Considering a Legal Career? Check Out the Most Lucrative Areas of Law!

With over 100,000 students enrolling in law school each year, competition in the legal field is undeniably fierce. However, the field is vast and offers numerous career opportunities.
When considering a legal career, finding an area in law that interests you and offers financial and growth potential is essential. As a bare minimum, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, attend a law school, and pass the bar exam per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are some of the most lucrative areas of law that you should consider.

1. Criminal Law

Criminal law is the body of law dealing with crime and punishment. This body defines criminal offenses and regulates the apprehension of suspected individuals and the subsequent charging and trial. It also fixes applicable penalties and treatment of convicted offenders. Due to its depiction in movies and TV shows, criminal law is the most publicized area of law.

A career in criminal law can be highly lucrative, with top criminal lawyers earning up to six-figure salaries. You must get a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school to become a criminal defense lawyer. To get into law school, you must pass the admission test.

While it doesn’t matter what your major is, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is ideal. That’s because it offers foundational courses in criminal justice. After obtaining your degree, you must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). This mandatory requirements test is two hours long and covers legal ethics. After MPRE, obtain your law license and work experience.

However, criminal defense attorneys aren’t the only career path in criminal law. You could also take a criminal justice degree and major in one or several career opportunities. For instance, with a criminal justice degree, you could become a bailiff, a correctional officer, a detective, or a correctional officer. In these career paths, you can earn a median annual salary of $49,100, $49,610, and $86,280.

2. Eminent Domain Law

Eminent domain law is the legal process by which governments can take private property for public use. According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), the Fifth Amendment only allows the government to exercise this power, provided they offer just compensation. However, despite this amendment, the government is sometimes known for underpaying the property they take.

Besides just compensation, eminent domain law encompasses relocation rights and benefits. These may include the government paying for moving expenses and assistance in finding a replacement property. In the event of an eminent domain, clients often hire a condemnation attorney to help fight the takeover or navigate these legal complexities.

Attorneys in this field represent institutions like government agencies or individuals like property owners. When representing private landowners, attorneys must remain steadfast about defending the client’s properties threatened by eminent domain. You must also have strong negotiation skills and be well-versed with zoning laws.

Eminent domain often involves high-profile clients such as corporations and governments. Due to the complexities and the high stakes involved, it is among the most lucrative areas of law. To become an eminent domain lawyer, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Additionally, you need to pass the bar exam within the state you live in before practicing.

3. Family Law

Family law is the area of law that deals with legal issues concerning family relationships. These include divorce, child custody, adoption, and domestic violence. Due to the vast nature of family law, you will have numerous career paths and opportunities. In most cases, family law even overlaps with other areas such as property, criminal, and contract law.

Navigating family law requires you to be empathetic and objective to your clients. That’s because they are dealing with sensitive, emotionally charged issues. Additionally, family lawyers must possess strong negotiation skills to resolve disputes between parties amicably.

The demand for a family law lawyer is ever-growing. According to IBIS World, revenues in family law have been increasing by 0.2% CART in the last half a decade. This increase includes a 1.4% increase in 2022, expected to reach $12.8 billion in 2023. Such a continuous increase in revenue makes it one of the most lucrative areas of law.

One area of interest within family law is child custody law. In this area, lawyers represent clients in disputes over the custody of children. It involves advocating for a parent’s right to physical and legal custody of their child or children. With divorce rates extremely high in the US, the demand for divorce and child custody lawyers remains relatively high.

Divorce law is another vital area of family law that deals with the dissolution of marriage. It includes legal issues such as property division, alimony, child support, and other related matters. While many people pursue a career in family law to handle divorce cases, some lawyers specialize specifically in divorce.

Divorce laws vary by state and can be complex, making it an area that requires specialized knowledge. As a divorce lawyer, you will work closely with clients to help them navigate the legal process and reach a favorable outcome for their case. Divorce lawyers must possess strong communication and mediation skills and the ability to handle high-stress situations effectively. They also need to have a thorough understanding of family law and be able to stay up-to-date on any changes in legislation.

The demand for divorce lawyers is relatively high, with an estimated 50% of marriages ending in divorce in the United States, as reported by Forbes. While it isn’t among the most lucrative areas of law, with a salary range of $60K to $100K, it can still be a rewarding career choice. It also offers growth and advancement opportunities, especially when dealing with high-profile cases.

However, even with the high demand for child custody and, by extension, family law, it is still highly competitive. To become a family lawyer, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. You must also pass the bar exam in your state of practice. Additionally, some states require lawyers to take specialized courses or certifications in family law before practicing.

4. Personal Injury Law

Personal injury is the area of law dealing with cases where an individual sustains injuries or bodily harm due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions. Personal injury or tort law allows a complainant to pursue a legal claim against one or more individuals who have caused them harm, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It can include car accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, etc.

Various types of legal claims fall under personal injury. For instance, accidental injury claims where one party’s mistake, failure to satisfy their professional obligation, and negligence harm the other. For instance, if a dog bites you due to the owner’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim with dog bite lawyers.

