The average salary for a lawyer in the United States is around $79,372 per year.
This is 65% above the national average. Updated in 2017.
Lawyers earn an average yearly salary of $79,372. Wages typically start from $60,385 and go up to $168,399.
Lawyer earnings by seniority
Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.
Lawyer salary by state
|State Name||Average Salary|
|District of Columbia||$118,000|
How much does a Lawyer earn?
Becoming a lawyer is still a financially-booming career path and has significant monetary perks. According to the Bottom Line blog of MSNBC, lawyers were number five on the list with an average salary of $130,490, coming in behind petroleum engineers (average salary of $138,980), chief executive officers (average salary of $176,550), orthodontists and dentists (average salary ranging from $161,750 to $204,670), and doctors and surgeons (average salary ranging from $168,650 to $234,950).
For new lawyers who join high-paying firms like New York’s Cravath, Swaine & Moore or Los Angeles-based Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, first-year compensation for most associates is set at $160,000. Most associates at top firms receive salaries that go up in what’s known as “lockstep” compensation from year to year, from $160,000 to $170,000, $185,000, $210,000, etc. Some firms also give generous bonuses. The nation’s highest-paying firm, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, is known to pay bonuses equal to a full year’s salary.
Do Men or Women Earn More?
Sky Analytics (a legal invoicing company) analyzed $3.4 billion in invoices from more than 3,000 law firms, including many of the largest in the country. It found that no matter what tier firm women work at, determined by the number of attorneys and its geographic footprint, they will be billed at “significantly lower rates per hour” than men, on average getting $47, or 10 percent, less per hour. While 2 percent of men at top tier firms are billed at over $1,000 an hour, virtually no women make that rate, and while about half of them charge more than $500 an hour, less than a third of women bill that rate.
How do lawyer salaries compare to similar careers?
|Hearing officer salary||$95K|
|Special agent salary||$60K|
|Customs inspector salary||$80K|
Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)