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lawyers Salary In South Africa

lawyers Salary In South Africa

In this post, we are going to give you a clear analysis of the salaries of lawyers in South Africa. The different range of salaries we are going to provide here is the average amount not what is obtainable individually. This is because not all lawyers earn the same amount and the salaries vary from regions to regions, years of experience and the area of specialty of the lawyer. The post is made of two sections. The first section gives the lawyers salary in South Africa according to their area of expertise and then according to the years of experience.

The second section of this post indicates the lawyers salary in South Africa in general terms and not according to their area of expertise. This second section shows the salary that can be obtained from different regions of South Africa.

Lawyers Salary In South Africa

Salaries of Lawyers In South Africa

Salary is a major factor we all consider when faced with the decision of career choice. Jobs offering huge salaries are more attractive to us. Despite the popular cry of doing what you love, Few persons ever venture into the career they love if the salary is very low. This because a good income is guaranteed to give you a good life. Yeah, money is not a guarantee of happiness but it’s a major ingredient and whether we agree with this or not, it’s still a fact. We all know the why courses like law, medicine, and engineering are very competitive in the university- because they offer better salaries in practice.

SECTION 1: Salaries of lawyers in South Africa according to specialty

1. Patent Lawyer

The average patent lawyer salary in South Africa is R 1,062,521 or with an equivalent of  R 511 hourly rate. The patent lawyer can also earn an average bonus of R 93,821.
Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 732,633
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 1,062,521
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 1,343,161

2. Real estate lawyers

The real estate lawyers represent clients in criminal and other legal proceedings. They prepare legal documents and manage and advise their clients on legal issues.
The average salary for real estate lawyers is  R 472,695 or an equivalent hourly rate of R 227. Real estate lawyers can also earn an average bonus of R 26,755.
Salary by experience level

  • Entry level R 331,269
  • Average R 472,695
  • Senior R 593,181

3. Corporation Lawyer

The average paralegal lawyer salary in South Africa is  R 838,088 or with an equivalent of R 403 hourly rate. The Corporation Lawyer can also earn an average bonus of  R 55,314.

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 583,041
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 838,088
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 1,054,289

4. Staff Lawyer

The average staff lawyer salary in South Africa is R 838,088 or with an equivalent of R 403 hourly rate. The staff Lawyer can also earn an average of R 55,314 as a bonus.

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 583,041
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 838,088
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 1,054,289

5. Administrative Lawyer

The average administrative lawyer salary in South Africa is R 475,923 or with an equivalent of R 229 hourly rate. The administrative lawyer can also earn an average of R 27,080

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 333,532
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 475,923
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 597,232

6. Associate Lawyer

The average associate lawyer salary in South Africa is R 312,350 or with an equivalent of R 150 hourly rate. The associate lawyer can also earn an average bonus of R 12,619.

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 223,705
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 312,350
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 390,042

7. Immigration lawyer

The average immigration lawyer salary in South Africa is R 468,659 with an equivalent of 225 hourly rates. The immigration lawyer can also earn an average of R26,339 bonus.

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 328,441
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 468,659
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 588,117

8. Paralegal

The average paralegal lawyer salary in South Africa is R 209,644 with an equivalent of R 101 hourly rate. The paralegal lawyer can also earn an average of R 5,115 as a bonus.

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 151,653
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 209,644
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 260,715

9. Trial lawyer

The average Trial lawyer salary in South Africa is R 471,081 with an equivalent of R 226 hourly rate. The Trial lawyer can also earn an average of R 26, 569 bonus.

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 330,138.
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 471,081
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 591,155.

10. Criminal defense lawyers

The average Trial lawyer salary in South Africa is R 408,933 with an equivalent of R 197 hourly rate. The Trial lawyer can also earn an average of R 20,447 bonus.

Salaries by experience levels

  • An entry-level trial lawyer (1-3 years of experience) R 288,263
  • An average level trial lawyer (4-8 years of experience) R 408,933
  • A senior level trial lawyer (8+ years of experience) R 512,328

From the above, we can conclude that those who are experts in patent law receive the highest average lawyers salary in South Africa with R 1,062,521, while those who are specially trained in paralegal are the lowest paid with an average of R 209,644.


SECTION 2: Lawyers Salary in South Africa in Different Regions

As we are all aware the salary of any profession varies from one region to another. We have collected the average salary for law in the major region of South Africa including Kimberly, Johannesburg, Capetown and Bloemfontein, East London and Durban. In general, lawyers salary in South Africa goes on an average between R 788 -915 (in thousands).

Kimberly, South Africa

We found from our survey that the average salary in Kimberly, South Africa is R 614,883 or an equivalent of R 296 hourly rate. This average salary in Kimberly is about 28% lower than what is obtained from the calculation of the general average lawyers salary in South Africa.

Johannesburg, South Africa

We found from our survey that the average salary of lawyers in Johannesburg, South Africa is R 1,135,212 or an equivalent of R 546 hourly rate. This average salary in Johannesburg is about 33% (+R 283,597) higher than what is obtained from the calculation of the general average salary in South Africa. In addition to this, lawyers in Johannesburg can earn up to an average of R 76,854 as a bonus.

East London, South Africa

We found from our survey that the average salary in East London, South Africa is R 709,401 or an equivalent of R 341 hourly rate. This average salary in East London is about 17% lower (-R  142,214) than what is obtained from the calculation of the general average salary in South Africa. Lawyers in East London can earn up to R 48,026 as a bonus.

Durban, South Africa

We found from our survey that the average salary of lawyers in Durban, South Africa is R 738,370 or an equivalent of R 355 hourly rate. This average salary in Durban is about 13% lower  (-R 113,245) than what is obtained from the calculation of the general average salary in South Africa. Lawyers in Durban can earn up to R 49,988 as a bonus.

Capetown, South Africa

We found from our survey that the average salary of lawyers in Capetown, South Africa is R R 922,328 or an equivalent of R 444 hourly rate. This average salary in Capetown is about 8% higher (+R 70,713) than what is obtained from the calculation of the general average salary in South Africa. Lawyers in Capetown can earn up to R 62,442 as a bonus.

Bloemfontein, South Africa

We found from our survey that the average salary of lawyers in Bloemfontein, South Africa is  R 596,156 or an equivalent of R 287 hourly rate. This average salary in Bloemfontein is about 30% lower (-R 255,459) than what is obtained from the calculation of the general average salary in South Africa. Lawyers in Bloemfontein can earn up to R 40,360 as a bonus.


From this section one can safely conclude that lawyers in Johannesburg are the highest paid lawyers in the country with an average salary of R 1,135,212 which is 33% higher than the average country salary while you can find lawyers with the lowest salary in Bloemfontein with an average salary of R 596,156, which is 30% lower than the average lawyer salary in the country. The difference in salary is not due to the poor or exceptional skills of the lawyers in the different regions but due to the demand for such skills. Johannesburg is more developed and populated than Bloemfontein and has a higher cost of living hence the higher salary.


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Updated: December 11, 2017 — 11:25 pm

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