Stephen R. Hasner
Managing Partner at Hasner Law PC
May 28, 2024

There is a wide range in the salaries different attorneys make. Most attorneys choose to specialize in particular areas of law, much the way doctors specialize in different areas of medicine. Occasionally, lawyers will practice law in more than one area of the law. But you generally won’t see an Atlanta personal injury lawyer handling a real estate transaction or an estate planning attorney trying to close a big corporate merger.

Each specialty comes with a different earning potential. You might wonder which area of law has the highest-paid lawyers. It’s not as straightforward as it may seem.

Things That Affect a Lawyer’s Salary

Even within specialties, attorneys can make different amounts of money. The income of an attorney depends on numerous factors, including:

  • Geographic region: Attorneys who practice in major metropolitan areas tend to make more money than those practicing in small towns and rural communities.
  • Size of the law firm: Some lawyers never join a firm and instead go into solo practice. While this allows the most personal freedom, it often results in lower pay. Other attorneys choose to work for a large law firm, some of which may employ hundreds of attorneys around the country or the globe.
  • Skill and experience: Like any career, an attorney’s income will depend on their skills and experience. No matter how talented, a first-year associate will not make a comparable salary to a partner in a large firm.
  • Education: Not all law schools are equal, and the potential for higher earnings comes with more prestigious schools.

These factors and more have a substantial impact on the earning potential of each attorney.

Types of Lawyers That Make the Most Money

Different specialties have different median incomes. There’s a wide range of data collected for different types of lawyers and salaries. Keep in mind that the variables noted above will make a difference in each case.

Some of the highest-paid lawyers are:

Medical Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $138,431

Medical lawyers make one of the highest median wages in the legal field. The job of a medical attorney will vary depending on the entity for which they work. Many attorneys in this field specialize in representing hospitals and medical corporations. Others handle medical malpractice claims or personal injuries.

Intellectual Property Attorneys – Average Annual Salary of $128,913

Intellectual property lawyers specialize in patents, trademarks, and copyrights. The high earning potential in this field arises because of the explosive growth of intellectual property. These attorneys practice in a fast-paced field, requiring them to keep up with quickly evolving laws and procedures. They work in large firms or in-house for big tech and big pharma on the frontlines of protecting intellectual property from infringement.

Trial Attorneys – Average Annual Salary of $97,158

Trial attorneys must have an excellent grasp of procedural law and have a responsibility to stay abreast of trends and changes in an ever-evolving field. Excellent oral communication skills are a must for success, and the art of persuasive speaking cannot be overstated.

Trial lawyers need an excellent memory and the ability to think on their feet. Trials move quickly and are often filled with the unexpected.  Strong knowledge of statutory law and the ability to use precedents to guide the outcome of their cases is crucial as well.

Tax Attorneys – Average Annual Salary of $101,204

Attorneys specializing in tax law usually represent organizations when dealing with federal, state, and local taxing agencies. Corporations and large companies pay enormous amounts for attorneys skilled in tax laws to protect their assets and create a tax savings plan.

The tax laws in the United States are incredibly complex, and tax lawyers must stay on top of changes that can potentially impact their clients. Their day-to-day responsibilities are compounded by the need to continuously study the changing structure of tax law, requiring constant research and continuing education.

Corporate Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $116,361

Corporate lawyers provide clients with counsel on business transactions, acquisitions and mergers, the sale of businesses, and legal advice on running a corporation. Contract preparation and review is one hallmark of a corporate lawyer, ensuring the contract’s language is favorable to their client.

Corporate attorneys also assist in sourcing venture capital, creating new corporations, and advising clients on the buying and selling of corporate assets. Corporate attorneys wear many different hats over the course of their careers.

Criminal Defense Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $96,000

Criminal defense attorneys advocate for individuals who are being investigated or have been apprehended for criminal activities. The salary of these lawyers can vary widely, influenced by the nature of the criminal cases they handle. The earning potential evolves with experience and specialization in this field.

Public Prosecutors often start with a salary of around $57,000, which can rise to $66,000 with 5-10 years of experience. With 10-20 years in the field, they can earn about $100,000, and those with over two decades of experience might make approximately $131,000.

Public Defenders begin their careers with earnings near $52,000. This can increase to $69,000 with 5-10 years of experience, around $74,000 for those with 10-20 years, and surpass $94,000 for those with more than 20 years in the role.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Private Firms have a different salary trajectory. Entry-level positions might offer around $80,000, which can grow to $96,000 with 5-10 years of experience. Those with over a decade of experience might earn about $112,000.

Bankruptcy Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $68,292

In the realm of Bankruptcy Law, lawyers assist individuals and businesses with bankruptcy filings and related matters. Their salaries in the US can range significantly, from about $13,985 to $377,698, with a median salary of around $68,292. The majority of Bankruptcy Lawyers earn between $68,292 and $171,420, but the top earners can make up to $377,698.

Family Law Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $85,716

Family Law, a field in high demand, encompasses divorce, custody, property division, and domestic support, along with marital agreements and paternity issues. As of August 2021, the average salary for a Family Law Attorney was approximately $85,716, though this can vary widely based on location, education, and experience, with typical ranges between $73,078 and $99,149.

Immigration Law Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $62,000

Immigration Law is another specialization where lawyers help individuals secure legal status in the United States. The average annual salary for Immigration Lawyers hovers around $62,000.

