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Lawyer Salary Information in California

The average annual and hourly salaries for lawyers in the state of California are shown in Table 1 and Table 2, respectively. The comparison of the salary statistics of lawyers among California cities is shown in Table 3. The salary statistics are based on the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1 & 2. Annual & Hourly Salary of Lawyers in California

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$73,380
25th Percentile Wage
$101,160
50th Percentile Wage
$149,670
75th Percentile Wage
$202,350
90th Percentile Wage
No Data

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for lawyers in California in 5 percentile scales. The average annual salary for the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) is $202,350. The median (50th percentile) annual salary is $149,670. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $73,380.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of lawyers from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2017
$149,670
3.73% 7.42%
2016
$144,080
-1.37% -
2015
$146,050
2.34% -
2014
$142,630
1.33% -
2013
$140,740
1.55% -
2012
$138,560
- -

Table 3. Median Annual Salary of Lawyers in California Cities

Table 3 shows the median annual salary of lawyers in some California cities and metropolitan areas. We note that the median annual salary of lawyers in state of California ranges from $73,970 to $181,120. The highest paying area for lawyers in California is San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara with a median annual salary of $181,120. The second highest paying city/area in California State is San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City (mean annual salary $170,800). The lowest paying area is Stockton with a median annual salary of $73,970.

Cities/Areas Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
$181,120
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City
$170,800
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
$161,900
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont
$161,900
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
$152,400
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
$151,940
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward
$144,730
Bakersfield-Delano
$143,610
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
$143,560
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
$143,190
Vallejo-Fairfield
$137,600
Napa
$137,540
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles
$137,120
Santa Rosa-Petaluma
$135,830
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine
$132,960
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta
$126,920
Santa Cruz-Watsonville
$123,810
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville
$121,610
Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$120,890
El Centro
$114,890
Merced
$113,670
Modesto
$113,310
Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$111,460
Yuba City
$110,820
Chico
$109,550
Fresno
$108,960
Visalia-Porterville
$106,630
Redding
$105,760
Salinas
$103,320
Madera-Chowchilla
$102,700
North Valley Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$97,110
Hanford-Corcoran
$96,630
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$89,800
Eastern Sierra Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$81,110
Stockton
$73,970




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