offers hundreds of practice questions and video explanations. Go there now.
Sign up or log in to Magoosh LSAT Prep.

How Much Do Lawyers Make?

Law is a well-respected and rewarding career. As an attorney, you will have the chance to make a difference in your clients’ lives, write laws, or guide corporations to success. But of course, your potential salary is an extremely important consideration when it comes to your career path. So how much do lawyers make?

Lawyer Salaries Vary By Location

How much money lawyers make depends significantly on where they are practicing. Each state will offer different salary potential, as will each city. For example, you might expect that lawyers in New York City would make more money than lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi, and you’d be right! The average salary for a lawyer in Jackson is $73,139, while in New York City, it’s $114,134. While the national average salary for lawyers is $106,148, take a look at the US News guide to the “Top 5 Best Paying Cities for Lawyers.”

San Jose, California$201,240
Los Angeles, California$165,660
Bridgport, Connecticut$165,440
Houston, Texas$163,070
San Francisco, California$162,040

Lawyer Salaries Vary By Practice Area

How much lawyers make also varies by practice area. Different areas of law may require more in-depth experience, specialized knowledge, or may be a more exclusive niche (like Entertainment Law, which involves having good connections!). So, you can expect that the average salary potential for Personal Injury Law would be different than Intellectual Property. Intellectual Property lawyers usually have a background in Engineering/Science. Their education and understanding of patent-able technology helps them practice effectively. On the other hand, Personal Injury is more administrative and can be much more hands-off for the average lawyer. If cases don’t go to trial and without a large number of clients, the potential for income can be significantly less. Practice Panther has drawn up an infographic to illustrate these differences in salary based on practice area. Take a look at a summary of their information below.

Intellectual Property$155,037
Health Care$146,590
Real Estate$118,000
Bankruptcy$113,000
Corporate$98,244
Criminal Defense$78,500
Personal Injury$73,000
Family & Divorce$71,336
Civil Rights$69,000
Immigration$62,250

Consider More Than Salary

Now that you know how much lawyers make, it is important to decide what is more important to you. You might be able to make more money in one state over the other. But, your lifestyle, personality, and life goals should be weighted heavily when you decide where to live and practice. Also, a higher salary might come with much higher living costs in some states and cities. Don’t choose an area of practice based only on how much you can make. If you really do not enjoy what you do, you may end up burning out! But as a positive–lawyers generally make more money than in many other professions.

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh LSAT Prep!

No comments yet.


Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Share
Tweet
Share
Pin