Is there anywhere that I can find a breakdown of average salaries of attorney in the different fields of law (environmental, personal injury, immigration, patent, estates/trusts, criminal, ip, tax) or does anyone know enough to be able to rank them in order of best paying to worst? just wondering, thanky
I don't think you can get a real answer. You'd also have to break it down by the type of employer (boutique, large firm, government, in-house) as well as capacity (plaintiff/defense/compliance/regulatory, etc). For example, just in immigration, there's going to be a huge difference in salaries btw an INS judge, a solo practioner/small firm doing personal immigration and asylum, and a large firm attorney doing business immigration.
Anecdotally, personal injury can make you rich if you represent plaintiffs, but it is also risky biz because of contingency arrangements. Generally, you're not getting rich doing personal immigration. Criminal prosecution is probably the worst paying since those are primarily local government jobs. On the flip side, you can make bank defending alleged white collar criminals. Estate and tax are probably the most stable fields as far as income potential.