Lawyer Salaries in the U.S.

Attorneys are traditionally among the highest paid professionals in the United States. Despite recent woes in the U.S. legal job market, those with secure positions stand to make comfortable incomes during their careers. Early estimates show that attorney salaries will rise an average of 3% in 2013, an indication of a strengthening legal market.

This infographic explores the salaries of lawyers around the U.S., factoring in cost of living and offering a side-by-side comparison of legal incomes in the top 20 markets around the country. Not surprisingly, trial lawyers top the list in terms of income while non-tenure track law professors are the lowest earning.

This infographic does not include data on solo attorneys, partners or the unemployed. As a result, this infographic does not represent the entire legal profession, but rather reported attorney salaries of private practice, government, in-house and other employed lawyers.

This data was taken from, a job listings website which creates their salary information based on a rolling average of listed salaries on related job postings. Rather than being an authoritative source on all attorney salaries, we see this infographic as a jumping off point for a larger conversation on how much attorneys are paid.

What changes in legal salaries do you anticipate in 2013?

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    This infographic is absolutely absurd. It blows my mind. First, why are law firm administrators even listed? They don’t even have to be lawyers. Same thing with litigation support director. And you usually only find those at big firms. Second, the infographic doesn’t do any accounting for experience, type of practice area (residential landlord/tenant law is going to pay much less than high-stakes commercial litigation), or size of firm. Third, it leaves out large swaths of attorneys: transactional attorneys, government attorneys (other than judges), and in-house attorneys–just to name a few. Fourth, what’s the cost of living in a state like New York? In New York City, it’s insanely expensive. In Albany, not so much. Fifth, law professor salaries are way off. Most full-time profs make >$100k starting, even at public universities.

  • Lawerly

    Well, I guess I’m moving to Mississippi.