There is a common stereotype about lawyers that they are rolling in cash. Once you get your law degree, it’s a license to print money.
Nothing could be farther than the truth.
If you joined the legal industry to get rich, you are likely in for a bad time. Only a small percentage of lawyers get rich.
The legal industry is very competitive. Many lawyers want to work in similar areas of law and in the big cities.
Lawyers often want to work in the areas of law that are easiest. They include real estate law, personal injury, and corporate solicitor work.
There are more stressful areas of law that many lawyers practice for a few years, and then leave. These include civil litigation and family law litigation.
Are lawyers rich?
Many law students go to school for the wrong reasons. Normally there are three types of law students:
- They want to become human rights lawyers and improve the world
- The student watched a lot of legal TV shows and movies and wants to get witnesses to confess to the murders on the stand
- They want to get rich quick
There is nothing wrong with number one. If you want to improve the world, power to you. But you should know that human rights law often doesn’t often pay well.
If you are okay with that, go for it. I wish you the best.
Don’t Follow What The Movies Show
The second type of law student is making the same mistake that I did when I joined the army at the age of 17.
I wanted to shoot machine guns all the time, jump out of helicopters, and blow things up.
The army movies don’t tell you about how you spend most of your time cleaning the military base and working on paperwork.
It’s the same thing in the legal industry. Criminal lawyers don’t spend all their time driving around solving murders. They mostly sit at their desk and work on paperwork.
Why Most Lawyers Never Get Rich
During a trial (which goes on longer than ten minutes) the opposing witness does not break down crying and confess to the murder.
And the third type of law student is the topic of this short article. They know that once they become a lawyer, they can bill $300/hour.
So if they work 2000 hours a year, at $300/hour, they will make $600,000 per year.
They don’t think about how to market their law firm and the fact that many average people can’t afford to spend more than a few thousand dollars on a lawyer.
And of course, many clients don’t pay their bills or demand discounts (often with threats.)
See other articles:
- Women Stabs Chinese Women In Court After Arguing Online For 16 Years
- Lawyer Gives The Middle Finger In Court, Gets Fined
Working With Clients That Can Pay
Many law firms focus on working on 20 client files at the same time who can barely afford their services.
The rich lawyers often turn away work from those that cannot afford a $10K retainer. They would prefer to work on two clients who can pay instead of 20 that probably can’t.
I support Access to Justice initiatives, but it hardly exists in the current justice system.
If you know of major advances in the Access to Justice field, let me know!
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law