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The average salary of a family lawyer

Updated April 17, 2017

Lawyers are the interpreters of the inner workings and structure of many aspects of society, from our unions to business, death and government. Family law covers a range of issues from marriage, to divorce, custody and adoption. What a family lawyer earns depends on who employs her, be it a government agency, private practice or a firm.

Salary Range

The average salary range for family practice attorneys, according to Payscale.com, is £31,288.4 to £52,408.8 a year. This is a broad sample of the population, however, and does not take into account specific variables.

Metropolitan Areas

The average salary range jumps considerably when location is taken into account. For example, the average salary for a family lawyer in New York City is just shy of £84,500, according to SalaryExpert.com. By comparison, the average is nearly £80,600 in Los Angelos and just over £76,700 in Chicago.

Law Firms

If you are hired on by a large law firm, one with more than 100 employees, you can earn six figures your first year, depending on location. If you are hired on by a small firm, a starting family lawyer is likely to make about £32,500.

Government

The government hires its share of lawyers, including those specialising in family law. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average lawyer hired by the federal government earns £77, 240. If employed by a local government agency, such as a county family law division of superior court, you can expect to earn about £51,226. The state is the lowest wage provider, paying, on average, just over £48,750.

Legal Services

Family lawyers who put their skills to use in non-profit legal clinics or legal services agencies earn an average of £70,265.

Private Practice

About 27 per cent of all lawyers are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As family law is less likely to be a division of a law firm, many family lawyers go into business for themselves. Private practice traditionally earns less at the beginning, but over the years, as a clientele and reputation are built, a family lawyer can easily earn £65,000 a year.

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About the Author

Juel Andrea graduated Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English from the University of California, Berkeley. She then went on to receive a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia. First professionally published in 1992, Andrea's work has appeared in "Bankers," "Conde Naste Travel" and "Today's Christian Woman."