Civil Rights Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $69,000

Civil Rights Lawyers, focusing on cases related to equality, social freedom, human rights, and discrimination, earn an average salary of about $69,000 annually. They often represent individuals facing discrimination due to factors like race, sexual orientation, etc.

Personal Injury Lawyers – Average Annual Salary of $122,960

Personal Injury Lawyers in the US had an average annual income of $122,960 in 2019. The salary range for these attorneys is quite broad, from the lower end of the average attorney salary ($59,670) to the higher end ($208,000). The growth in their wages is expected to align with other similar industries over the coming decade.

The bottom line is that a lawyer’s income depends on many different factors, including the hours they put in and the choices they make in pursuing their career goals.

Legal Careers That Focus on More Than a Paycheck

Each attorney has his or her own motivation for choosing the practice of law for a career. Many lawyers choose the legal field because of a genuine desire to help others. Other attorneys practice law because they genuinely want to serve justice.

These attorneys can be found in every specialty but often work in government roles such as district attorneys or public defenders. Or, they may do private practice criminal defense, family law, or public policy work. Attorneys who are passionate about serving the community also frequently work for nonprofits and government entities focusing on underserved populations.

Why You Should Choose a Hasner Law Personal Injury Lawyer

Hasner Law is a well-established firm with over 100 years of combined legal experience and focused knowledge in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. We can increase the likelihood of success of your personal injury claim due to the following:

Focused Personal Injury Practice

Unlike firms that handle a broad range of legal issues, Hasner Law focuses exclusively on personal injury cases. This specialized knowledge ensures that we have the specific knowledge and resources to effectively manage these types of cases, from car accidents and workers’ compensation to medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Client-Centric Approach

The firm is known for its responsive and personalized service. Each attorney works closely with a dedicated support team, ensuring that every case is handled with attention to detail. We limit the number of cases we take on, allowing us to focus more thoroughly on each client’s needs.

Community Involvement and Commitment

Beyond their legal practice, Hasner Law is actively involved in community service. For example, founding attorney Stephen Hasner is a co-founder of Rayo de Sol, a non-profit organization supporting children in Nicaragua. This demonstrates the firm’s commitment to social responsibility and ethical practice.

Comprehensive Case Management

Hasner Law employs a thorough approach to each case. We meticulously investigate the circumstances of accidents and bring in experts when necessary. This ensures that all potential causes and responsible parties are identified, leading to more substantial claims for their clients.

Advocacy Against Insurance Companies

The Hasner Law lawyers are skilled in dealing with insurance companies. We understand the unfair tactics these companies use to minimize claims and are adept at negotiating to ensure clients receive the full compensation they deserve.

Wide Range of Personal Injury Cases Handled

Hasner Law deals with a variety of personal injury matters, including car, bicycle, pedestrian, and truck accidents, premises liability, dog bites, defective products, and more. This specialized knowledge of various types of complex cases is crucial in providing effective legal representation for your unique situation.

Results-Driven Strategy

Our firm has a strong track record of achieving significant settlements and verdicts, demonstrating our effectiveness in pursuing and obtaining justice for our clients.

Free Consultation and Contingency Basis

Contact us today to benefit from a free consultation to discuss your unique case. Moreover, our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if we recover benefits, reducing the financial burden and risk.

With offices in Atlanta and Savannah, Hasner Law serves clients across Georgia, making our legal services accessible to many individuals in need of comprehensive guidance. Choosing a Hasner Law personal injury lawyer means opting for a team that combines extensive legal experience with a client-focused approach. Our commitment to achieving the best resolution for our clients, coupled with our community connections, ensures we make a decisive difference in the outcome of your personal injury case.

Compensation Available to Personal Injury Victims

In personal injury cases, victims can claim various types of compensation, categorized into two main groups: compensatory and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages may be used to reimburse the victim for losses incurred due to the injury and are further divided into the following:

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover tangible losses with specific monetary values. They include medical costs (ambulance services, hospital charges, therapy, etc.), lost income or earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses (like medications, travel to medical appointments, etc.), and property damage, such as vehicle repairs in car accidents.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are awarded for intangible losses and are more challenging to quantify, which include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, physical disability or disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and companionship in wrongful death cases.

In cases where personal injury results in death, the victim’s family can claim damages for funeral and burial expenses, pre-death medical care costs, loss of the deceased’s expected income, and emotional distress of surviving family members.

Punitive Damages

These types of damages are not used to compensate the victim but to punish the opposing party for particularly harmful or dangerous behavior. Courts award punitive damages in cases involving maliciousness, gross negligence, or criminal acts like fraud or assault.

It’s important to consult with a personal injury lawyer at Hasner Law to understand which types of compensation may apply to your specific case and to ensure that you’re adequately compensated for all losses, both tangible and intangible.

Contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Hasner Law for Help

For more information, please contact Hasner Law at (678) 928-8784 to schedule a free consultation today. You can also fill out our contact form.

Author Stephen Headshot
Managing Partner at Hasner Law PC
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Stephen Hasner is the founder and managing partner of Hasner Law PC. Since being licensed in Florida in 1997 and in Georgia in 1999, Stephen has worked tirelessly to help Georgia residents navigate the legal process following a serious injury. This includes injuries sustained at work, in motor vehicle accidents, and in cases of personal injury. The team at Hasner Law is dedicated to securing compensation for their clients who have been injured through no fault of their own.