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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 amongst California areas 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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

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

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$71,010
25th Percentile Wage
$98,990
50th Percentile Wage
$144,080
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 $144,080. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $71,010.

Percentile BracketAverage Hourly Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$34.14
25th Percentile Wage
$47.59
50th Percentile Wage
$69.27
75th Percentile Wage
$97.28
90th Percentile Wage
No Data

Table 2 shows the average hourly salary for lawyers in California in 5 percentile scales. The average hourly salary for the 75th percentile wage is $97.28. The median hourly salary is $69.27. The average hourly salary for the bottom 10 percent is $34.14.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of lawyers from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
2016144,080-1.37%3.83%
2015146,0502.34%-
2014142,6301.33%-
2013140,7401.55%-
2012138,560--

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 $77,610 to $184,110. The highest paying area for lawyers in California is San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara with a median annual salary of $184,110. The second highest paying city/area in California State is San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City (mean annual salary $165,500). The lowest paying area is Stockton with a median annual salary of $77,610.

Cities/Areas Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
$184,110
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City
$165,500
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
$164,110
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont
$159,930
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
$152,400
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
$148,830
Bakersfield-Delano
$145,870
Santa Rosa-Petaluma
$142,790
Napa
$140,860
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward
$137,010
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
$136,140
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles
$135,180
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
$134,510
Santa Cruz-Watsonville
$132,970
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine
$132,960
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta
$126,920
Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$120,890
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville
$120,740
Vallejo-Fairfield
$117,450
Merced
$113,670
Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$112,870
Modesto
$111,550
Yuba City
$110,820
El Centro
$110,800
Chico
$109,550
Fresno
$106,970
Hanford-Corcoran
$105,280
Madera-Chowchilla
$102,700
Visalia-Porterville
$101,500
Redding
$96,360
Salinas
$95,310
North Valley Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$94,330
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$88,750
Eastern Sierra Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$81,110
Stockton
$77,610



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