Lawcrossing.com identifies a basic sports lawyer as being someone who represents individual athletes in their contracts as an agent. Maxizip.com adds in its job description for a sports attorney that these duties include handling contractual matters, providing legal advice and counsel, and litigating. In exchange for his services the sports lawyer typically gets 10 percent of the value of the contract. This can translate to a salary anywhere from $65,000 to over $1 million annually, according to maxizip.com as of 2011.
Salary vs. Earnings Dependent on Contract
Some lawyers specializing in the sports industry are paid a salary while others can earn income dependent upon the contracts negotiated. According to Maxizip.com, earnings for sports attorneys vary greatly. Those just starting out in the industry may earn just $65,000 per year, but with experience with a prestigious law firm, sports team or sports industry company this annual salary could shoot up to $500,000 or more. Some sports lawyers' earnings can include a percentage of the athlete's earnings from endorsements, sponsorships and public appearances.
Maxizip.com states that a sports lawyer's salary can range from $65,000 to over $1 million annually. According to Payscale.com sports lawyers in March 2011 had average salaries that ranged from $65,000 to $121,356 annually. Including bonuses this pay jumped to $88,592 to $191,500. PayScale.com found that the top two cities for sports lawyer jobs were New York and Los Angeles. Simply Hired.com states that the salary for sports lawyer jobs can vary depending upon location, experience and benefits.
Salaries by Cities
Salary Expert.com compared sports lawyer salaries in several American cities for March 2011. What they discovered was that sports lawyers in New York/Manhattan were paid the highest salaries, on average $138,669 per year. Coming in second was Dallas, at $123,535. Atlanta completed the top three in the survey with an average sports lawyer salary of $122,534. Sports lawyers in Orlando were paid the least in this study, an average salary of $93,684.
Companies and Industries that Hire Sports Lawyers
PayScale.com lists four industries that hire sports lawyers. Law firms and law offices pay a sports lawyer a salary ranging from $62,193 to $110,348 per year, whereas a sports lawyer in professional football is paid anywhere from $54,625 to $109,251 annually. The range in salaries a sports lawyer can expect to find if hired by a sports agency is $55,245 to $104,675 as of 2011. The final industry hiring sports lawyers according to PayScale.com is law enforcement. Here a sports lawyer can make between $67,850 to $120,659 in March 2011.