10 Countries With The Highest Lawyer Salaries In The World

(Last Updated On: November 21, 2021)

Becoming a lawyer is without a doubt a really prestigious job title in most countries in the world and one thing that comes with it is a huge salary. Here is a list of the top ten countries with the highest-paid lawyers.

1. Switzerland

Average salary – USD 215,000

The average salary of an in-house lawyer with over 10 years PQE in Geneva is around 200,000 CHF while those with less make around 120,000 CHF.


2. Japan

Average salary – USD140,000

The legal profession in Japan mainly comprises judges, prosecutors and attorneys. The average starting salaries for Japanese attorneys are around 10 million Yen (USD100,000) in various firms that are established. Experienced lawyers in private practice make an average of 16 million Yen and can make as high as 16 million Yen for those in finance and banking.


3. United States

Average salary – USD120,000

According to the US Bureau of Labor, lawyers in the United States earned an average of $120,000 a year. Lawyers in securities and commodities is over $200,000 while those working for the state government earn an average of $85,000. Currently, there are over 800,000 lawyers, most of which are employed by law firms. Some of the highest paying states are District of Columbia, California, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The lowest paying are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, South Dakota and West Virginia.


4. Norway

Average salary – USD116,000

The total market for legal services in Norway was NOK20 billion. Those who work with business clients made more than those who work primarily with private clients. The average income for a lawyer is NOK 1 million a year.


5. Ireland

Average salary – USD 113,000

Newly qualified solicitors are usually given a starting salary of €45,000 – €65,000 if you are based in Dublin. Those with 5 years experience get an average of €80,000 while those with over 7 years experience get an average of €100,000 and above. The biggest law firms in Ireland are Arthur Cox, A&L Goodbody, Matheson, McCan FitzGerald and William Fry.

6. Netherlands

Average salary – USD107,000

An associate in a Dutch firm starts at around €40,000 a year and rises based on experience. Those with over 7 years of experience can make over €140,000. The average salary is around €95,000.


7. Germany

Average salary – USD105,000

The median salary for a lawyer based in Munich is €93,000.


8. Canada

Average salary  – USD105,000

According to the Canadian Lawyer annual compensation survey, the largest group of new lawyers earned between CAD40,000  – CAD65,000 a year. Those with two to seven years of experience made between CAD65,000 – CAD150,000. Lawyers with over seven years of experience earned between CAD150,000 – CAD200,000. Lawyers with more than 10 years of experience and extensive client contact are among the most sought after.


9. United Kingdom

Average salary – USD103,000

In the UK lawyers’ salaries vary widely but most lawyers want to work for The Magic Circle which basically comprises of London’s five most prestigious law firms. They offer trainee salaries of around £44,000 which is higher than other law firms outside the capital which offer salaries of around £30,000. Magic Circle lawyers get an average salary of between £72,000 – £85,000 for those with less than 10 years experience while those with 10 – 15 years of experience can earn an average £100,000 while those with over 15 years can make an average of £180,000. US firms in the UK offer a much more attractive pay of around £100,000. The highest salaries are those in the areas of law that deal with high-profile companies.


10. Australia

Average salary – USD120,000

Remuneration for lawyers based in Sydney Melbourne, Australia with five years experience is between AU$114,000 and AU$165,000 while in Melbourne it is around AU$140,000. Senior associates have pay cheques that are as much as AU$210,000 in Melbourne, AU$180,000 in Brisbane, AU$190,000 in Perth and AU$130,000 in Adelaide. The common salary for big firm partners is AU$1.25 million in Sydney, AU$1.15 million in Melbourne and AU$970,000 in Brisbane.

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