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Have you ever been curious about the income potential of lawyers? Or are you fresh from law school, wondering how your salary stacks up?

You’ve come to the right place!

As a lawyer, you can represent clients, write legal documents, and advise clients of their legal rights or other matters related to the law. Yet, the least you can expect is excellent pay for all these.

We certainly understand why you are interested in getting an answer to the question: how much does a lawyer make?

In the most expensive cities, lawyers’ incomes tend to be higher due to various factors, such as the higher cost of living, increased demand for legal services, and higher rates charged by law firms.

However, it’s important to note that lawyer salaries can vary greatly depending on factors such as experience, specialization, the size and reputation of the law firm, and individual achievements.

So, read on because we’ll leave no stone unturned!

The Average Canadian Lawyer Salaries According to Official Data

Consultation between lawyer and client

We’ve got the scoop on how much most lawyers earn in Canada. Hence, follow us closely.

In the exciting world of law, salary considerations are undoubtedly on everyone’s minds. After all, your hard work and dedication deserve to be rewarded handsomely.

According to the latest official data, Canada’s average lawyer’s salary stands solid and promising.

The average salary of Canadian lawyers is around $177 000 annually. Yes, you read that right! Or, for hourly wages, it’s about $73.17.

Of course, it’s important to remember that these figures represent an average, and salaries can vary based on several factors. Experience, expertise, geographic location, and the firm’s size are just a few variables that can impact earning potential.

Your salary will likely grow exponentially as you climb the ladder of legal success. For instance, seasoned lawyers with several years of experience and specialized knowledge can expect to earn up to $189 812 yearly. In comparison, entry-level positions could earn around $100 000.

Moreover, the province or territory you practice in can influence your salary significantly. For example, bustling legal hubs like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary often offer higher remuneration due to their competitive markets and increased demand for legal services.

It’s worth noting that while the financial rewards can be enticing, a legal career goes beyond just a hefty paycheck. The sense of fulfillment that comes from advocating for justice, making a difference in people’s lives, and engaging in intellectually stimulating work is priceless.

These figures aren’t a guarantee of your income as an attorney—but they can give you an idea of what to expect.

How Much Do Lawyers Make in Different Practice Areas?

Brace yourselves as we unveil the captivating world of Canadian lawyer salaries in Canada, practice by practice!

Corporate Law

In the fast-paced realm of corporate law, where deals are brokered and contracts are forged, lawyers can earn impressive salaries. On average, corporate lawyers in Canada make between $117,000 to $140,000 per year. Top-tier professionals in this field can even surpass the $170,000 mark.

Intellectual Property (IP) Law

In Canada, IP lawyers earn anywhere from $92,000 to $160,000 annually, depending on experience and specialization.

Criminal Law

The legal warriors defending the accused and upholding justice in the criminal justice system can earn respectable salaries. Canadian criminal lawyers’ wages range from $72,000 to $126,000 annually. High-profile cases and experience can lead to even higher incomes.

Family Law

Family lawyers in Canada earn between $100,000 to $160,000 annually, with experienced practitioners and renowned firms often commanding higher rates.

Environmental Law

Advocates for the planet, environmental lawyers work to protect the Earth’s natural resources and ensure sustainable practices. The salaries in this field range from $90,000 to $170,000 yearly, reflecting the growing importance of environmental issues.

Entertainment Law

With their intricate knowledge of the entertainment industry, entertainment lawyers assist individuals in navigating the complexities associated. Entertainment lawyers earn between $102,000 and over $155,000 annually.

How Much Do Lawyers Make Working for Corporations?

Group of confident young lawyers

This will interest you if you’ve ever wondered how much a licensed lawyer makes when working in-house for a corporation. Here’s the deal: according to Canada Job Bank, in-house counsel salaries range from $116,940 to $294,346 annually.

Salaries for in-house counsel often vary depending on the size of the company and its budget. For example, larger companies may be able to offer higher wages than smaller ones.

