"Everyone wants to say they hate lawyers, and yet I've never met a parent who didn't want their kid to be a lawyer." -Jessi Klein

In today's society, lawyers are often viewed as despicable individuals. This is due to the fact that attorneys have the reputation for lying, charging clients obscene hourly rates for legal services and not possessing any admirable morals.

Law is one of the most popular choices amongst university students across the country and abroad. In fact, the amount of students choosing to pursue an education in law has been on an upward trajectory for many years now, with the demand being somewhat consistent amongst CAO applicants each year.

It’s no secret that many of these students that put the law down as a preference on their college application each year do so with the attractive financial incentive in mind. The majority of law degrees that are offered across Ireland’s universities provide three or four yearlong courses.

What this means is that it will make even the brightest of students a considerable amount of time to graduate with a degree.

Even after you graduate you will then need to go on and complete your law exams, which again will take a few more years, depending on how many exams you decide to sit at a time.

The road to becoming a lawyer is a long one, and evidently comes with considerable barriers to entry before we begin to consider the tuition for college that will certainly begin to rack up over your years of study regardless of where you decide to study.

This long and expensive journey to becoming a qualified lawyer is justified by the accompanying salary. An experienced lawyer will earn a substantial amount of money almost anywhere in the world, and there will always be a demand for their services.

In this article, I will take a look at the salary of a lawyer across the island of Ireland, and give you an idea of what you can expect to earn after your studies. Hopefully, this will give you the motivation you need to knuckle down at school and pass your exams!

Some of these stereotypes may be true in certain situations but we cannot be dogmatic. There are plenty of lawyers working throughout the country who are genuinely interested in the welfare of others conducting many pro-bono and civil rights cases.

Above all, there is no parent who would not be beaming with joy to have a qualified lawyer in the family. A lawyer is synonymous with success, academic achievement and big salaries. Some lawyers may face negative esteem, however, those who work in the legal profession are among the most educated of individuals.

happy lawyer parents
Even though many have negative stereotypes against lawyers, most parents would love to see their little one grow up to be a successful lawyer! (Source: Visual Hunt)
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Why Does the salary of a Lawyer Vary According to the Geographical Region?

Just like the price of rent for apartments depends on where you live, the salary that a lawyer receives for their work also varies to some degree.

Law courses and exams are the most expensive in big cities. This is often because there tends to be more demand and more prestigious universities, but also travel costs to reach your lessons are higher, as well as general living costs.

One reason that Lawyers earn more in cities such as Dublin is due to this increased cost of living. The salary of a lawyer or any profession for that matter will likely reflect the cost of living in that respective area. The salary must also incentivise students to pursue an education in the field if the country is going to meet the demand for the service.

Students in slightly smaller cities will be delighted that prices tend to decrease as the city size goes down. You will therefore see a difference in the cost of law degrees between cities such as New York, London, Toronto, and Sydney, and smaller cities within the same country.

Being a lawyer is a rewarding vocation and the base salary certainly isn't bad. The average salaries are considerably higher than a lot of jobs and the annual mean wage is pretty good. Lawyers in Ireland have some of the highest average salaries in the world.

Of course, In Ireland lawyers work an average of about 63.3 hours per week, which should also be factored in. This is another worthwhile consideration when we are trying to arrive at a salary for lawyers across the country.

Attorneys spend much time throughout their postsecondary studies reading and examining books to become skilled at their craft. 

While some parents want their children to grow up and become lawyers for a higher status in society, others believe that becoming an attorney means a high paying job and, therefore, a better life for their offspring.

Barristers are logical and analytical individuals who represent people and organizations in court. They advise clients on their cases, prepare legal arguments, cross-examine witnesses and negotiate appropriate settlements. Barristers have many different tasks but above all, they are experts in the law.

working for a living
Successful barristers with a lot of experience working in private practices can earn great amounts of money. (Source: Visual Hunt)

How much do Solicitors make in Ireland?

In Ireland a solicitor earns a sizable salary, the amount that you can make will depend on your experience. Solicitors require more schooling than barristers but it is interesting to note that they do not more money. Despite what you might have thought, the salaries of solicitors are often lower than those of barristers.

For example, the starting salary range for qualified solicitors in a regional firm or small private practice is between €27,000 and €42,000.

On the other hand, for solicitors who have moved to the country’s thriving capital city of Dublin, starting salaries in the city's commercial firms can range anywhere from €58,000 to €67,000 per year. If you are thinking about or you are actively studying to become a solicitor then I hope that this captured your attention.

What is even more baffling is the salary offered by some of the county’s larger firms. In the more prestigious city firms in Dublin, they are often prepared to offer a starting salary of over €80,000 per year for highly talented solicitors.

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After many years of hard work and experience, being named partner in a law firm is synonymous with an increase in pay. Those who are named partners can earn a yearly salary of over €100,000. Equity partners also share in the firm's profits which is more money.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that many share the same idea of going to the bigger cities to find legal jobs with big fat salaries. With that being said it means that those with special skills and relevant work experience will shine brighter than the rest.

It's a very competitive field and being the best means the highest salary. 

As a young solicitor, long hours during evenings and weekends are essential to prove yourself qualified for promotions and additional responsibilities.

Similarly, the same work ethic is required if you want to become a barrister. To become a qualified and working barrister much training is required. There are three mandatory steps of post-secondary education that one needs to pass through in order to meet the requirements of a professional barrister:

A qualifying law degree from a viable university is just the start. Those who have completed their pupillage and can only then look for work as qualified barristers can earn anywhere between €25,000 and €300,000 a year. This is all depending on skills, training, the location of the law firm, reputation and type of employer.

being a good communicator
Developing good communication skills before becoming a lawyer will make you more attractive to potential employers. (Source: Visual Hunt)

Earn more by teaching the next generation of lawyers.

There are also ways that you can supplement this salary if it doesn’t tickle your fancy.

Many practising lawyers also provide their services outside of the office through teaching college students or providing private lessons to students that are looking to catch up or get ahead for their college or professional law exams.

If you head to Superprof, for example, you can offer face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, or group tutorials to enthusiastic students wanting to learn a new language. You’ll also be able to decide upon your rates. However, you do have to think about what the competition is charging. Even for an experienced tutor teaching law, there’s a lot of competition out there.

You need to be very sensible when it comes to setting your rates and they need to line up with your experience, qualifications, and reputation as a tutor. On average, tutors charge between €25 and €60 per hour for law sessions but this will also vary according to where you teach. Due to the cost of living, tutorials in Dublin tend to cost more than elsewhere in Ireland.

If you work 25 hours a week (not including preparation time), you could earn between €1250 and €2,000 a week. Do everything you can to make your lessons appealing. When it comes to private tutor jobs, there is no maximum salary since you can earn as much as your students are willing to pay for your work. If you want a salary increase, you need to make sure your tutorials are worth it!

The salary range for private tutors is much wider, too. Your wage will depend on your level of education, skills, etc.

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