The Australian legal system offers many high paying jobs for attorneys. These jobs vary by status, location, hours, and perhaps most importantly, pay. As in other common law countries like the United States and England, Australian courts put a premium on trial lawyers. A skilled trial lawyer is the highest paid lawyer in the entire Australian legal system. The world of a trial lawyer is fast-paced and challenging. Not everyone will make the cut.
A trial lawyer is an attorney who specializes in conducting jury trials. Jury trials are legal proceedings in which a jury makes a finding for either the plaintiff of the defendant. The plaintiff is the person bringing the suit and the defendant is the person being sued. The plaintiff in criminal cases is always the government. The jury focuses on the trial attorney for either side as they put on the case. The trial attorney must have the master of the legal arguments, the persuasion to convince the jury to find for their client, and the showmanship to keep the jury interested. Trial lawyers must be able to extract testimony from their clients and must be able to cross-examine other witnesses. When not examining witnesses, trial lawyers need to be ready to object to the questions of the opposing counsel. They must do all this while projecting confidence without seeming arrogant in front of the jury. Not all trial lawyers possess these qualities. The Australian trial lawyer is the highest paid because of a small cohort of skilled trial lawyers who are sought out by clients. These lawyers are so skilled in the courtroom that they can make millions of Australian dollars each case. If an attorney wants to join the ranks of these high paid trial lawyers, it is best to attend a top law school, get into a good firm, and get courtroom experience early in your career.
Location can be an important factor in obtaining the highest pay for an Australian lawyer. Just like most large cities in the world, the salaries of professionals in large Australian cities are higher than the salaries of similar professionals in more rural cities. The lawyer pay in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane and much larger than smaller cities. These higher salaries come with a higher cost of living in these cities. Although the pay may be higher, attorneys in these cities are also spending more per month on rents, groceries, entertainment, and other items. If the high paced city life is not your style, then a smaller city may be right for your legal career. There is a need for trial lawyers in places like Darwin, Hobart, or Sunshine Coast. Another way to boost the chances of having a top salary is to specialize in a field of law that will be highest paid. Finance, corporate, and tax law are always in high demand. In the future, there are a few areas of law that are expected to grow. If an attorney can become an expert in the areas of energy, copyright, and environmental law, they will likely earn high pay in the near future.