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Salary of Legal Occupations

The average annual salary of legal occupations is shown in Table 1. In Table 2 we compare the median salaries of all legal occupations in the United States. The legal occupations salary statistics are from the national compensation survey published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in April 2017 [1].

Table 1. Salary of Legal Occupations in the United States (2016 Survey)

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$36,650
25th Percentile Wage
$51,530
50th Percentile Wage
$79,650
75th Percentile Wage
$138,240
90th Percentile Wage
No Data

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for legal occupations. The salary is shown in 5 percentile scales. The average annual salary for the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) legal occupations is $138,240. The median annual salary is $79,650. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $36,650.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

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

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
201679,6501.86%5.50%
201578,1701.68%-
201476,8600.99%-
201376,1001.09%-
201275,270--

Table 2. Compare Salaries of All Legal Occupations (2016 Survey)

Table 2 shows the median annual wage of all legal occupations in the United States. We note that the median annual salaries vary considerably among legal professions and range from $45,800 to $125,880. The highest paid legal occupations are judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates with a median annual salary of $125,880. The lowest paid legal occupations in the United States are title examiners, abstractors, and searchers with a median annual salary of $45,800. For more salary information about a specific legal profession, use the links in the table.

Occupation Group Median Annual Salary
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
$125,880
Lawyers
$118,160
Lawyers and Judicial Law Clerks
$116,250
Lawyers, Judges, and Related Workers
$115,050
Judges, Magistrates, and Other Judicial Workers
$100,960
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
$92,110
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
$59,770
Other Legal Support Workers
$54,650
Judicial Law Clerks
$51,760
Court Reporters
$51,320
Miscellaneous Legal Support Workers
$49,780
Legal Support Workers
$49,560
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
$49,500
Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers
$45,800