Lawyers had a median annual salary of $118,160 across the country in May 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The top earners in this profession got paid more than $150,000 a year.
If you’re asking, “How much do lawyers make in every state?” GOBankingRates has gathered that information for you, and here’s what we’ve found: The District of Columbia, California and New York are the highest paying in the country, as professionals there make an average of $168,693. Montana is at the bottom of the list for average lawyer salary, at $83,330. Even so, aspiring lawyers can expect their earnings to keep up with the highest-paid jobs in every state.
Median hourly wage: $48.78Average lawyer salary: $118,420
Alabama is in line with the national median for lawyer salary, hovering near $118,000. One potentially can make more in Birmingham, where the annual mean wage is $131,220.
Median hourly wage: $55.28Average lawyer salary: $123,770
When it comes to lawyer salaries, Alaska fares slightly better than the national median. Attorneys who practice in a non-metropolitan area of the state do earn a higher pay — more than $60 per hour, on average.
Median hourly wage: $49.22Average lawyer salary: $130,630
How do you stack up to the average income in your state? That depends on where you practice. Lawyers typically make $65.44 per hour in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Mesa.
Median hourly wage: $40.42Average lawyer salary: $103,980
Arkansas ranks lower on the list when comparing average pay for lawyers across states. For the most potential, head to Fayetteville, where the annual average wage is $141,050.
Median hourly wage: $69.27Average lawyer salary: $162,010
Lawyers in the Golden State enjoy the highest average salary among the states. To break it down further, attorneys in the San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara metro area have the highest average wage at $197,320. But is it enough to afford the average home in California?
Median hourly wage: $56.73Average lawyer salary: $138,130
Colorado is one of 13 states to average more than $133,000 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Breaking down the state, Fort Collins has the highest average salary at $155,390, and Grand Junction has the lowest at $82,850.
Median hourly wage: $60.43Average lawyer salary: $151,540
Connecticut is home to one of the top-paying metropolitan areas for lawyers in the country. Lawyers in Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk on average earn $185,560. But don’t get too excited — the cost of living in Connecticut is pretty high.
Median hourly wage: $66.30Average lawyer salary: $157,610
Delaware is one of the top-paying states for this occupation — trailing California, New York and Massachusetts, as well as the District of Columbia. Delaware also has among the highest concentration of jobs for lawyers.
Median hourly wage: $48.05Average lawyer salary: $131,990
Florida is one of the states with the highest employment level and concentration of lawyer jobs. The highest earning potential is in the Orlando area, where the annual mean wage is $164,360.
Find out how much you really take home from a $100,000 salary in Florida.
Median hourly wage: $50.46Average lawyer salary: $133,030
In the Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Roswell areas, the annual mean wage is $144,660. In Albany, the figure is $70,320.
Median hourly wage: $44.66Average lawyer salary: $106,650
The top 10 percent of lawyers in Hawaii earn an average of $161,960. There are 2,040 attorneys employed in the state. Honolulu has the best earning potential, with $51.91 as the average hourly wage — however, Hawaii is also the worst state for the middle class.
Median hourly wage: $36.16Average lawyer salary: $91,390
Idaho is one of the lowest-paying locations for lawyers, with an average pay of less than $95,000. The top 10 percent of earners who practice law make $156,620. Boise has the most lawyers and a slightly higher average pay of $96,510.
Median hourly wage: $50.59Average lawyer salary: $129,070
Illinois has one of the highest employment numbers for lawyers, with 30,250. The average salary in the Chicago area is $134,200. The highest earning potential is in Lake and Kenosha counties, with an annual mean wage of $143,040.
Median hourly wage: $43.64Average lawyer salary: $114,270
This Midwestern state averages a little less than the national median for lawyer salary. The highest earning potential for attorneys is in Indianapolis, where the annual mean wage is $116,900.
Median hourly wage: $42.95Average lawyer salary: $108,660
Although Iowa doesn’t have one of the highest annual salary averages for lawyers in the United States, the top 10 percent of earners make $203,410, which is among the top in the nation.
Median hourly wage: $37.65Average lawyer salary: $106,470
The top 10 percent of earners who practice law in Kansas make $200,350. For the highest concentration of jobs, head to Wichita, which has the highest employment number and an average annual wage of $107,440.
