Legal - Microblog



Distinct Groups (9):
Employment: 1,075,520
Mean Hourly Wage: $50.95
Mean Annual Wage: $105,980
Largest Employment Category--Lawyers—619,530
Smallest Employment Category--Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators6,300
Wage Estimates for the entire group can be found here.  


The Legal occupation profiles compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in May 2016 and modified in March 2017) include specific information about nine distinct occupational job types

Explore the qualifications and nature of each job type through links on this page and throughout the site.

Fast Facts: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) estimates that 1,075,520 are employed in this occupational group earning the “mean annual wage” (as defined below) of $105,980.

If you are interested in assessing long-term trends and comparing the Bureau’s annual surveys beginning in 1988 see here

In general, the “mean” is the sum of the total values (e.g., wages) in the data set or survey divided by number of values (while the “median” is the middle value in same the sequence. The term “mean annual wage” (or “MAW”) is calculated by multiplying the mean hourly wage as determined by the BLS by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours. So, for example, the Legal group’s mean hourly wage of $50.95, multiplied by 2,080, results in the mean annual wage of $105,980.

Did you know?  Three of the Top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs in this occupation are in Florida: #2 Tallahassee, FL (20.31 per 1,000 jobs), #5 Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division (15.04 per 1,000) and #8  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL Metropolitan Division (14.10 per 1,000).

 Highest Paid (mean annual wage) 

 Lowest Paid (from the lowest) 

For the entire list of mean annual wages for this occupation (from highest to lowest), see here

Sources: In addition to specific citations noted, supplementary source materials include the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Highest to Lowest Paid Salary (Full List)

By the Numbers: The complete list from the Highest to the Lowest paid:

Job Title (# of members) Annual Mean Wage 
1.      Lawyers (619,530) $139,880
2.      Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates (27,210) $115,460
3.      Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, & Hearing Officers (14,540) $95,240
4.      Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators (6,300) $72,730
5.      Legal Support Workers, All Other (44,960) $66,170
6.      Judicial Law Clerks (13,410) $59,840
7.      Court Reporters (17,700) $56,940
8.      Paralegals and Legal Assistants (277,310) $53,180
9.      Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers (54,560) $51,490


What's Hot

What’s Hot: First, Lawyers at $139,880 and then Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates at $115,460 take the top spots on the Best Paid List in the Legal group. Perry Mason would also be amazed that Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers average $95,240.

What’s Not: In 2008, Judicial Law Clerks, headed up the Least Paid list at $40,580 as they awaited their recruitment to the top-paying law firms. That’s dramatically changed as at a MAW of $59,840, Clerks have relinquished the lowest paid spot to Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers, who are at $51,490.

Wage Estimates for the entire group can be found here.  

GPS Your Career

GPS Your Career: According to the BLS, the States with the highest employment level in the Legal occupational group are:

California (124,150 workers)
New York (108,300)
Florida (84,040)
Texas (83,070)
Illinois (44,870)

States with the highest concentration of jobs are:

District of Columbia (55.46 per 1,000 jobs)
New York (11.90)
Delaware (11.23)
Florida (10.22)
Virginia (9.62)

The top paying States for this occupation are below.  In a word, the District of Columbia dominates in terms of job concentration and top paying jobs in this occupation.

District of Columbia ($162,710 annual mean wage)
New York ($131,770)
California ($125,150)
Massachusetts ($122,330)
New Jersey ($114,100)