Trial Attorney Careers

If you've ever been interested in being in the court for a trial, there's no better seat in the house than the trial attorney's seat. As a trial attorney, your responsibility is to argue your client's case to the judge and jury. There is a small price to pay for the best seat in the house though.

To become a trial attorney, generally, you need a bachelor's degree followed up with three years of law school. If you finish your bachelor's degree in the typical four years then you're looking at seven years of school. The work doesn't stop once you've completed school. While typically trial attorney's are billed for 40-50 hours of work a week, they usually end up working 60-70 hours a week.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a trial attorney. For example, did you know that they make an average of $78.2 an hour? That's $162,651 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 50,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Trial Attorney Do

There are certain skills that many trial attorneys have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a trial attorney, we found that a lot of resumes listed 27.1% of trial attorneys included legal advice, while 9.6% of resumes included civil litigation, and 8.7% of resumes included property damage. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the trial attorney job title. But what industry to start with? Most trial attorneys actually find jobs in the professional and insurance industries.

How To Become a Trial Attorney

If you're interested in becoming a trial attorney, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 7.3% of trial attorneys have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.3% of trial attorneys have master's degrees. Even though most trial attorneys have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a trial attorney. When we researched the most common majors for a trial attorney, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on trial attorney resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a trial attorney. In fact, many trial attorney jobs require experience in a role such as law clerk. Meanwhile, many trial attorneys also have previous career experience in roles such as associate attorney or attorney.

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Average Salary
$162,651
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
2,903
Job Openings

Trial Attorney Career Paths

Top Careers Before Trial Attorney

Law Clerk
15.5 %
Attorney
11.8 %

Top Careers After Trial Attorney

Attorney
25.8 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Trial Attorney

Trial Attorneys in America make an average salary of $162,651 per year or $78 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $222,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $118,000 per year.
Average Salary
$162,651

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range111k - 204k$151k$150,788
Washington, DC
Salary Range110k - 197k$147k$147,487
New York, NY
Salary Range102k - 185k$138k$138,031
Worcester, MA
Salary Range85k - 161k$118k$117,646
Houston, TX
Salary Range79k - 163k$114k$113,852
Chicago, IL
Salary Range69k - 131k$96k$95,951
$58k
$204k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Trial Attorney
Trial Attorney
Department of Justice
Department of Justice
01/06/2021
01/06/2021
$122,53001/06/2021
$122,530
Trial Attorney
Trial Attorney
Offices, Boards and Divisions
Offices, Boards and Divisions
01/05/2021
01/05/2021
$122,53001/05/2021
$122,530
Trial Attorney
Trial Attorney
Randstad
Randstad
12/19/2020
12/19/2020
$104,35012/19/2020
$104,350
Trial Attorney-Mhld Worcester
Trial Attorney-Mhld Worcester
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Committee for Public Counsel Services
12/11/2020
12/11/2020
$61,00012/11/2020
$61,000
Trial Attorney
Trial Attorney
Offices, Boards and Divisions
Offices, Boards and Divisions
11/20/2020
11/20/2020
$142,70111/20/2020
$142,701
See More Recent Salaries

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Trial Attorney Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Trial Attorney. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Trial Attorney Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Trial Attorney resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Trial Attorney Demographics

Gender

male

63.1 %

female

32.4 %

unknown

4.5 %

Ethnicity

White

79.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.1 %

Black or African American

5.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.0 %

French

8.0 %

Italian

6.7 %
See More Demographics

Trial Attorney Education

Majors

Law
57.0 %

Degrees

Doctorate

55.2 %

Bachelors

36.6 %

Certificate

3.6 %

Top Colleges for Trial Attorneys

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

8. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,391
Enrollment
8,568
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Trial Attorney

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 27.1% of trial attorneys listed legal advice on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Best States For a Trial Attorney

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a trial attorney. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, California, New York, and Virginia. Trial attorneys make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $133,701. Whereas in California and New York, they would average $132,697 and $132,400, respectively. While trial attorneys would only make an average of $127,104 in Virginia, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Trial Attorney Jobs:
160
Highest 10% Earn:
$225,000
Location Quotient:
8.99
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Trial Attorney Jobs:
192
Highest 10% Earn:
$214,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Trial Attorney Jobs:
466
Highest 10% Earn:
$220,000
Location Quotient:
1.5
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Trial Attorney Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ trial attorneys and discovered their number of trial attorney opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that U.S. Department of Justice was the best, especially with an average salary of $125,415. Allstate follows up with an average salary of $65,487, and then comes Nationwide Mutual Insurance .. with an average of $66,831. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a trial attorney. The employers include Liberty Mutual, Nationwide Mutual Insurance .., and Liberty Mutual

1. U.S. Department of Justice
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$125,415
Trial Attorneys Hired: 
80+
2. Allstate
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$65,487
Trial Attorneys Hired: 
40+
3. Nationwide Mutual Insurance ...
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$66,831
Trial Attorneys Hired: 
26+
4. Farmers Insurance Group
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$67,740
Trial Attorneys Hired: 
17+
5. Liberty Mutual
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$100,955
Trial Attorneys Hired: 
15+
6. Zurich
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$107,839
Trial Attorneys Hired: 
14+

Trial Attorney Videos

Updated October 2, 2020