What can a corporate lawyer do to make some extra money? Is it possible to be a corporate lawyer and still be rich? There are many different ways that different legal professionals have found to monetize their knowledge of the law. Some have made names for themselves as TV/Radio pundits, while others have made the most of their contacts and found themselves working for corporations in different departments such as marketing or finance.
Don’t they make a lot of money? Corporate lawyers don’t walk around with an overinflated sense of self-importance, but they might act as though they do. They’re certainly not humble, and that can be irritating. However, I believe corporate lawyers are actually quite nice people. They make up for it by being overly aggressive with their legal expertise.
Can corporate lawyers be rich?
You might think that corporate lawyers are rich because they earn millions of dollars a year. But this is not true.
Most corporate lawyers do not earn millions of dollars a year. In fact, most corporate lawyers do not make any money at all. The good ones can make more than $100,000 a year, but only by working very long hours and having very good judgment about which cases to take.
Many corporate lawyers are very happy with their jobs, but they have to be patient people with a lot of time on their hands. They usually don’t have much money to spend and don’t have much money to spend on themselves either.
The answer is no. Corporate lawyers make a good living, but not a great one. They don’t have much control over their own destinies.
Law firms are not just corporate lawyers. They also include white-collar defense attorneys and other professionals who work in the same building. If you’re wondering how much money they make, however, you need to look at an entirely different set of numbers. Those numbers are called “lawyer compensation,” and they tell us what corporate lawyers make on average compared to other lawyers.
The data is readily available from LexisNexis’s Lawyer Compensation Survey (LCS) and the American Bar Association (ABA) Salary Survey. The LCS has been published annually since 1990 by LawWeek Press (formerly The Legal Times), which bills itself as “America’s authority on legal salaries.” The ABA survey was first published in 2007 by ABA Publishing and has been updated every year since then; its data sets go up to 2010 for all levels of experience except for associates (who are generally considered junior associates or partners).
There are a lot of lawyers who are making a lot of money. And since the law is an industry that can only be profitable if there is a large supply of customers, it stands to reason that the more lawyers there are, the less money they’re going to make per hour.
But there are also a lot of lawyers who are not making much money. This means that someone who makes less than $100 per hour might be able to go a long way toward paying back their student loans by doing pro bono work for people who don’t have much money at all.
To find out how much you might need to make as a lawyer in order to live comfortably, we looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and Zillow’s housing market information tool, which provides median income and home prices for every zip code in America since 2005. We then calculated our own hourly wage estimates based on this data, along with what we could find about lawyer salaries at different firms across the country (which can vary wildly depending on location).
Judging by the income figures listed here, corporate law doesn’t seem like a bad deal. Yet the salary is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s easy to look at these numbers and assume that becoming an in-house lawyer will allow you to become rich. But before you make up your mind, it’s important to look at what being an in-house lawyer requires–this profession is not for everyone.
In a nutshell, they can. But the way they get rich is entirely different from most professions’ approach to wealth building. For example, according to the 2013 survey by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), 85 percent of law grads are employed in some kind of legal job after graduation, with top-paying entry-level positions averaging $63,000 per year.