Median hourly wage: $35.16Average lawyer salary: $93,020
Kentucky is among the lowest-paying states when comparing lawyer salaries by state. The top 10 percent of earners make $169,700. Lawyers practicing close to the Ohio border, near Cincinnati, have the highest earning potential.
Median hourly wage: $43.29Average lawyer salary: $105,740
Louisiana also ranks among the 10 lowest states for salaries for lawyers. The top 10 percent of earners in Louisiana make $189,200. In which city can lawyers find the highest wages? New Orleans, which has an average hourly wage of $59.25.
Median hourly wage: $40.40Average lawyer salary: $106,270
There are 1,740 lawyers employed in Maine, with the southwestern portion of the state having the highest employment figure. Statewide, the top 10 percent of earners make $200,750 annually, on average.
Median hourly wage: $49.17Average lawyer salary: $123,220
The upper eastern shore of Maryland is among the top-paying non-metropolitan areas in the country for lawyers. The average annual wage there is $120,840. As for urban areas, lawyers in the Silver Spring, Frederick and Rockville region are the highest paid, with an average salary of $154,700.
Median hourly wage: $66.37Average lawyer salary: $158,760
Massachusetts, where 17,440 lawyers are employed, is one of the top states for lawyer pay. Of those, 25 percent earn $206,130 as an average annual salary.
Median hourly wage: $46.08Average lawyer salary: $110,760
In Monroe, lawyers make close to the average lawyer salary in the state. Farther north, in Saginaw, attorneys report a higher salary — $118,170. The top 10 percent of earners in the state have a mean annual wage of $186,440.
Median hourly wage: $54.85Average lawyer salary: $133,390
Minnesota has a higher average lawyer salary than the majority of the United States. In the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington metro area, lawyers average $140,540, higher than the state average.
Median hourly wage: $47.19Average lawyer salary: $114,710
A quarter of Mississippi lawyers make $154,980. The northern and western areas have the highest salary averages in the state. Jackson, for example, reports an annual mean wage of $128,600.
Median hourly wage: $45.17Average lawyer salary: $116,060
There are 9,640 lawyers employed in Missouri — and the top 25 percent make an average of $143,610. In Springfield, lawyers earn an average of $126,800, above the state average.
Median hourly wage: $34.06Average lawyer salary: $83,330
This western state has the lowest average lawyer salary in the country, according to the Department of Labor’s most recent numbers. Although the state average doesn’t break six figures, the top 10 percent of earners make an average of $138,970 statewide.
Montana is also the worst state to grow your money, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.
Median hourly wage: $38.71Average lawyer salary: $107,590
Nebraska has 2,920 lawyers, and their average salary is more than $107,000. In the state capital, Lincoln, the top 25 percent of earners make $152,600.
Median hourly wage: $56.35Average lawyer salary: $134,440
According to state numbers, 5,050 lawyers are employed in Nevada, with more than 4,000 in the Las Vegas area. The average pay for lawyers in this region is $132,890. Reno has the highest annual wage on average — $151,200.
29. New Hampshire
Median hourly wage: $47.02Average lawyer salary: $115,410
New Hampshire has 1,590 lawyers, who earn an average of more than $115,000. The top 10 percent of earners make a whopping $195,010.
30. New Jersey
Median hourly wage: $59.62Average lawyer salary: $144,190
New Jersey is one the highest-paying states for lawyers, with an average annual salary of more than $144,000. The top 25 percent of earners make $185,070.
31. New Mexico
Median hourly wage: $38.90Average lawyer salary: $97,100
New Mexico is among the few states in which the average lawyer salary is less than $100,000. But the top 10 percent of earners make $152,720.
32. New York
Median hourly wage: $67.41Average lawyer salary: $161,260
Among the states, New York closely follows behind No. 1 California for average lawyer pay. New York has 72,760 lawyers, with half making an average of $140,200. As for specific regions, lawyers in the New York, Jersey City and White Plains area have an average income that tops $175,000 — but see what that money looks like after taxes.
33. North Carolina
Median hourly wage: $54.53Average lawyer salary: $138,470
The Tar Heel State has an average lawyer salary that’s better than the majority of bordering states, with Virginia as an exception. The top 25 percent of earners in North Carolina make $185,910.
34. North Dakota
Median hourly wage: $41.45Average lawyer salary: $102,660
The state ranks among the lowest in the country for lawyer salary by state, but six figures can go a long way in North Dakota. Furthermore, the top 10 percent of earners make an average annual wage of $163,090.
