14 min read
Updated: December 22, 2022

How to Make $500k as a Lawyer (2023 Edition)

Are you an attorney? Do you practice bankruptcy, personal injury, or any other consumer-facing law?

If you are, I bet that you make less than $500K per year.

How do we know how much lawyers earn?

Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for attorneys in the US is just over $125,000. The highest-paid lawyers (10% of the legal workforce) make over $208,000 However, the top 1% of attorneys make $500,000 or more per year.

How come the top 1% do so much better than the rest? What makes them so much better than you at making money? They figured out something that many lawyers simply do not know. Or they do know but have not executed it properly. What is it?

It is a simple marketing formula that gives them an unfair advantage, so they can live in the houses they want, drive the cars they want, and not worry about finances as much.

Want to know more? Do you need good legal marketing services for your law firm?

Then schedule a free consultation today.

Let's get to know the type of lawyer that makes good money.

Can a Lawyer Make a Million Dollars a Year?

Making more money is about your mindset and strategy. It requires optimization and doing business with the highest-paying clients. So, yes, you can make a million dollars a year.

The real question is whether your efforts match your ambitions. From a marketing and logistical perspective, there are a few things you can do, like:

  • Ensure your marketing language speaks to an affluent audience
  • Make room for higher-paying clients in your schedule
  • Change your marketing funnel to meet affluent clientele where they are online

Comrade Web Digital Marketing Agency can help you with the above if you’re unsure how to go about it.

How Much Does a High-Profile Lawyer Make?

Lawyers’ salaries depend on the type of law they practice, the state they reside in, and where they are in their careers. In major cities, entry-level jobs can be as high as $200, 000 per year, while the average salary across the country is $197,000 per year.

However, your lawyer’s salary will highly depend on the state your practice is in. In terms of earnings, California ($171,550), New York ($167,110), Massachusetts ($165,610), Connecticut ($153,640) and Illinois ($152,980) are the top five states. It’s Montana ($88,600), Mississippi ($97,990), West Virginia ($98,630), Arkansas ($98,780) that pay the least.

Naturally, lawyers earning the highest salaries typically have their own firms with top partners amassing roughly $10 million a year.

How do lawyers get paid?

Two things make up the majority of an attorney’s compensation: his time and his legal advice. It varies greatly from attorney to attorney how much they charge for these two things. A lawyer’s fees can vary widely depending on the location, the particular area of law they specialize in, their experience, and their reputation. In all cases, attorneys are compensated directly or indirectly in one of four ways: flat fees, hourly rates, contingency fees, or retainers.

  • Flat-fee arrangements are task-based payments. Legal tasks that require predictable and routine time and effort are well suited to this fee arrangement.
  • In hourly fee arrangements, legal compensation is based on a fixed rate per hour. “In court” time is usually charged at a higher rate than office work.
  • A contingent fee arrangement is one in which an attorney only gets paid if he/she wins a case. If there is a monetary judgment or settlement, the attorney receives a percentage, often between 25-33%. It’s important to remember that contingent fee attorneys do not get paid if they lose the case.
  • Clients who anticipate ongoing and substantial needs for an attorney’s professional services may opt to pay retainers. If the attorney remains available to do whatever legal work the client requires, the lawyer will receive at least the agreed-upon amount.

Digital Marketing Strategies That Help Lawyers Make 500k

  1. High-Performance Law Firm Website
  2. Create High-Performance Content
  3. Optimize Legal Website Ads
  4. Improve Reviews and Listings
  5. Manage Your Legal Reputation

5-Step Marketing Formula Used by the Highest-Paid Lawyers

lawyer annual income chart

1. What Is a High-Performance Attorney Website?

Yes, you already have a website. Every attorney and every firm out there, whether they practice criminal or corporate law, has one. However, we are not talking about any old website. We are talking about a high-performance website.

What is the difference between a traditional and high-performance legal website site and how will it help increase a lawyer’s income?

How to Get More Clients For Your Law Firm
2023 edition
How to Get More Clients For Your Law Firm

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Most lawyers have legal websites that attract some visitors, and maybe, just maybe, convert a few visitors into clients. However, they do not do it very well! Think about a scrawny 12-year old kid competing against a high-performance athlete. How well does that work?

kid versus pro athlete

Not very well! It is the same thing with websites.

Not all websites are created equal. What makes some sites perform better than others?

Law Firms Who Earn More Money Are Already on Google

If you open Google right now and search for a “personal injury lawyer near me”, you will see approximately 20 personal injury lawyers pop up on search engine results pages.

They include 4 paid results, some directory results, and 10 organic results.

Most results will look about the same. Yes, there will be different pictures for different people, and some words will be different. However, they will be about the same.

One or two will really stand out! Images will be better! Content will be more polished! CTA’s will be better! Everything about them speaks to how the quality of their site above and beyond what their competition does.

These are high-performance websites. They have a number of finite characteristics that make them so much better than the rest. They convert better than others and attract more attention.