Additionally, the lawyer’s experience level may also be a factor – more experienced lawyers tend to have higher salaries than those with less experience.

The job perks for in-house corporate lawyers may include medical insurance and retirement plans. Many also offer tuition reimbursement programs or professional development opportunities that can lead to a salary increase over time.

The Highest Paying States and Cities for Lawyers in the U.S.

If you want to become a lawyer, you might wonder where to make the most money in a state or city. After all, the cost of living or housing prices vary significantly place-to-place.

So, some states or cities pay even more than others. So what are they?


As the most populous province in Canada, it’s no surprise that Ontario boasts vibrant legal markets. Cities like Toronto, Ottawa, and Mississauga are bustling with corporate headquarters, top law firms, and many legal opportunities.

As a result, lawyers in Ontario enjoy some of the highest salaries in the country, with average earnings ranging from $111,250 to $201,467.


Alberta is another lucrative destination for lawyers, known for its booming oil and gas industry.

Calgary, in particular, stands out as a thriving legal hub. The demand for legal services in the energy, corporate, and commercial law sectors ensures competitive compensation.

Lawyers in Alberta can expect average salaries ranging from $140,808 to $190,000 or higher.

British Columbia

With its stunning landscapes and flourishing industries, British Columbia is a prime location for legal professionals. Vancouver, the province’s largest city, is renowned for its strong legal market.

Lawyers in British Columbia earn competitive salaries, with average annual earnings ranging from $122 000 to $188 000 or more.


Known for its distinct legal system based on civil law, Quebec offers unique lawyer opportunities. Montreal, the province’s largest city, boasts vibrant legal activity. While salaries in Quebec may be slightly lower than in other areas, lawyers still enjoy respectable earnings ranging from $100,098 to $160,000 annually.

Beyond specific states and cities, the legal landscape in Canada has ample opportunities for growth and financial success.

As you gain experience and establish a strong reputation, your earning potential will skyrocket significantly, regardless of the geographical location.

So if lucrative legal salaries are your top priority, consider living and working in one of these areas as a lawyer — you won’t regret it!

Factors That Affect How Much a Lawyer Makes

Lawyer team working together


Like a fine wine, your experience in the legal profession tends to improve with age. As you gain more experience and expertise in your field, your value as a legal professional increases, leading to higher earning potential.

Seasoned lawyers with a wealth of knowledge and a successful track record often command higher salaries than their less experienced counterparts.


The area of law you specialize in can significantly affect your earning potential. Some practice areas, such as corporate or intellectual property law, offer higher salaries due to their complex nature and high demand. Specializing in a niche area can make you a sought-after expert, leading to increased compensation.

Geographic Location

As you can see, where you practice law makes a notable difference in your salary. Major cities with thriving legal markets, like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary, often provide higher wages due to increased competition and demand for legal services.

Conversely, practicing in smaller towns or rural areas may result in lower salaries due to a smaller client base and less market saturation.

Firm Size and Reputation

The size and reputation of the law firm you work for can influence your earning potential. Large, prestigious firms pay higher salaries to attract top talent and handle high-profile cases.

On the other hand, smaller firms may give more modest salaries but provide opportunities for growth, hands-on experience, and work-life balance.

Clientele and Caseload

The types of clients you work with and the complexity of your caseload influence your salary. Handling high-value clients or intricate legal matters drives higher compensation. Additionally, taking on a heavy caseload and working on multiple cases simultaneously may lead to higher earnings.


In the end, it’s clear the life of a lawyer is not without challenges, but with determination and dedication, the rewards are juicy.

Ultimately, the answer to “How much does a lawyer make?” boils down to the individual. A lawyer’s experience, location, and specializations often dictate salary.

With the right combination of skills and drive, it’s possible for a lawyer to rise to the top of the profession and earn a wage that far exceeds that of the average lawyer.

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