Median hourly wage: $46.01Average lawyer salary: $113,400
The state has 15,920 lawyers, and the average lawyer salary for the top 10 percent of earners is $196,740. Columbus has the highest average salary in the state at $117,610.
Median hourly wage: $45.62Average lawyer salary: $123,510
The top 25 percent of earners practicing law in Oklahoma make $150,010. The southeast portion of the state has the highest employment of lawyers.
Median hourly wage: $49.01Average lawyer salary: $114,730
Lawyers in Oregon don’t make nearly as much as attorneys in California, with an average salary of nearly $115,000. But the top 10 percent of those practicing law in the Beaver State earn $184,000.
Median hourly wage: $55.40Average lawyer salary: $134,600
Pennsylvania ranks among the states with the highest pay opportunities for lawyers. The state has 25,320 of them. Pittsburgh is a top-paying city — $137,350 as an annual mean wage.
39. Rhode Island
Median hourly wage: $55.18Average lawyer salary: $131,430
Rhode Island’s pay for lawyers doesn’t average as much as it does in bordering states Massachusetts and Connecticut, but the top 25 percent of earners practicing law in the Ocean State have an annual wage of $166,720.
40. South Carolina
Median hourly wage: $38.49Average lawyer salary: $107,230
The Palmetto State ranks toward the bottom of the list when comparing all 50 states for lawyer pay. The top 25 percent of earners in South Carolina make $130,640.
41. South Dakota
Median hourly wage: $37.64Average lawyer salary: $101,360
South Dakota is one of the best states for rich Americans, but it ranks among the lowest in the country for lawyer pay — even though the average state wage is more than $101,000. The top 10 percent of earners make $178,340.
Median hourly wage: $49.46Average lawyer salary: $127,700
There are 7,570 lawyers employed in the state, according to the most up-to-date research. Lawyers in Tennessee make more than the national pay average for the profession. Chattanooga ranks No. 1 at $131,920.
Median hourly wage: $60.64Average lawyer salary: $149,400
Texas has 43,240 lawyers, and many are highly paid. The top 25 percent of earners make $195,510.
Median hourly wage: $46.15Average lawyer salary: $108,670
On average, Utah lawyers earn less than $50 per hour, with an average salary of nearly $109,000. The top 10 percent of earners in this profession in the state make $187,050.
Median hourly wage: $43.71Average lawyer salary: $103,970
The top 10 percent of earners who practice law in Vermont make $165,720. Half of the workforce earns more than $90,000.
Median hourly wage: $60.63Average lawyer salary: $139,050
With an average hourly wage of about $60, Virginia is one of the most lucrative states in the country for lawyers. The Arlington/Alexandria area has higher earning potential, with $173,800 as the average annual salary.
Median hourly wage: $53.45Average lawyer salary: $126,900
The top 25 percent of earners in the law field make $152,980 in Washington. The Seattle, Bellevue and Everett metro area has the highest pay in the state, averaging $138,220.
48. Washington, D.C.
Median hourly wage: $77.06Average lawyer salary: $182,810
At nearly $183,000, the nation’s capital is No. 1 in average lawyer earnings in the country. There are 31,470 attorneys employed there.
49. West Virginia
Median hourly wage: $41.58Average lawyer salary: $100,430
The Mountain State ranks near the bottom for lawyer salary when compared to the rest of the country. Still, the $100,000 average exceeds the median statewide household income of $42,644. The top 10 percent of earners in the law profession make $163,340, on average.
Median hourly wage: $44.13Average lawyer salary: $111,080
With an average annual salary of about $111,000, Wisconsin ranks on the lower end of the list for lawyer salaries in the nation. The state has 7,530 attorneys, and the top 10 percent of earners make $202,250.
Median hourly wage: $42.97Average lawyer salary: $112,710
Lawyers in Wyoming have a higher annual average salary than their colleagues in some of the neighboring states — especially Montana and Idaho. But earners in the top 25 percent in Wyoming average $121,650.
Click through to find out the salary you need to take home $100,000.
More on Making Money at Your Job
- How Much the Average Person Makes in 30 Countries Around the World
- 20 States Where Teachers Make More Than Most Americans
- Here’s How Much Police Officers Make in Every State
- Watch: How One Millennial Turned His Passion Into a Profitable Business
We make money easy. Get weekly email updates, including expert advice to help you Live Richer™.