The best thing is that both smaller firms and large law firms can benefit from high-performance websites. These sites are designed to foster an awesome user experience and are search engine optimized, which generates quality traffic and increases leads.

high performance websites for attorneys

2. High-Performance Content For Law Firm?

They have content that draws in the right people organically. What do we mean by that? Every legal website has content. However, are the words that make up that content optimized for search engines? Do prospective clients use those same words and phrases to look for law firms? Maybe. Maybe not!

The attorneys who generate all the right traffic and convert it into paying clients have high-performance content. Such lawyers use their content marketing material as an investment that will increase your average income.

3. Optimized Legal Website Ads

Whether you know it or not, most attorneys — the higher paid types — spend money advertising. That does not mean referrals are not important.

From our experience working with all types of lawyers, about a third of their business comes from referrals. The rest is from organic search and paid search, which is equally distributed.

How to Increase Attorney Income Using Paid Ads

Why does some paid search work really well, and some does not? The reason is that high-performance attorneys know they need to invest in the right keywords to draw in the right people. Otherwise, their ads will not work.

Additionally, they work closely with digital agencies that serve clients in the legal field. Hence, they know how to focus on the correct SEO words and website pages to convert prospects into clients. Getting the correct combination is something many attorneys miss.

Improve Your Law Firm Website Information to Earn More

Most legal profession websites do not inspire prospects to work with them. Even worse, they don’t have any case studies or reviews, so potential clients have no way to gauge how reputable they are.

Note: we cannot give you legal advice. Nor should we, since you are the attorney. We know that some bar associations have specific rules prohibiting you from including reviews or case studies on your website. If you are in one of those states, do not take this advice.

For all other attorneys, it is a crime not to have reviews and case studies on your website. You should certainly have reviews on Avvo and Yelp, as well as on your law practice website. Reviews and case studies provide social proof.

When visitors come from your ad, they need to want to know you can help them. Testimonies make your case.

Paid Search for chicago attorneys

4. Improve Reviews and Listings

Beyond just your attorney website, you need reviews and listings in the right places, so your potential clients can find you everywhere. Yes, the majority of traffic will find you on Google.

However, as we mentioned previously, people look at reviews on sites like Avvo and Super Lawyers where high-performance attorneys are featured. You need to make sure you are featured on these websites because some traffic will undoubtedly come from there.

High-Performance Attorneys Tips

Major companies know one thing better than the rest. They do NOT discriminate where they get their traffic. Business is business, clients are clients.

High-performance attorneys have an omnipresent strategy. That means wherever a potential client is searching for help in their sphere; they are there. They have their reviews, their optimized content, and optimized ads. They have it all, and that’s why they make the most money.

avvo Testimonials

5. Manage Your Legal Reputation

High-performance attorneys who practice law are absolutely vigilant about how they manage their reputation online. Think about it this way:

What if you look for an attorney and found a few websites for attorneys who practiced in the same field. Next, you start looking at reviews. You discover attorney A has 42 reviews, while Attorney B only has 2 reviews. Who would you use?

You are probably leaning towards the one with 42 reviews. That is the number one strategy for the highest-paid types of attorneys who make half a million or more. They carefully manage their reputation.

Google Reviews


5-Step Marketing Formula

How We Can Help You Get the Results You Want

The reason we shared all of this with you, is because we have quite a few attorney clients in Columbus and all over the US who do make over $500K. Our client base ranges from medical lawyers to trial lawyers, corporate lawyers, and more.

Of course, digital marketing is our business. Therefore, we know how your law firm can achieve a high ROI, and reach its financial goals, resulting in a higher salary for everyone.

Complete the form below, and we’ll conduct a free SEO audit to find out how you can transform your average salary into something far greater. Once we’ve assessed your online presence, we’ll provide recommendations you can conduct yourself and discuss how our cutting-edge digital marketing services can take your business to the next level!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I earn good money as a lawyer?

On average, lawyers in the United States earn just over $126,000 per year. This number may vary depending on your practice area and experience and can reach up to $208,000 per year. So, the answer is yes — pursuing a legal career in US is very rewarding!

Can a lawyer make 500k a year?

Absolutely, that is an achievable income. It all depends on your area of expertise and the client you work for. Attorneys who specialize in corporate law or work closely with companies to battle litigation cases or draft terms and conditions can earn more than those who work with smaller clients.

What type of lawyer gets paid the most?

Medical attorneys usually get the highest annual salary. Such lawyers provide clients with various legal advice and services related to medical law, including health law, personal injury, medical malpractice, and many other related fields.

Why is being a lawyer so stressful?

Deadlines, billing burdens, client requests, long hours, and other demands combine to make law practice one of the most demanding occupations. High levels of job dissatisfaction among members of the bar have been fueled by the stress and demands of practicing law.

Where do you operate as a digital marketing company?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer digital marketing services in San Antonio or Portland. You can even find our internet marketing experts in Kansas City! If you want to know more about our Las Vegas digital marketing agency or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

Where do you operate?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer digital marketing services in Indianapolis or New York. You can even find our internet marketing experts in Houston! If you want to know more about our digital marketing agency San Francisco or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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