How Much Do Lawyers Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

2021 Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries


Lawyers represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$148910 per year
Hourly wage
$72 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$61,490 to $84,450 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$30 to $41 per hour

Entry-level Lawyers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $61,490 to $84,450 per year or $30 to $41 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

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Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Lawyers to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $100+ $208,000+
Senior (Top 25%) $91 $189,520
Middle (Mid 50%) $61 $126,930
Junior (Bottom 25%) $41 $84,450
No experience (Bottom 10%) $30 $61,490

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
DC $95 $197,100
CA $86 $179,470
NY $84 $174,060
MA $81 $169,120
CT $76 $158,190
IL $74 $153,720
VA $73 $151,970
NJ $73 $151,550
CO $71 $148,330
TX $69 $142,730

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Lawyer is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at DC might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Lawyers are in the states of DC, CA, NY, MA and CT.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Specialized Design Services $233400 $112.21
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing $221000 $106.25
Motion Picture and Video Industries $218360 $104.98
Cable and Other Subscription Programming $216860 $104.26
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing $208460 $100.22
Scientific Research and Development Services $206600 $99.33
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing $205640 $98.87
Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction $203870 $98.01
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services $202120 $97.18
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events $202000 $97.11
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $201880 $97.06
Home Health Care Services $198670 $95.51
Monetary Authorities-Central Bank $197060 $94.74
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities $196300 $94.37
Oil and Gas Extraction $192670 $92.63
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing $192000 $92.31
Specialty Hospitals $191990 $92.30
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing $191870 $92.24
Nondepository Credit Intermediation $191580 $92.10
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers $191260 $91.95
Natural Gas Distribution $190600 $91.63
Communications Equipment Manufacturing $189830 $91.27
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $188060 $90.41
Software Publishers $187570 $90.18
Other Food Manufacturing $187170 $89.99
Telecommunications $186330 $89.58
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing $184790 $88.84
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $184770 $88.83
Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing $184740 $88.82
Management of Companies and Enterprises $184640 $88.77

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