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Legal Job Compensation

What You Can Expect To Earn as a Legal Professional

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Judge and lawyers in courtroom
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The legal industry provides a steady and lucrative income for many legal professionals. Generally speaking, the higher the job compensation, the more education and skill required to perform the job.

A legal job compensation guideline is set forth below. Keep in mind that exceptions exist in each job compensation category and that job compensation within each profession varies depending on geographic location, practice area and experience level.

To learn more about salaries for a particular position, these salary calculators, tools and resources can help you in your salary research.

High Job Compensation (Annual Earnings Over $100,000)

The most highly compensated legal professionals are generally those with the most education and specialized knowledge - such as lawyers, judges - and those in high-ranking management positions, such as litigation support directors and law firm administrators. Many consultants, including trial consultants, software consultants, jury consultants and e-discovery specialists, have also created lucrative businesses providing consulting services to the legal industry.

Medium Job Compensation (Annual Earnings Between $30,000 and $100,000)

The majority of legal professionals earn between $30,000 and $100,000 a year. Experienced paralegals, legal secretaries, court reporters, magistrates, litigation support professionals, mediators, legal nurse consultants, contract administrators, law clerks and many courtroom personnel fall within this job compensation category.

Modest Job Compensation (Annual Earnings Under $30,000)

Entry-level legal positions and positions that require minimum training and skill fall within the lowest job compensation category. These positions include court messengers, file clerks, copy center professionals, mailroom personnel, document coders and entry level legal secretaries, law clerks, paralegals and litigation support personnel. For the most part, job compensation for these entry level positions will increase significantly as the employee gains more experience in the legal workforce.

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