How Much do Lawyers Make?

Do lawyers make a lot of money? What is the average pay for lawyers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers in the United States earn an average of $145,300 a year, equivalent to $69.86 an hour. Lawyers make 172% more than the average American worker.

Lawyers in California are the best paid, making $173,970 a year, while lawyers in Montana make the least at $83,030.

  • Latest wage data is for May 2019
  • Pre-tax earnings; Wages only - does not include benefits
  • Does not include lawyers with their own small law firm. These lawyers make less than average in general.
  • Does not include profit-sharing from being a partner in a law firm. Partners at elite law firms can make over $1 million per year.
Lawyer Wages by Percentile
Percentile Hourly Annually
90th > $104 > $208,000
75th $89.59 $186,350
50th $59.11 $122,960
25th $38.92 $80,950
10th $28.69 $59,670
Lawyer Wages by State

In what states do lawyers make the most? In what states do lawyers make the least?

In the map below, green represents higher pay and red represents lower pay. Keep scrolling down to see a table with the average wages in each state.

State Hourly Annually
Alabama $54.92 $114,240
Alaska $55.41 $115,260
Arizona $65.47 $136,170
Arkansas $45.19 $94,000
California $83.64 $173,970
Colorado $72.42 $150,630
Connecticut $74.33 $154,610
Florida $62.50 $130,010
Georgia $62.65 $130,320
Hawaii $52.61 $109,420
Idaho $50.70 $105,450
Illinois $75.49 $157,010
Indiana $53.75 $111,790
Iowa $57.55 $119,700
Kansas $53.03 $110,290
Kentucky $49.51 $102,980
Louisiana $51.96 $108,070
Maine $51.13 $106,350
Maryland $65.14 $135,500
Massachusetts $79.23 $164,800
Michigan $55.92 $116,310
Minnesota $59.86 $124,510
Mississippi $45.69 $95,040
Missouri $52.80 $109,820
Montana $39.92 $83,030
Nebraska $54.26 $112,860
Nevada $63.07 $131,190
New Hampshire $60.68 $126,220
New Jersey $70.76 $147,170
New Mexico $49.66 $103,290
New York $81.14 $168,780
North Carolina $64.08 $133,290
North Dakota $54.46 $113,280
Ohio $59.69 $124,160
Oklahoma $55.90 $116,270
Oregon $56.19 $116,860
Pennsylvania $68.70 $142,890
Rhode Island $59.90 $124,600
South Carolina $53.41 $111,090
South Dakota $54.23 $112,810
Tennessee $59.79 $124,370
Texas $69.28 $144,110
Utah $64.80 $134,770
Vermont $50.38 $104,790
Virginia $68.85 $143,220
Washington $62.28 $129,550
West Virginia $49.06 $102,040
Wisconsin $62.23 $129,440
Wyoming $48.12 $100,090
Metro Areas Where Lawyers Earn the Most
  • Data is for the entire metro area, not just the city
Metro Area Hourly Annually
San Jose, CA $105.01 $218,420
San Francisco, CA $90.82 $188,910
Washington, DC $86.34 $179,590
Los Angeles, CA $85.80 $178,470
Bridgeport, CT $85.54 $177,930
New York, NY $84.00 $174,720
Boston, MA $81.69 $169,920
Riverside, CA $81.47 $169,460
Beaumont, TX $80.22 $166,850
Oxnard, CA $78.85 $164,010
Lawyer Wages by Year
Year Hourly Annually
2019 $69.86 $145,300
2018 $69.34 $144,230
2017 $68.22 $141,890
2016 $67.25 $139,880
2015 $65.51 $136,260
2014 $64.17 $133,470
2013 $63.46 $131,990
2012 $62.93 $130,880
2011 $62.74 $130,490