Here’s a summary about the salary structure in the internal division of law practice dealing with international clientèle. So, if you are planning to become an immigration lawyer, this could serve as a useful reference.
Law is one of the most exciting careers that provides you with wide options when it comes to specialization. As the volume of people moving abroad or being expats is increasing, so is the bracket for these professionals. So, if you are looking for a lucrative, yet exciting career, then becoming an immigration lawyer is an ideal option for you.
The salary in this field is subject to many factors, such as the city where the lawyer practices, education, experience, and the work setting he is engaged with. But, an average initial salary can fall somewhere between $40,000 to $60,000 per year, which is indeed a good deal for beginners. With more experience in the field, professionals stand a good chance to earn more money. As mentioned before, the geographical location also holds the key. For example, a lawyer form New York is more likely to earn better than his counterpart from Phoenix or Orlando. But again, it is not a general rule, and with a longer tenure, lawyers from smaller cities can earn more than their city practicing counterparts. The pay also depends on their educational background and academic performance. For example, a professional with higher bachelor’s degree may start with a lower salary than a student who has done his master’s in law. There is no specialization as such for immigration law, but an internship with a law firm or some prior experience may help one start with a higher salary. Given below are some of the different job settings which are favorable.
Defense: Defense lawyers come into play in criminal cases, where defendants cannot receive court appointed lawyers, and so may have to hire a professional. The charges of each private attorney are different, and it is largely dependent on the number of cases they receive every year. But an average minimum income falls somewhere between $60,000 to $100,000 per year.
Working With Non-Profit Organizations: Lawyers working with non-profit organizations are known to earn less, as such organizations offer legal services to underprivileged people for free or for minimum charges. So, someone with NGOs can earn up to $40,000 to $60,000 per year.
Federal: Lawyers working with US Department of Justice earn around $50,000 to $60,000 in the initial days, but with more experience, say after two to three years, they can earn around $80,000 to $100,000 per year.
Private Practitioners: As mentioned above, private practitioners can earn as much as they want. It completely depends on the number of cases they handle per year, and how successful they are in their career. As they gain more experience in the field, and earn recognition for winning maximum cases, they can earn more. They may have to start with as low as $30,000 initially, but within a few years, they may earn more than $100,000 and beyond.
Working With Law Firms:This depends mainly on the grandeur of the firm. Larger law firms offer more money, whereas, smaller firms may offer less initially. An average salary at such a setting is around $100,000 per year, and may increase with experience.