Full-time Salaries for Jobs Lasting at Least One Year, by Employer or Job Type — Class of 2020

September 2021

Want to learn more about the entry-level job market for recent law school graduates? See NALP's annual Jobs & JDs report.

This information is being made available for prospective law school applicants and others interested in the starting salaries of new law school graduates.

Employer or Job Type Median Salary Average Salary** The Middle Half of Salaries
Fall in a Range From:
Most Frequently Reported Salaries*** Percentage of Jobs Accounted for
by this Employer or Job Type
Law firms — all $130,000 $129,310 $72,500-190,000 $190,000 (36.5%)/$60,000 (4.3%) 56.8%
  Law firm, 1-10 attorneys 62,000 66,150 52,000-75,000 60,000 (13.5)/50,000 (9.7) 18.6
  Law firm, 11-25 attorneys 75,000 78,890 65,000-85,000 70,000 (10.3)/65,000 (9.2) 6.2
  Law firm, 26-50 attorneys 83,000 90,335 72,000-100,000 80,000 (10.9)/90,000 (8.8) 3.5
  Law firm, 51-100 attorneys 98,000 105,865 80,000-125,000 100,000 (8.2)/NC 2.9
  Law firm, 101-250 attorneys 125,000 130,235 93,000-170,000 190,000 (14.0)/100,000 (5.7) 3.4
  Law firm, 251-500 attorneys 180,000 159,480 134,000-190,000 190,000 (41.9)/150,000 (5.8) 3.5
  Law firm, 501+ attorneys 190,000* 180,510 190,000-190,000* 190,000 (78.2)/165,000 (3.1) 17.3
Business — all 80,000 91,385 65,000-100,000 80,000 (5.9)/70,000 (5.8) 10.5
  Jobs for which bar passage is required/anticipated 80,000 88,075 70,000-100,000 80,000 (7.6)/ 0,000 (7.4) 3.0
  Jobs for which JD is an advantage 80,000 93,000 65,000-102,000 70,000, 80,000, and 90,000 (5.4 each) 5.1
Government — all 64,000 65,040 52,900-72,000 50,000 (8.9)/60,000 (4.8) 11.5
  Federal government 72,000 74,675 61,630-84,685 72,000 (10.9)/70,000 (4.4) 3.3
  State government 55,000 57,715 50,000-64,000 50,000 (20.1)/60,000 (6.6) 4.0
  Local government 65,000 64,480 57,200-70,500 70,000 (6.6)/65,000 (6.2) 4.1
  Prosecutorial jobs — all levels of government 61,000 60,265 50,000-68,000 50,000 (15.9)/70,000 (6.0) 4.6
  Military — JAG Corps 65,000 65,695 47,550-78,000 45,000, 50,000, and 75,000 (6.3 each) 0.9
Judicial clerkships — all 60,000 59,610 51,575-66,890 51,500 (8.4)/64,000 (5.5) 10.9
  Federal courts 66,560 67,190 64,000-71,000 64,000 (11.7)/64,500 (7.7) 4.2
  State courts 53,000 54,950 51,000-59,540 51,500 (14.6)/52,000 (5.7) 6.0
  Local courts 51,000 50,225 46,750-54,000 50,000 (12.5)/52,000 (11.6) 0.7
Public interest — all 55,000 56,950 50,000-64,260 50,000 (14.6)/60,000 (6.8) 8.7
  Legal services 54,500 55,690 50,000-61,000 50,000 (14.1)/60,000 (8.2) 3.3
  Public defenders 56,000 57,660 50,000-65,000 50,000 (14.9)/45,000 (6.6) 3.1
Education — all 55,090 59,850 46,075-68,000 50,000 (11.0)/55,000 (7.9) 1.5

*Since so many salaries in this category were reported as $190,000, therefore $190,000 is best thought of as a prevailing salary and, with a few exceptions, the top salary.

**Averages are rounded to the nearest $5. A few medians and range figures were also rounded to the nearest $5.

***Salary figures were rounded to the nearest $500 for purposes of determining the most frequently reported salaries.

NC: Indicates a tie for the second most frequently occurring salary.

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