Different types of lawyers have different types of specialization and are usually referred to as different things. While an advocate and an attorney are both trained lawyers, the former is a specialist who represents clients in a court of law and does not usually deal directly with the client – which the attorney does.
The average attorney salary in South Africa is R 300 000 per annum, and the average advocate salary in South Africa is R 360 000 per annum. This can be more, based on several factors.
Attorney Salary In South Africa
The average attorney salary in South Africa is around R 300 000 per annum. This is obviously an estimated average, as many attorneys in the country are being paid much more than these, and vice versa.
Below are salaries that are being earned by different attorneys in South Africa in different cadres:
1. Junior Attorney
The first stage for a beginner is to start as an entry-level lawyer by working as a Junior Attorney. When you are just called to the bar, you will start from this level, like those before you had done. It takes time to grow into senior levels.
Junior Attorneys are those still with 2-6 years of professional experience, and they usually earn an average salary of R 191,064 per annum. This is because of the cadre they are in right now, and it is important to note that it improves with time.
The average Junior Attorney’s monthly salary in South Africa is R 15,922 per month. It should however be noted that some are earning more than this, particularly due to the organization they are working with. All we have been quoting here are simply average.
2. Senior Attorney
Though you start as a junior attorney, you will move towards the cadre of a senior attorney with greater experience. The average senior attorney earns higher than R 360 000 per annum as a salary.
Therefore, it is usual for a senior attorney in South Africa to earn a monthly salary of R 30,000. Does this mean all senior attorneys in South Africa are earning this amount of salary every month? No, of course. There is a handful of them earning much more than this each month.
These are well ahead of those at the junior level, and they have what it takes to help them grow in the profession. They have great knowledge that can help their clients when it comes to legal stuff in the country.
When you see Associates in a Law firm, they are at a level where they can supervise the younger ones in the firm. They can offer exceptional legal services to clients, and they usually earn an average salary of R 300,000 per annum.
4. General Counsel
At this level, you have moved to a higher space, after many years of experience in the profession. You will have gathered a lot of knowledge and expertise, and you will be able to act as the major Attorney and main source of Legal advice in the organization.
A General Counsel is involved in taking care of Legal issues for every department in the Law firm and has the know-how to get things done. Therefore, these experts are making a whole lot of money much more than the Junior Attorneys and Senior Attorneys. They usually get an average salary that is around R 730 000 per annum.
This means many of them are earning more than R 60 000 as a salary each month.
These experts could either be Equity or Non-Equity Partners. A Lawyer in this stage is a Joint Owner and Operator of a Law firm, and it can take a while to be able to get here, depending on different factors.
An Equity Partner has ownership in the law firm and they do a lot of things to keep things floating well since they are major stakeholders. This is also one of the reasons they can confidently share the profits of the Law Firm since it also belongs to them.
On the other hand, Non-Equity Partners are those that are generally paid a fixed salary that is stable. And it is also important to know that a whole lot of Partners in the country are Non-Equity ones.
When it comes to salary, many Partners are getting above R 1 000 000 per annum. We should however note that it depends on the level of their expertise and responsibilities in the firm.
So, it is normal for a Partner in South Africa to be paid over R 83 000 as a monthly salary. It should be noted that many are earning much more than this.
6. Managing Partner/Partners
When you come to a Law firm, those sitting at the very top of the cadre are known as Managing Partners. These are well versed in the things that pertain to Law, and they are handling management responsibilities of the firm.
A Managing Partner maintains a Full-time Law practice in the organization, and they will determine a whole lot of things. Many times, the average Managing Partner gets over R 1 200 000 per year as salary.
Some things determine the amount of money you will get at this level. The type of the firm, as well as its profits, will usually determine what the Managing Partner will take home as their salary.
However, it is usual that a Managing Partner will take home over R 100 000 each month as salary, due to the level of expertise they carry.
As you should have seen, the salary of a lawyer in South Africa which is applicable in other climes too differs based on one’s level of experience as a legal professional.
Advocate Salary In South Africa
The average advocate salary in South Africa is around R 360 000 per annum. This is however an estimated average since several advocates in the country are earning much more than this, although some others are not earning up to that just yet.
What determines the salary of an advocate is both their level of experience and expertise, as well as whom they are working for.
Advocates in entry-level positions can start with a salary that is around R 194 400 per annum. On the other hand, advocates that have been in the profession for many years usually get over R 1 106 400 per annum.
This means an Advocate in the junior rank can earn around R 16 000 each month as a salary. It should be noted that many are earning much more than this, particularly as determined by where they work.
On the other hand, a well-experienced advocate will easily earn over R 100 000 as a monthly salary, for obvious reasons. While several other professions are paying much more than all of these, an advocate usually earns above the national average, and can still do well financially in the country.
Advocate Vs Attorney Salary South Africa
One of the oldest professions you will know of is the legal profession. It has been a very noble profession, and it is still one today. The legal profession is a professional one, and it comes with its perks.
A lot of people want to become lawyers in South Africa because it is a well-respected one in society. However, it can also be a lucrative one that can guarantee you a pleasant life, particularly if you can be well positioned.
Currently, there are thousands of attorneys in different parts of South Africa. They provide superb professional services that can only be offered by people as trained as themselves. These guys provide Legal Solutions to the Legal issues of different types of clients. They work with individuals and organizations (both commercial and other kinds).
Lawyers are still in high demand in this country, and many of them earn good salaries doing what they are passionate about. Lawyers are working for different organizations in difficult sectors, and they get a good fixed regular payment from their Employer, which has been established in their Contract of Employment.
There are advocates that earn higher than attorneys in South Africa and vice versa. While an average attorney salary in South Africa is R 300 000 per annum, an average advocate salary in South Africa is R 360 000 per annum.
You should be aware that these salaries are majorly dependent on your level of experience in the legal profession. So, the junior lawyer can earn an average of R 15,922 per month, while a senior lawyer makes well over 40,000 per month as a salary.
If you want to earn more as either an advocate or attorney in South Africa, you should keep getting better with what you do, and you will likely be exposed to better opportunities.
As we have examined Advocate Vs Attorney salary in South Africa, it should be glaring to you already that one prominent factor that determines what you earn is your level of experience and expertise in the profession. So, there are attorneys earning more than advocates, and vice versa.