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:
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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