Whether you’ve just attained a law degree or you are a beginner who is contemplating to become a great lawyer, mapping out your future moves in the field is a must to make a sound career in it.
To become a successful lawyer takes courage and huge commitment (both mentally and financially), which can be highly rewarding in financial, intellectual, and social terms irrespective of your place of employment.
From criminal justice litigation to Immigration Law, there are multiple subfields for you to choose as a lawyer. But, which one is right for you and how you should work your way up, you must do a task with senses and heart.
So, to help you make a future career as a lawyer, we have framed a guide on the career opportunities for lawyers and their future growth prospects.
Career Path Ladder For Lawyers
Currently, the job market for lawyers is optimistic, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an 8% job growth for lawyers by 2026. You will find a majority of lawyers working in law firms, which means privately practicing the profession. Both in large and small law firms, you will find a standard progression of job titles as you work your way up the ladder.
Starting as a law student, you may work as a law clerk, summer associate, or intern at the time of your breaks. At the beginning of your law career, you can work as a paralegal assistant to lawyers and often ask to perform similar duties to lawyers.
After obtaining your law degree, you will start your professional career as a lawyer, usually with the designation of an associate at a law firm. After working for six to nine years in a particular firm, you can have your chance of becoming a partner in that law firm, after which you shall eventually become a managing partner.
However, if you have the capital to invest and a book of high contacts in society, you can start your law firm after gaining substantial experience within the field.
Besides the law firm, there are plenty of other places where lawyers are employed. For example, many organizations have their legal department, which means you can join such organizations as their full-time corporate lawyer.
Opposite to this is public interest lawyers who work for non-profit or private organizations to provide their legal services to disadvantaged people, dealing with labor and immigration disputes.
Apart from what has been explained above, there are still several high-paying places for lawyers, such as government departments. Such lawyers can be prosecutors who have to file lawsuits and press charges on the other parties in support of the government or public defense attorneys who act on behalf of parties in court who are financially unstable and can afford their attorney.
Moreover, in the legislative and executive branches of government, you’ll find government counsels working as lawyers who are entrusted with duties, such as interpreting and writing laws, arguing criminal and civil cases for the government, and writing legal reviews.
Career Opportunities As A Lawyer
Per the Glassdoor data, the average base pay for lawyers is $117,188, which indicates that even if you start from the bottom profiles, you can expect a good salary right from there. So, depending on the field or place of law you practice, your earning potential varies as you get promotions from time to time.
With an expectation of an 8% growth in the employment of lawyers, BLS projects a growth rate of 14.6% by 2026 for law clerks and paralegals. So now, let’s see what the different types of career opportunities for a lawyer, which include are
Earns $92.74 per hour. It has to work for a particular company by representing it in court for legal action taken against them and advising the company’s executives to make business decisions in compliance with the law.
Earns $63.98 per hour, and its duty is to businesses or individual clients with issues related to contacts.
Earns $48,059 per year, and it has to assist bankruptcy lawyers by offering clients advice on their standing financial situation, if they are eligible to file for bankruptcy, which type of bankruptcy to file for, and how to file it.
General Practice Lawyer
Earns $70,548 per annum. It has to consult with and defend its clients on several legal issues and proceedings since they do not have any particular area of expertise.
Earns $55,315 per annum, and it has to help trial attorneys prepare for custom room proceedings.
Earns $76,769 per annum, and it has to help clients who face trouble obtaining green cards, citizenship documents, and visas.
Earns $72,977 per annum, and has to assist in selecting juries, represent clients in court, help clients settle corporate disputes, or negotiate better contracts.
Earns $81,375 per year, and it has to help clients in several family-related matters, those concerning law.
Intellectual Property Lawyer
Property lawyer earns $77,780 per year. And has to help a company or an individual client on problems arising from trademarks and intellectual property rights.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Earns $81,723 per annum, and it has to help clients who have sustained injuries, whether from an accident on the road or a company’s premises.
Earns $105,528 per year, and it has to help in civil lawsuits, either from the side of the plaintiff or the defendant.
Earns $84,348 per annum, and has to work for trademark attorneys who help clients file claims for logos and names.
Associate General Counsel
Earns $110,698 per year. It has to represent an organization or individual client in court and advise them on the potential legal actions resulting from their wrongdoings.
Earns $167,918 per year and works on behalf of a corporation. They advise the company’s executives on the best practices to implement within the company and prevent any legal trouble.
The Last Words
No doubt that a career in law fetches reputation, power, and money, but it will only happen if you choose the correct field where you think you can survive and make a sound career. I hope the above guide has benefitted you in understanding law as a career option for you and will help you make the right decision.
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