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Average Attorney Salary Might Surprise New Lawyers
Today’s Hot Take comes to us from AboveTheLaw.com, “Average Attorney Salary Might Surprise New Lawyers (And Judges’ Average Earnings Are Even Lower)” by Jonathan Wolf. Wolf writes:
“I gave a little presentation to my local bar association a couple weeks ago. Among other things, I talked about attorney salaries and how they differ regionally, and I sifted through a lot of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Turns out the BLS gathers a lot of helpful information about lawyers.
Really, it’s not all bad news. The BLS estimated mean annual wage for lawyers is a respectable $144,230.
Of course, like a lot of averages, this one is inflated by the top end of the market. The median annual wage for lawyers, $120,910, is substantially lower than their mean annual wage. On the Cravath Scale, some benchmark for legal salaries – top wage is $182,490 – bottom is $58,220.” That’s a wide gap with wide expectations. A small percentage of lawyers at the top throw off the numbers – so you may end up making $58k a year?
You can’t really fault the industry here, and as you walk the path there is plenty of room to repeat the mantra, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
We think this idea of introspection and taking stock of oneself is important. If you are searching for greater pay or greater responsibilities or a higher level of satisfaction, start with you.
Honestly though, issues like this aren’t exclusive to lawyers. People talk about the wage gap – and this article illustrates it to a certain extent, but there is also income consolidation, which people look at like a mystical economic theory, but the fact is when there’s less money to go around, people get paid LESS, and they don’t get raises that keep up with the cost of living (which coincidentally goes up because of trade wars, taxes etc)
Being a lawyer ain’t the ticket to easy street it used to be and it takes longer – if you stay in place – to build up that income. Might be time to start thinking about it like those of us in the creative/marketing end of things, where if the fastest way to get better positions and higher wages it to change jobs at regular intervals.
When You Need To Find A Needle In A Haystack
With more than a dozen years of legal recruiting experience, Steven Lynch is the go-to name law firms and companies speak when they need assistance recruiting attorneys whose experiences and abilities match their requirements, culture and objectives.
Keeping the grass green on both sides, Steven also helps high-level legal talent at all ages and stages of their careers, find ideal positions where they can thrive and achieve.
Steven is a frequent writer and media commentator on legal hiring and recruiting issues, has been featured in many industry trade publications, including HR.com, UpJourney, and SmarterCX, and before all that, he served as the Vice President of the American Arbitration Association.
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