Median Reported Salaries by Employer Type in the 25 Cities Providing the Most Jobs to the Class of 2014

March 2016

This information is being made available for prospective law school applicants and others interested in the starting salaries of new law school graduates. Want to learn more about the entry-level job market for recent law school graduates? See NALP's annual Jobs & JDs report.

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  PRIVATE PRACTICE BUSINESS GOVERNMENT
Median Number of
Salaries Reported
Median Number of
Salaries Reported
Median Number of
Salaries Reported
Atlanta $115,000 187 $62,000 39 $60,000 25
Austin 96,000 61 52,500 10 49,000 32
Baltimore 75,000 41 65,000 21 52,073 66
Boston 160,000 264 75,000 58 45,000 35
Charlotte 130,000 66 68,000 29 *  
Chicago 140,000 609 65,000 123 59,170 92
Cleveland 100,250 88 63,000 14 53,000 13
Columbus 80,000 57 46,000 31 50,000 39
Dallas 160,000 244 73,000 42 57,525 8
Denver 110,000 97 65,000 31 53,498 26
Houston 160,000 259 75,000 81 63,000 21
Indianapolis 92,500 80 60,000 27 46,494 40
Los Angeles 160,000 452 75,000 68 44,100 35
Miami 70,000 167 67,500 20 40,000 54
Minneapolis/St. Paul 110,000 144 60,000 54 52,000 22
New Orleans 95,000 47 62,000 5 *  
New York City 160,000 2,074 80,000 303 61,000 147
Philadelphia 107,500 210 72,500 26 50,199 31
Phoenix 80,000 73 65,000 21 58,000 40
Pittsburgh 80,000 81 62,000 23 42,000 6
San Diego 95,000 143 71,000 16 61,500 19
San Francisco 160,000 256 75,000 62 68,000 24
Seattle 110,000 110 63,500 36 60,000 22
St. Louis 80,000 95 66,500 32 42,250 10
Washington, DC 160,000 653 65,000 65 63,000 310

Note: Figures are based on salaries for reported for full-time jobs lasting at least a year. The median is the mid-point in a ranking of reported salaries. However, because salaries in large firms are quite uniform and are disproportionately reported relative to salaries in small firms, law firm medians are generally more applicable to large firms in that city. In the case of Boston, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, the median is best thought of as a prevailing salary since one half or more of the reported firm salaries in these cities were $160,000, and in fact very few salaries were more than $160,000. Thus, in cities such as New York and Washington, DC, where most law firm jobs taken by new law graduates are in large firms, the law firm median provides a truer measure of prevailing salaries than in a city such as San Diego where many jobs are in small firms.

* Fewer than five salaries for government jobs were reported.

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