How Much Do Lawyers Make?

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • In 2022, the average annual salary for lawyers in the United States was approximately $87,012.
  • Base salaries ranged from $52,000 to $157,000 per year, influenced by factors like experience, location, and specialty.
  • Salaries varied by state, with the highest averages in specialized industries like Electromedical Manufacturing and Specialized Design Services.
  • Specialized lawyers, including immigration, judge advocates, compliance, litigation, contract, employment, and corporate lawyers, had distinct salary ranges.

Being a lawyer might bring you a high salary, but it also comes with numerous responsibilities. It is not an easy job, but it can open a lot of doors in the legal field. For this reason, lawyers have a high income, although the salary may vary depending on each individual and location.

Are you interested in becoming a lawyer but want to learn more about the best-paying states for this career? This post is packed with the information you are looking for.

How Much Do Lawyers Make in 2024?

On average, lawyers in the United States make about $87,012 per year according to data from The base salary starts at $52k per year and can reach as much as $157k per year. The salary is influenced by various factors, including the experience level, geographic location, and specialty area.

Annual lawyer salaries may also fluctuate from one year to another, as they sometimes grow or go down.

Lawyer Salary by State

Salaries will vary for lawyers from one state to another. What a lawyer earns in a certain specialty area may be higher or lower compared to how much an attorney from the same specialty earns in another state. Here are the lawyer salaries by state:

  • Alabama – $76,831
  • Alaska  – $90,026
  • Arizona – $90,522
  • Arkansas – $57,802
  • California – $126,055
  • Colorado – $101,396
  • Connecticut – $131,179
  • Delaware – $94,497
  • District of Columbia – $129,145
  • Florida – $79,484
  • Georgia – $89,299
  • Hawaii – $66,621
  • Idaho – $73,219
  • Illinois – $108,911
  • Indiana – $75,205
  • Iowa – $76,186
  • Kansas – $68,735
  • Kentucky – $76,908
  • Louisiana – $74,732
  • Maine – $115,847
  • Maryland – $97,077
  • Massachusetts – $115,597
  • Michigan – $100,183
  • Minnesota – $95,947
  • Mississippi – $91,707
  • Missouri – $73,307
  • Montana – $74,671
  • Nebraska – $76,626
  • Nevada – $91,016
  • New Hampshire – $122,521
  • New Jersey – $121,164
  • New Mexico – $89,321
  • New York – $129,294
  • North Carolina – $100,767
  • North Dakota – $111,396
  • Ohio – $76,530
  • Oklahoma – $70,788
  • Oregon – $98,274
  • Pennsylvania – $90,065
  • Rhode Island – $97,142
  • South Carolina – $62,690
  • South Dakota – $84,454
  • Tennessee – $78,385
  • Texas – $85,648
  • Utah – $94,761
  • Vermont – $116,962
  • Virginia – $123,047
  • Washington – $100,100
  • West Virginia – $85,501
  • Wisconsin – $80,089
  • Wyoming – $63,914

What Are the Best-Paying Jobs for Lawyers?

A lawyer can work in different areas of the law, and the salary they get will be influenced by the type of law. On top of that, the salary can also be influenced by whether the lawyer works in a public or private arena.

Many lawyers who work for the state governments earn about $97,440 on average. Meanwhile, attorneys working within the government’s Federal Executive Branch earn about $146,560 per year.

Here are the best-paying jobs for lawyers:

  • Electromedical, Measuring, Navigational, and Control Instruments Manufacturing – $208,460
  • Cable and Subscription Programming – $216,860
  • Motion Video and Picture – $218,360
  • Manufacturing Computer and Peripheral Equipment – $221,000
  • Specialized Design Services – $233,400

Salaries differ from one specialized position to another. When you eventually decide to work for a job in the legal field, you will have to choose one of the available positions. Here are the law-related careers you can pick from and their average salaries:

How Much Do Law Clerks Make?

Law clerks are responsible for aiding a judge in making legal decisions. A law clerk is the one who researches cases in order to see what decisions and legal matters are involved. Then, they will document the legal proceeding and make recommendations to the judge on decisions to make.

Many times, people who are law clerks have graduated from law school not too long ago and they were part of the students with the best performances. The national average salary for a law clerk is $24.28 per hour and about $50,000 annually.

How Much Do Court Clerks Make?

A court clerk earns $15.59 hourly. Court clerks assist court officers, lawyers, and judges in local and federal courts and also help jurors and witnesses with court appearance documentation, oaths, and legal document receipt tracking. They update court records too but also prepare court agendas and draft dockets.

Someone working as a legal secretary will support paralegals and lawyers in law offices by offering clerical assistance. They will transcribe legal documents, draft correspondence and look at deadlines for filing documents for clients and opposing parties. On top of that, they can schedule meetings with the clients and opposing parties.

A legal secretary earns $19.17 per hour and around $39,000 annually.

How Much Do Paralegals Make?

Paralegals make about $46,000 yearly and $22.46 hourly. They can assist law offices and lawyers in administrative tasks, doing research before the trials, drafting closing documents for cases, and helping with depositions.

How Much Do Mediators Make?

A mediator will earn $54,000 yearly and about $26.33 per hour. Mediators are neutral parties and they help resolve potential legal disputes, helping the parties reach agreements after discussing their problems.

How Much Do Immigration Lawyers Make?

The average immigration lawyer salary is $83,000 per year and $40.04 per hour. An immigration lawyer aids new residents through the immigration process in the country they moved to.

How Much Do Judge Advocates Make?

A judge advocate deals with legal and justice issues related to the military. They are also known as military lawyers for this reason. The average base salary for these lawyers is $92,612/year.

How Much Do Compliance Officers Make?

Compliance officers make $68,000 every year and $33.13 hourly. A compliance officer works with companies to make sure that they respect the policies and regulations of the local and federal government.

How Much Do Judges Make?

Judges are the ones responsible for managing the courtrooms’ legal process. They are the ones having to conduct hearings and trials, listen to defenses and arguments, do research on legal concerns and oversee law clerk teams. They earn $78,58 hourly and $164,000 per year.

How Much Do Litigation Lawyers Make?

Litigation lawyers or trial lawyers earn about $88,259 annually. They do investigations, represent their clients in court, look over the discovery process and manage the settlement process.

How Much Do Contract Lawyers Make?

As you can already imagine, a contract lawyer is dealing with issues related to agreements, legally binding contracts, and other documents. The average salary for this profession is $88,179.

How Much Do Employment Lawyers Make?

Employment lawyers deal with the legal rights of employees and workers and with labor issues. The average employment lawyer salary is usually between $75,492 and $100,690 per year.

How Much Do Corporate Lawyers Make?

The primary duties of corporate lawyers include working for businesses and offering employers legal advice. A corporate lawyer’s salary is $133,438 on average.

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Final Thoughts

If you are planning to become a lawyer and you came here wondering “How much do lawyers make?”, you now have the answer. The salary will depend on the type of law you work with, as well as the area you live in and your experience. Becoming a lawyer takes a lot of hard work, but it will pay off for sure.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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