Law has always been placed on the pedestal of prestigious jobs in Nigeria. As a lawyer, dealing with humanity requires applying proper strategies and tactics and making it work. This is why lawyers are drilled in their university years and in their one year in law school. Truly, the years you spend studying law is worthwhile, especially because you can work in almost every field of occupation.
In this article, we will break down the salaries lawyers make each month according to their level and years of experience.
Salary Range For Working As An Lawyer In Nigeria
One of the things that will influence your monthly salary is how long you have been practising your legal skills. Technically, the higher the knowledge of your service, the higher your salary. So, it's normal to have lawyers who earn more salaries than others. Attorneys who have a two-year experience or less (entry-level) usually make 75,000 - 90,000 NGN monthly. While someone else with a three to five-year (mid-level) legal skill is expected to earn at least 150,000 NGN per month.
If you have acquired an experience level between five and ten years, it means you're a senior lawyer. Your salary can skyrocket to 450,000 NGN per month. Salaries can also depend on the type of law you'd like to practise. For instance, a mid-level legal counsellor can earn up to 320,000 NGN monthly while a Court Clerk earns a monthly income of ₦47,000. Mid and Senior-level corporate in-house lawyers can make from 250,000 to 700,000 NGN monthly, while their level entry attorneys earn from 100,000 to 150,000 NGN.
For a senior associate lawyer, his/her salary is 300,000 NGN, a Finance Associate earns ₦249,000, Secretary/Legal Advisers can earn ₦147,000, while an Entry Level Salary for Entertainment Lawyer in Nigeria can be ₦105K.
Since there are so many lawyers in comparison to its demand, most lawyers are stuck in low-income jobs for a long time. However, there are several law firms that pay prestigious lawyers a substantial amount of money. They include:
- Udo-Udoma & Belo-Osagie's corporate and commercial law firm that practises in areas like Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Real Estates, Oil & Gas, Corporate Advisory, Private Equity, Power & Infrastructure, and also Litigation, Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution. The firm has been characterised in international rankings as one of Nigeria’s “Magic Triangle” law firms. Annually, their associate lawyers earn ₦2.7M – ₦3M.
- Bloomfield Law Practice's specialist commercial law firm bases their practice in Asset Management & Private Equity, Aviation & Logistics, Intellectual Property, Shipping & Oil Services, Corporate Finance & Securities, amongst others. Their associate attorneys are offered the rate of ₦2.7M – ₦3.5M annually.
- Detail Solicitors Commercial law firm specialises only in non-court room practise and they have reputable practices in areas such as Corporate & Commercial Law, Oil & Gas, Power, Real Estate & Construction, Finance & Capital Markets, Infrastructure, Public-Private Partnership & Project Finance and Media, Entertainment & Technology. Their starting salary for associates is estimated at ₦2.5M – ₦3M annually.
- Other law firms like Olaniwun Ajayi LP, ǼLEX, G. Elias & Co, Templars, Aluko & Oyebode, Banwo & Ighodalo, Tokunbo Orimobi LP all offer their associate lawyers an estimate of ₦1.7M - ₦4M annually.
Most times, better-paying law jobs involve financial advisory, capital market transactions, deal structuring, and Oil & Gas.
Lawyers Salaries Based On Educational Level
If you're looking to increasing your salary in the corporate world or you're hoping to get new jobs that earn you higher wages, consider adding more certifications to your law degree in Nigeria.
In the educational sector, there are several levels that will get you paid higher. For someone with a Bachelor's Degree, your average salary would be 100,000 - 150,000 NGN monthly. A Master's Degree holder is sure to be paid an average of 250,000 NGN monthly.
As a Nigerian PhD holder living in Nigeria, your law pay is a medium of 500,000 NGN per month. A Master's degree program or any Post-graduate law program costs between 1,690,000 NGN to 5,080,000 NGN and is approximately a two-year duration in Nigeria. If you're considering whether it's worth it, perhaps the wages you'll get after a new job with this qualification will convince you. Doing this is a worthy investment.
Assuming you're currently earning money at a company or firm during this period, you shouldn't expect an increase. Most times, an employee increment happens after you have attained your degree. In some specific firms, an employee can even be opportune to study while making sure to manage the business. Most times, companies like these exist in Lagos state and Abuja.
A Nigerian looking to increase their finance, boost their knowledge services, acquire more clients and get acknowledged by international firms or companies usually aim for higher education. Moreso, an advanced certification in Nigeria earns you better respect of your time, increases your employee benefits and can get you to practice law in a private sector like commercial companies and a public sector like government ministries. Your knowledge acquired in Postgraduate school will market you to employers and will increase your earnings by at least 10% in Nigeria.
A Lawyer's Finance According To Gender
Even though both genders spend an equal amount of time to practice law, most Nigerian employers still pay less money to women. Even if you choose to work in another sector; for example, a finance firm or company, women tend to get less pay. It is said that male attorney employees get pay of 22% more than their female counterparts on a medium level.
Lawyers Wages Earned Based On Clients In Nigeria
As a young Nigerian attorney that's in practice, chances are that you will meet with clients who will help boost your job and/or business. You're likely to recruit employees as your business grows. In some law firms, employees get a money raise on the basis of how many clients they have brought and how their services have been maintained.
Usually, legal attornies in Nigeria get a 12% increase after every 19% month. It's important to state that wage increments differ between individuals. Factors can include young age, level of skills an attorney has in the court, and more. However, just as in private, international and government offices, your contribution to the success of your company will determine how much and how often you get a raise.
Bonus and Incentive Rates As A Young Nigerian Lawyer
The legal market space is large; whether as an attorney in court or an employee in a commercial or international company. The job of the attorney can be quite nerve-racking. This is why it's important that incentives are offered to lawyers who have done a great job.
It has been said in a report that attornies get 5% to 9% bonuses of their annual salary.
Usually, the bonuses considered include:
Individual Performance-Based Bonuses which employers share amongst employees with the best performance in court or otherwise.
Company Performance Bonuses involves the company wanting to celebrate and share massive earnings amongst their staff. Of course, the bonus share will differ from one person to the other. Everything depends on their role in the firm.
Goal-Based Bonuses is offered when an employee has reached an important milestone.
Close of Year Bonuses/ Holiday Bonuses are offered to everyone as a token of appreciation for the year.
How Much Does A Lawyer Make Per Day
The average daily rate of an Attorney is 3,770 NGN. Technically, there are several attorneys that get payments by the hour. This is completely different from the monthly fixed wages.
For students looking to start a career in law, the opportunity to do so is always open. As stated earlier, this course requires a lot of research and time. This is why it's necessary to get a home teacher that can help boost your understanding of several courses under this field and help you achieve your goals. More often than not, getting a tutor is a great investment. Imagine the pains of failing an exam, especially when it is expensive. Working with a tutor you're in sync with can make all the difference and boost your confidence.
If you're looking for a private tutor who can help kickstart your journey to becoming a lawyer, consider getting certified tutoring platforms as good as Superprof. 90% of the tutors are willing to give their first hour of lesson free, you can check past reviews from students and the educational qualifications of your teacher.
With a good teacher that offers an individualised mode of learning, you're sure on your way to earning more and getting more skills.