How Much are New Lawyers’ Salaries?

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Wonder how much you can earn when you graduate from law school? NALP surveyed law school graduates from 1992 to 2006 and published what the average attorney was paid.

The numbers are interesting. In 2006, the average starting salary for an attorney at a small firm (2-10 attorneys) was $50,000. The average starting salary for an attorney at a large firm (over 500 attorneys) was $135,000.

It is worth noting that the survey covers a large geographic area, so some adjustment is necessary for your local region. If you are in a small city, rural area, or city overpopulated by law schools, the average salary for your area may be less than the survey average. If you are starting in New York, or some other top paid city, the average salary for your area may be more than the survey average.

I suppose the results could be further criticized for being unscientific in one way or another. However, as a general guide to new associate salaries, the survey results are enlightening.

To see the survey results, visit NALP’s What Do New Lawyers Earn?

11-23-07 Update: This article has been updated. Please read Many Law Graduates Disappointed: Few Jobs, Low Salaries, High Stress. For help finding the law job that is right for you, visit our law jobs section.

A note from a reader:

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5 Responses to “How Much are New Lawyers’ Salaries?”

  1. Lawyer Salary Increases Compared to Law Student Debt | Law Student, Law School Says:

    [...] Law Student posted How Much are New Lawyers’ Salaries?, the author of the Build A Solo Practice blog responded with this observation: What would be an [...]

  2. How Much Do Solo Practice Lawyers Earn? | Law Student, Law School Says:

    [...] Law Student posted How Much are New Lawyers’ Salaries?, the author of the Build A Solo Practice blog pointed out that the chart failed to present salary [...]

  3. Matt roper Says:

    A Law student that starts their career out in the Govt. makes around 75-80 thousand dollars and upto 150,000 dollars. If you are a partner in a law firm you can get into the several hundred thousand dollar range. It just depends on experience and how good you are as a lawyer (Win loss record)

  4. Mateo Frank Says:

    Check out the salary charts at

  5. Minnesota lawyer salary – Minnesota salary | Move to Minnesota » Blog Archive Says:

    [...] – Minnesota LawyerLaw firm layoffs, etc. – MinnLawyer Blog – Minnesota LawyerHow Much are New Lawyer Salaries?Lawyer Salary, Salary for a [...]

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