First of all, very few lawyers represent people charged with murder. So unless you plan to become a high powered defense attorney and take on big bear cases like that you will never even touch a murder case in your entire career, even as a criminal defense attorney.
And to be honest, I actually believed that criminal defense clients were easier to deal with than family law clients. Criminal law clients were always much more appreciative, whereas a lot of nasty divorce case clients are so jaded by their love gone sour dispute, that they are unreasonable and difficult to reason with. Many will just want to litigate forever and nit pick every little thing just to try and punish their ex. This also harms their children, if they have any, and they get caught in the middle. But because they are so jaded, they don't even think about that, and don't want to listen to anybody's advice to knock it off. And it is not like the only lawyers are criminal defense or family law attorneys. There are a ton of different practice areas you could go into other than those.
And family attorneys do not represent people for domestic child abuse. If you wanted to do that, you would be a criminal prosecutor, because child abuse is a crime. If you choose to become a criminal prosecutor, you are a state employee, you do not get to pick your cases. They are assigned to you, although you can get into a niche, and they may assign you primarily certain types of cases. You also cannot do any legal work on the side if you are a prosecutor. If a prosecutor did that, they could be disbarred. So you would have to pick and choose which one you would rather, and if you choose to be a prosecutor, you got to be hired by a DA's office. DA positions have actually become very competitive to get these days, so that isn't a for sure bet, but you can increase the likelihood by doing internships, and working in the courthouse and try to network, etc.
As far as I know, family law salaries can vary significantly depending on how hard you work, how many clients you have, possibly how wealthy they are, and thus how much they are willing to pay for your services, but it all depends, like most areas of law.
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