Strict liability claims are another type within the most lucrative areas of law. It is a claim where some injuries or damages result from defective products, even without negligence. Personal injury law also covers Intentional torts. These are intentional actions meant to cause harm or injury.

As a personal injury lawyer, you will work with clients mostly seeking compensation for damages such as physical injuries, emotional distress, and property damage. You also deal with issues such as compensation for hospital bills. You must possess strong litigation skills since most personal injury cases go to an open court. And when they don’t, you need negotiation skills to guarantee fair compensation. Additionally, you must be well-versed with insurance laws and policies.

A career in personal injury law can be gratifying. Personal injury lawyers have the potential to earn six-figure salaries, with the average being $119,874. The cities with the highest-paying personal injury lawyers are Atlanta, GA, and Encino, CA. Becoming a personal injury lawyer requires a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. You must also pass the bar exam in your state of practice before practicing.

5. Employment Labor Law

Employment labor law deals with employers’ rights and employees’ obligations in a workplace setting. Also known as labor and employment law includes issues such as minimum wage, discrimination, workplace safety, and collective bargaining. Federal and state laws heavily regulate this field of law to safeguard employee rights.

Due to the vast nature of employment law, there are various areas of specialization. One such area is workers compensation law. This specialized area of employment law deals with cases involving workplace injuries or illnesses. As a lawyer working in this field, you represent employees with injuries or illnesses caused by their working conditions or environment.

You will work towards securing benefits and compensation for any work-related injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages. You will also work to protect them from any retaliation from their employers. However, you can also represent employers in worker’s compensation cases since they have legal rights.

Another area of specialization within employment labor law is discrimination and harassment. It involves working with clients to protect them against unlawful discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics. You can represent individuals who have been discriminated against in the workplace and employers facing discrimination claims from their employees. It could be for religious, race, gender, or disability reasons

With the increasing complexity of employment laws, the demand for lawyers specializing in this area is expected to grow. Employment labor law is one of the most lucrative areas of law, especially when representing corporations and workers’ unions. To become a successful employment labor lawyer, you must have a strong understanding of federal and state labor laws and excellent communication and negotiation skills.

6. Real Estate Law

Real estate law deals with legal matters related to property ownership, use, transfer, and development. It is a civil law branch covering residential and commercial properties. Real estate lawyers handle various legal issues, including title disputes, zoning regulations, landlord-tenant disputes, and contract negotiations.

This area of law requires strong attention to detail and the skill to interpret complex legal documents. You will also need excellent negotiation skills to help your clients achieve their desired outcomes. Real estate lawyers may also handle disputes between buyers and sellers, landlord-tenant issues, and property development agreements.

One of the most lucrative areas of law is real estate planning. An estate planner works with clients to create a plan that clearly outlines how to manage and distribute their assets after their death. It may include creating a will, establishing trusts, and giving powers of attorney.

7. Probate Law

Probate law is also among the most lucrative areas of law. It involves administering a deceased person’s estate, including distributing assets to outlined beneficiaries and paying off debts. As a probate attorney, you will work closely with executors and heirs to ensure the estate is properly managed according to state laws.

Probate lawyers are in high demand, as many estates can be complex and require legal expertise to navigate. To become a successful real estate lawyer, you must understand property laws, contract writing, and other legal documents related to real estate transactions.

According to The New York Times, over $84 trillion of assets will be up for inheritance within 20 years. This trend guarantees that real estate law will continue being among the most lucrative areas of law for years to come. Additionally, with the housing market and property values constantly rising, real estate lawyers will continue to have a high earning potential.

Car Accident Lawyers

For those considering a legal career, exploring lucrative areas of law can be enticing. Among these, car accident law stands out as a rewarding field with ample opportunities for skilled practitioners, known as car accident lawyers.

Car accident lawyers specialize in representing individuals involved in vehicle collisions, offering legal counsel and advocacy to navigate the complex aftermath of such incidents. Their expertise encompasses various aspects, including personal injury law, insurance claims, and civil litigation.

In this field, car accident lawyers play a crucial role in advocating for their clients’ rights and seeking compensation for damages incurred due to the negligence or misconduct of others on the road. They handle a range of cases, from minor fender-benders to catastrophic accidents resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.

Car accident lawyers assist clients in understanding their legal options, negotiating with insurance companies, and, if necessary, litigating cases in court to secure fair settlements or verdicts. Their work not only provides financial relief for victims but also aids in achieving closure and justice following traumatic events.

Moreover, the demand for car accident lawyers remains steady, given the prevalence of automobile accidents and the complexities involved in navigating insurance claims and legal proceedings. As such, entering this field offers both financial stability and the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals affected by car accidents.


The legal profession offers a wide range of career paths and areas of specialization for those interested in pursuing a career in law. These are some of the most lucrative areas of law. While some areas may be more lucrative than others, each area requires a unique set of skills and offers its rewards. Whether advocating for justice in criminal law, navigating complex family issues in divorce law, or helping homeowners navigate the intricacies of real estate transactions, every legal specialization is essential in protecting the interests and rights of businesses and individuals alike. If you are looking for a great career, make sure you are doing the research beforehand.

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