What Is the Average Entry-Level Salary for Business Law Graduates?

Studying business law or legal studies and earning a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree could lead you to work as a business attorney or as corporate counsel. With a business law bachelor's or associate's degree, you can become a corporate paralegal. Read on to learn more about the average entry-level salaries for these careers in the business law field. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information for Business Law Graduates

In order to become a lawyer, you must first earn a Juris Doctor degree. You'll also need a license to practice law, which requires you to pass the bar exam in the state in which you wish to work. This process usually includes a written examination, an ethics test and sometimes a performance-based exam.

Paralegals only need an associate's or bachelor's degree and do not need to pass the bar exam. You can major in business administration or legal studies with a business law concentration if you wish to specialize in corporate legal assisting. Although not a requirement, you might also want to receive certification with an accredited paralegal association or organization. Certification requirements usually include postsecondary education and work experience, passing an exam and completing continuing education for re-certification.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Lawyer Paralegal
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% (for all lawyers) 8% (for all paralegals)
On-the-Job Training Not provided Short-term training to adjust into company culture
Key Skills Analytical, problem-solving, interpersonal and speaking skills Research, communication and organizational skills
Work Environment Office settings, courtrooms Office setting, travel sometimes required

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Business Attorney Salary

Entry-level business attorneys perform legal research and assist senior attorneys. As a business attorney, you can choose to work in a variety of business-related legal fields, such as contracts, real estate, trade, sales or insurance. It is difficult to accurately predict how much you will make as soon as you graduate with a business law degree. According to the website PayScale.com in November 2015, most attorneys in general earn between $46,041 and $150,513 per year.

Corporate Counsel Salary

As a business law graduate, you might work as corporate counsel and provide legal advice to companies regarding contract issues, tax laws and employment disputes. PayScale.com stated that corporate counsels generally earned between $67,234 and $162,479 yearly as of 2015.

Corporate Paralegal Salary

As a corporate paralegal, you'll aid lawyers with the research and clerical work needed to organize lawsuits, contracts, tax statements and financial records. The majority of corporate paralegals earned from $41,425 and $81,685 annually as of November 2015, according to PayScale.com.

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