Morgan Gaynor | July 8, 2021 | Personal Injury
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the job outlook for lawyers will grow four percent from 2019 to 2029. That is about as fast as average for job growth compared to other industries. The median pay for an attorney as of 2020 was $126,930 per year or $61.03 per hour.
The American Bar Association lists the average annual salary for an attorney at $144,230 as of 2019.
However, several factors impact an attorney’s salary, including:
- What type of law the attorney practices
- The geographical area where the attorney practices
- The attorney’s experience level and education
- Whether the attorney has any special certifications or skills
- Whether the attorney is in private practice or the public sector
- The number of hours or cases an attorney works
Other factors might also impact the attorney’s annual salary. For instance, a person’s business and personal connections can also influence how much a lawyer earns each year.
Who are the Highest-Paid Lawyers?
The highest-paid lawyers tend to have substantial experience in a specific area of law. They graduated from a top law school and have high peer and client reviews. Attorneys who earn top salaries also have a successful record of winning cases inside and outside of a courtroom.
Some of the types of law that result in high-paying attorney jobs include, but are not limited to:
Personal Injury Law
There are thousands of personal injury lawyers practicing law in Florida. However, not all personal injury lawyers earn the same annual salary.
Personal injury law encompasses a wide variety of accidents and injuries. Examples of personal injury cases include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Wrongful death claims
- Medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
- Defective product claims
- Premises liability claims (dog bites, slip and fall accidents, hazardous property conditions, etc.)
- Boating accidents
- Cruise ship injuries
It is important to note that a car accident lawyer could earn more than a product liability lawyer and vice versa. It depends on the types of cases the lawyer handles and how many cases they handle.
While the fees in a product liability case may be high, a motorcycle attorney could earn more in a year because the attorney handles more cases. The factors that impact an attorney’s salary can vary significantly from year to year.
Other Areas of Law
Some other areas of law that generate high attorneys’ fees include, but are not limited to:
- Intellectual property law (i.e., patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.)
- Family law
- Corporate and international law
- Gas and oil rights
- Maritime law
- Criminal law
- Immigration law
Any area of law that requires specific knowledge, skills, or training can increase an attorney’s earning potential. However, the other factors listed above can often have a more considerable impact on how much an attorney earns.
How Do I Choose the Right Lawyer to Handle My Case?
The first factor is the type of law the attorney handles. Of course, you always want to choose an attorney who handles cases similar to your case.
For instance, if your case involves a medical malpractice claim, you would not want to hire a bankruptcy attorney or corporate lawyer to represent you. Instead, you would want an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
Going one step further, you want to search for a personal injury lawyer with experience handling medical malpractice claims. The laws related to medical malpractice are different from the laws governing a car accident claim.
Second, you want to search for an attorney who has a great deal of experience. Many talented lawyers have graduated from top law schools. However, law school cannot teach an attorney how to practice law. It cannot prepare an attorney to argue a case in front of a jury. Only time and experience can teach an attorney the qualities that define a great personal injury lawyer.
Search for an attorney who has a good reputation in the legal community and good client reviews. You can research an attorney’s reputation online through peer review sites and client review sites. You may also search the Florida State Bar for information about an attorney’s disciplinary record.
Before hiring an attorney, make sure you ask about the attorney’s fees and costs. Most personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis (you do not pay any attorney’s fee unless the attorney recovers money for your claim). You should ask how much the attorney charges for his fees, who pays for the costs of the case, and what happens if the attorney does not recover any money for your claim.
Finally, choose an attorney who communicates with you and shows an interest in you and your case. An attorney who can sympathize with your situation is likely to treat your case with the respect and seriousness it deserves. You deserve to have an attorney who is fully committed to pursuing your injury claim aggressively to recover maximum compensation for your damages.