Full-time Salaries for Jobs Lasting at Least One Year, by Employer or Job Type - Class of 2018

February 2020

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 salary*** Percentage of jobs
accounted for
by this employer
or job type
Law firms — all $120,000 $123,900 $70,000 – 180,000 $190,000 (24.1%)/ $180,000 (13.4%) 54.8%
  Law firm, 1-10 attorneys 60,000 62,210 50,000 – 70,000 60,000 (12.8)/ 50,000 (11.5) 18.5
  Law firm, 11-25 attorneys 70,000 73,250 60,000 – 80,000 70,000 (10.8)/ 60,000 (10.6) 5.9
  Law firm, 26-50 attorneys 80,000 85,955 67,500 – 97,000 80,000 (8.4)/ 70,000 (8.1) 3.5
  Law firm, 51-100 attorneys 86,000 97,960 75,000 – 110,000 80,000 (7.8)/ 85,000 (7.0) 2.8
  Law firm, 101-250 attorneys 120,000 122,365 95,000 – 150,000 120,000 (7.8) /100,000 (7.5) 3.4
  Law firm, 251-500 attorneys 180,000 153,765 120,000 – 190,000 190,000 (24.8)/ 180,000 (23.7) 3.2
  Law firm, 501+ attorneys 190,000* 177,261 180,000 – 190,000 190,000 (54.5) / 180,000 (27.2) 15.9
Business — all 75,000 86,465 60,000 – 96,000 80,000 (7.2)/ 65,000 (6.3) 12.9
  Jobs for which bar passage is required 77,000 84,050 65,000 – 96,500 65,000 (8.3) / 80,000 (6.4) 3.3
  Jobs for which JD is an advantage 75,000 89,060 60,000 – 95,000 80,000 (8.4)/ 70,000 (6.5) 6.7
Government — all 60,000 61,740 50,000 – 68,000 60,000 (6.5) / 65,000 (5.0) 11.9
  Federal government 68,000 70,880 56,235 – 80,000 68,000 (8.7)/ 56,000 (6.2) 3.2
  State government 52,000 54,390 45,000 – 60,000 40,000 (8.2)/ 55,000 (6.7) 4.4
  Local government 61,325 61,970 54,000 – 68,000 60,000 (9.1)/ 65,000 (7.0) 4.2
  Prosecutorial jobs — all levels of government 57,000 56,150 46,000 – 64,000 60,000 (7.9)/ 40,000 (7.5) 4.6
  Military — JAG Corps 65,000 66,115 50,000 -75,000 60,000 (10.2)/NC 0.8
Judicial clerkships — all 57,000 56,890 50,000 – 64,000 61,000 (6.7)/ 60,000 (6.5) 11.2
  Federal courts 65,000 64,545 61,220 – 68,000 61,000 (15.6)/ 60,000 (10.3) 4.0
  State courts 50,560 52,440 49,000 – 56,055 50,000 (8.8)/NC 6.5
  Local courts 47,185 49,250 41,000 – 53,000 50,000 (6.9)/ 40,000 (5.2) 0.6
Public interest — all 50,500 53,095 45,000 – 60,000 50,000 (10.8) / 45,000 (9.4) 7.4
  Legal services 50,000 51,980 46,000 – 56,500 50,000 (15.4)/ 45,000 (7.0) 2.5
  Public defenders 52,000 53,380 45,000 – 60,000 45,000 (10.1) /NC 2.7
Education — all 51,500 61,985 47,500 – 66,000 50,000 (13.5) / 40,000 (7.2) 1.6

*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 at number two.

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