Career Attributes

  • $123,270
  • 792,500
  • 2.7
  • 8.2%
More Attributes

How much does a Lawyer make in the United States?

Average Lawyer Yearly Salary in the United States

Lawyers earn an average yearly salary of $123,271. Salaries typically start from $44,985 and go up to $200,000.

Average Lawyer Hourly Wage in the United States

Lawyers earn an average hourly wage of $59.26. Hourly wages typically start from $21.63 and go up to $96.15.

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)

These numbers may vary depending on several factors, like level of education, amount of experience, industry, company size and location.

Learn more about the Lawyer job market for salaries of real jobs in your area.

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.

Employment Type Mix

91%
Full-Time
9%
Part-Time

Source: CareerExplorer user data. View more Lawyer demographics

Salary Satisfaction

3.2
SCORE
2854
RATINGS
Lawyers average a score of 3.2 out of 5 on our salary satisfaction scale. This places Lawyers in the 72th percentile of salary satisfaction.

Source: CareerExplorer user data. View more Lawyer satisfaction

How to Become a Lawyer

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Lawyer Earnings by Seniority

Top End Lawyer Earnings

The highest earning Lawyers in the United States earn:

$96.15
an hour
$200,000
per year
Senior Lawyer Earnings

Senior Lawyers in the United States earn:

$77.10
an hour
$160,360.9
per year
Experienced Lawyer Earnings

Experienced Lawyers in the United States earn:

$49.47
an hour
$102,887.2
per year
Junior Lawyer Earnings

Junior Lawyers in the United States earn:

$32.55
an hour
$67,709.6
per year
Starting Lawyer Earnings

Starting Lawyers in the United States earn:

$21.63
an hour
$44,984.9
per year

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

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Lawyer Salary Comparison

Lawyers earn more than 100% percent of similar careers in the United States.

Judge Salary $121k
Compliance Manager Salary $98k
Hearing Officer Salary $98k
Customs Inspector Salary $83k
Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)

Lawyer salary by state

Click on a state to learn more

State Hourly Wage Annual Salary Rank
Lawyer Salary in Virginia $62.51 $130,014.6 # 1
Lawyer Salary in New York $61.81 $128,565 # 2
Lawyer Salary in United States $59.26 $123,270.7 # 3
Lawyer Salary in District of Columbia $58.84 $122,388.4 # 4
Lawyer Salary in Illinois $57.04 $118,634.3 # 5
Lawyer Salary in Maryland $55.41 $115,253.8 # 6
Lawyer Salary in California $51.33 $106,756.5 # 7
Lawyer Salary in Washington $50.74 $105,543.1 # 8
Lawyer Salary in New Jersey $49.58 $103,118.7 # 9
Lawyer Salary in Ohio $47.63 $99,066.1 # 10
Lawyer Salary in Michigan $46.94 $97,625.8 # 11
Lawyer Salary in Texas $46.49 $96,694.9 # 12
Lawyer Salary in Pennsylvania $45.23 $94,077.8 # 13
Lawyer Salary in North Carolina $44.21 $91,951.1 # 14
Lawyer Salary in Georgia $44.04 $91,593.5 # 15
Lawyer Salary in Florida $43.82 $91,149.6 # 16
Lawyer Salary in Massachusetts $41.81 $86,954.5 # 17
Lawyer Salary in Oregon $40.73 $84,716.4 # 18

Career Attributes

  • $123,270
  • 792,500
  • 2.7
  • 8.2%
More Attributes