Salary Structure

Salary structure of Private and Public Law in Nigeria

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Are you considering a career in law but feeling overwhelmed by the options? Nigeria’s legal market is bustling with opportunities, both in the public and private sectors. However, understanding the salary structures and career paths can be daunting. Let’s break it down into layman’s terms.

Where Can You Work with a Law Degree?

  1. Private Practice: Law firms handle various legal matters for individuals and businesses, such as corporate law, family law, and real estate.
  2. In-House Counsel: Large companies have legal teams to handle internal legal issues and risks.
  3. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): NGOs focusing on human rights, environmental protection, and social justice often employ lawyers to advocate for their causes.
  4. Academia: Law graduates passionate about teaching can become law professors or lecturers at universities.
  5. Public Service: Government roles include judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and legal advisors in ministries and parastatals.

Entry-Level (0-3 Years of Experience)

  • Public Law: Starting salaries in public service are around ₦250,000 to ₦350,000 annually.
  • Private Law: Fresh graduates in smaller firms can expect ₦300,000 to ₦500,000 per year. Top law firms may offer over ₦1 million.

Mid-Level (3-7 Years of Experience)

  • Public Law: Salaries can range from ₦500,000 to ₦1 million annually with experience and position.
  • Private Law: Lawyers with 3-7 years’ experience may earn ₦1 million to ₦3 million per year. Partners in smaller firms could exceed ₦5 million.

Senior Level (7+ Years of Experience)

  • Public Law: Senior roles like judges or legal advisors can earn over ₦1 million annually, but progression may be slower.
  • Private Law: Successful partners in law firms can make millions annually.


Choosing a career in law opens doors to diverse opportunities, but understanding the salary landscape is crucial. Whether you opt for public service or private practice, your earning potential grows with experience and expertise.


1.What factors influence salary in private practice?

Salaries in private practice vary based on the firm’s size, location, lawyer’s expertise, and performance.

2.Is public service a viable career option for lawyers?

Yes, public service offers stability and opportunities for career advancement, albeit with potentially slower salary growth compared to private practice.

3.How can I increase my earning potential as a lawyer?

Continuously improving your skills, networking, and seeking opportunities for advancement, such as becoming a partner in a law firm, can boost your earning potential

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