International law attorneys are the legal specialists who handle issues involving agreements between countries. This is an apt choice as a career for people who have a strong interest in international issues and who have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. International lawyers, who can command an entry-level salary more than $68,000 per year, can earn even more depending on experience, location and the sector in which they work.
International lawyers are trained professionals that deal with all issues related to international law. They provide representation and advice to clients about international law issues like government policies and human rights. International lawyers may specialize in a particular area like defending clients in cases related to war crimes or representing cases in front of the World Court. Other areas of specialty may include international trade, international taxes or international business.
According to a report compiled by Simply Hired, entry-level international law attorneys made a salary of $68,000 a year as of January 25, 2011. This is similar to the median salaries of all law school graduates nine months after graduation, which is $68,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of all lawyers earned a salary of between $74,980 and $163,320 as of May 2008.
Location and Industry
The salary of an international law attorney is very dependent on location. A starting salary for an international lawyer in New York can range from $85,000 to $89,000, reports Georgetown University. The top-paying states for experienced lawyers in general include the District of Columbia at $156,750, New York at $152,710 and Delaware at $152,300. The salary of a lawyer is also impacted by industry as those involved in state government make an annual mean wage of $82,750 while a lawyer involved in the management of company and enterprises can make an annual mean wage of $158,290. Other industries and annual mean salary figures include legal services at $136,540, local government at $91,040 and the federal executive branch at $127,550.
The employment of all lawyers is projected to grow 13 percent between 2008 and 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is about as fast as the average projected growth of all jobs during the projected decade. International lawyers who focus on increased areas of demand like the environment and health care may have more opportunities to gain employment. As businesses begin to use paralegals and large accounting firms to perform some functions that lawyers do, positions may be limited and lawyers may have to accept positions outside of their field to gain employment.
2016 Salary Information for Lawyers
Lawyers earned a median annual salary of $118,160 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, lawyers earned a 25th percentile salary of $77,580, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $176,580, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 792,500 people were employed in the U.S. as lawyers.