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Lawyers are Earning More, but Gains are Not Equal

Posted Sep 9, 2019

An ABA report  profiling the legal profession shows private lawyers are now earning an average salary of $144,230, but gains are not shared across geographic region, gender, or practice area. The report drew on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lower compensation regions “largely reflect the rural-urban divide,” according to the ABA Journal. The top eight highest earning regions included four in California—Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Ventura—as well as the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Houston, New York City, and Stamford, Connecticut. A large pay gap based on gender persists, with women making 36% less than men, a difference of approximately $79,000 annually. Practice area also dictates wage differential, with medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers earning over $250,000, while bankruptcy, immigration, and probate lawyers earned an average of $140,000 and under. Starting public lawyers, including prosecutors, defense, and legal aid lawyers, earned a median salary ranging from $48,000 to $58,300. The report also looked at diversity, mental health, and pro bono work. See ABA Journal, TechLaw Crossroads.