many attorneys tend to stay in debt for many years. Only the best (or luckiest) will ever see the money that fiction seems so intent on assuming is always made.