How Much Do Lawyers Make? Salaries in all 50 States

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 26, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working as a lawyer can offer exciting career opportunities in the legal field. Depending on your specialty and your location, you could earn a wide salary range as a lawyer. Learning how much lawyers make can help you determine whether this career path is the right choice for you. In this article, we discuss how much lawyers make and review different types of legal careers.

How much do lawyers make?

Lawyers make an average of $73,604 per year in the United States. The typical salary range for lawyers starts at $14,000 per year and reaches $204,000 per year. Factors like their geographic locations, experience level and specialty area impact lawyers' earning potential.

Related: Learn About Being a Lawyer

Lawyer salaries by state

Typical salaries for lawyers can vary significantly from state to state. The top lawyer salaries include:

  • Alabama: $72,797 per year

  • Alaska: $78,300 per year

  • Arizona: $76,028 per year

  • Arkansas: $71,909 per year

  • California: $92,409 per year

  • Colorado: $112,994 per year

  • Connecticut: $80,148 per year

  • Delaware: $96,873 per year

  • District of Columbia: $84,740 per year

  • Georgia: $76,304 per year

  • Florida: $71,904 per year

  • Hawaii: $74,955 per year

  • Idaho: $69,277 per year

  • Illinois: $82,837 per year

  • Indiana: $72,902 per year

  • Iowa: $73,850 per year

  • Kansas: $72,558 per year

  • Kentucky: $71,343 per year

  • Louisiana: $52,857 per year

  • Maine: $72,670 per year

  • Maryland: $90,568 per year

  • Massachusetts: $31.69 per hour

  • Michigan: $74,945 per year

  • Minnesota: $77,709 per year

  • Mississippi: $69,049 per year

  • Missouri: $42.69 per hour

  • Montana: $13.00 per hour

  • Nebraska: $72,677 per year

  • Nevada: $56,068 per year

  • New Hampshire: $74,376 per year

  • New Jersey: $67,802 per year

  • New Mexico: $57,475 per year

  • New York: $70,463 per year

  • North Carolina: $75,439 per year

  • North Dakota: $74,566 per year

  • Ohio: $74,782 per year

  • Oklahoma: $71,892 per year

  • Oregon: $77,283 per year

  • Pennsylvania: $84,353 per year

  • Rhode Island: $75,733 per year

  • South Carolina: $73,177 per year

  • South Dakota: $71,309 per year

  • Tennessee: $73,774 per year

  • Texas: $104,416 per year

  • Utah: $72,366 per year

  • Vermont: $73,193 per year

  • Virginia: $60,140 per year

  • Washington: $81,142 per year

  • West Virginia: $70,136 per year

  • Wisconsin: $74,724 per year

  • Wyoming: $72,233 per year

Different law careers

If you want to work in the legal field, you can choose from many different specialized positions. Learn about some of the most common law careers below:

Law clerk

National average salary: $16.61 per hour

Primary duties: Law clerks assist judges with reaching legal decisions. They research legal matters and decisions for related cases, and they document legal proceedings. After completing their research, they recommend decisions to judges. Many law clerks are recent graduates from law school, and the best-performing students tend to get these prestigious law clerk jobs.

Read more: Learn About Being a Law Clerk

Court clerk

National average salary: $16.90 per hour

Primary duties: Court clerks work in federal and local courts, where they assist judges, lawyers and court officers. They assist witnesses and jurors with oaths, document court appearances, track the receipt of legal documents and update court records. Court clerks may also draft dockets and prepare agendas for courts.

Legal secretary

National average salary: $47,074 per year

Primary duties: Legal secretaries provide clerical assistance in law offices, where they support lawyers and paralegals. They draft correspondence to clients and opposing parties, transcribe legal documents, monitor deadlines for filing documents and schedule meetings with clients and other parties. Legal secretaries may also perform basic case research.

Read more: Learn About Being a Legal Secretary

Paralegal

National average salary: $51,024 per year

Primary duties: Paralegals assist lawyers and law offices with administrative tasks. They draft closing documents for cases, perform research before trials and assist with depositions. Paralegals can also collect evidence to support cases, take statements from witnesses and maintain files for current and resolved cases.

Read more: Learn About Being a Paralegal

Mediator

National average salary: $61,416 per year

Primary duties: Mediators serve as neutral parties who help people resolve legal disputes. They specialize in helping opposing parties discuss complex issues and reach agreements that meet both parties' needs. While mediators do not generate legally binding decisions or appear in court, they do need to have an in-depth understanding of relevant legal matters and regulations.

Immigration lawyer

National average salary: $69,307 per year

Primary duties: Immigration lawyers help new residents navigate the immigration process in their new country. These lawyers can work independently with individuals or assist groups of immigrants on behalf of their employers. Immigration lawyers help clients obtain and complete required paperwork, explain laws and regulations and represent clients in court.

Judge advocate

National average salary: $72,094 per year

Primary duties: Also known as military lawyers, judge advocates handle legal and justice issues that pertain to the military. These lawyers are commissioned officers who work for one of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, where they provide specialized legal advice, prosecute alleged criminals and defend clients in court.

Compliance officer

National average salary: $73,382 per year

Primary duties: Compliance officers work with companies to ensure that they follow local and federal government regulations and policies. They are responsible for understanding complex regulations, monitoring updates to relevant policies and advising stakeholders about strategies for maintaining compliance. These legal professionals typically work in industries with high-level regulations, such as healthcare and banking.

Judge

National average salary: $83,882 per year

Primary duties: Judges manage the legal process in courtrooms. They research relevant legal concerns, oversee teams of law clerks, listen to arguments and defenses, and conduct hearings and trials. Judges are also responsible for applying laws, administering legal decisions and writing opinions on cases. They work in all levels of court systems, from local courts to the Supreme Court.

Litigation lawyer

National average salary: $117,667 per year

Primary duties: Also known as trial lawyers, litigation lawyers assist clients with civil lawsuits. They conduct investigations, oversee the discovery process, represent clients in court and manage the settlement process. Litigation lawyers can represent either plaintiffs or defendants, and they assist with appeals when necessary.

Contracts lawyer

National average salary: $66.56 per hour

Primary duties: Contracts lawyers specialize in issues related to legally binding contracts, agreements and other documents. They draft legal documents, review and revise preexisting contracts and advise clients about the implications and potential outcomes of agreements. These lawyers have a high-level understanding of how to use and interpret legal language effectively.

Employment lawyer

National average salary: $146,926 per year

Primary duties: Employment lawyers work with labor issues and the legal rights of workers and employees. They can handle matters ranging from firing and dismissal to compensation and benefits. Employment lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the regulations and laws that affect employees in specific states and industries, and they can represent individuals, groups of employees or labor unions.

Corporate lawyer

National average salary: $102 per hour

Primary duties: Also known as corporate counsels or in-house counsels, corporate lawyers work for companies and provide legal advice to their employers. They may advise about contracts and employment agreements, or they may provide more specialized advice about patents, trademarks and government regulations. Some corporate lawyers also handle legal issues related to taxes, property and unions.

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