Here’s how much US legal pros earn in every state

Knowing that legal professionals love facts and figures, we thought we could appeal to this affection by analyzing five years worth of salary data recently published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We’ve translated the results of our analysis spanning 2016-2020 into graphs, tables, and lists so that you could quickly sift through the data and get the whole picture at once.

Before you dig deeper, we’d like to share some interesting insights we’ve discovered:

  • The District of Columbia has remained the highest-paying state in the country for lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants over the past five years. 
  • Utah has seen the largest growth in average salaries for legal pros: a +30.17% rise for lawyers and a +25.34% increase for paralegals and legal assistants.
  • The median hourly wage for lawyers has risen by $4.22, while the median annual wage has increased by $8,770.
  • The median hourly wage for paralegals and legal assistants has grown by $1.64, while the median annual wage has gone up by $3,420.

Lawyers

Annual mean wage for lawyers, by state (2016-2020)

StateAverage salary 2020Average salary 2019Average salary 2018Average salary 2017Average salary 2016Change 2020-2016Change (%) 2020-2016
Alabama$121,130$114,240$117,100$117,640$118,420$2,7102.29%
Alaska$116,440$115,260$121,680$122,870$123,770-$7,330-5.92%
Arizona$140,520$136,170$145,750$138,680$130,630$9,8907.57%
Arkansas$94,800$94,000$98,780$99,100$103,980-$9,180-8.83%
California$179,470$173,970$171,550$168,200$162,010$17,46010.78%
Colorado$148,330$150,630$147,560$141,200$138,130$10,2007.38%
Connecticut$158,190$154,610$153,640$152,540$151,540$6,6504.39%
Delaware$157,610
Disctrict of Columbia$197,100$192,180$192,530$189,560$182,810$14,2907.82%
Florida$139,160$130,010$128,920$127,730$131,990$7,1705.43%
Georgia$140,300$130,320$128,930$136,190$133,030$7,2705.46%
Hawaii$114,520$109,420$111,290$113,190$106,650$7,8707.38%
Idaho$108,470$105,450$99,360$98,390$91,390$17,08018.69%
Illinois$153,720$157,010$152,980$140,920$129,070$24,65019.10%
Indiana$117,820$111,790$113,360$113,850$114,270$3,5503.11%
Iowa$122,400$119,700$112,630$113,470$108,660$13,74012.64%
Kansas$117,910$110,290$109,020$104,730$106,470$11,44010.74%
Kentucky$105,130$102,980$100,100$95,890$93,020$12,11013.02%
Louisiana$112,190$108,070$105,490$101,170$105,740$6,4506.10%
Maine$98,980$106,350$107,120$102,040$106,270-$7,290-6.86%
Maryland$139,610$135,500$128,340$126,480$123,220$16,39013.30%
Massachusetts$169,120$164,800$165,610$157,450$158,710$10,4106.56%
Michigan$119,150$116,310$110,180$112,740$110,760$8,3907.57%
Minnesota$131,460$124,510$119,330$124,230$133,390-$1,930-1.45%
Mississippi$93,380$95,040$97,990$106,360$114,710-$21,330-18.59%
Missouri$111,020$109,820$113,780$115,520$116,060-$5,040-4.34%
Montana$93,220$83,030$88,600$83,150$83,330$9,89011.87%
Nebraska$118,070$112,860$108,170$110,950$107,590$10,4809.74%
Nevada$129,480$131,190$138,920$138,850$134,440-$4,960-3.69%
New Hampshire$129,590$126,220$125,890$119,650$115,410$14,18012.29%
New Jersey$151,550$147,170$139,020$140,340$144,190$7,3605.10%
New Mexico$107,700$103,290$105,910$99,510$97,100$10,60010.92%
New York$174,060$168,780$167,110$165,260$161,260$12,8007.94%
North Carolina$132,190$133,290$129,990$137,200$138,470-$6,280-4.54%
North Dakota$113,480$113,280$107,290$97,680$102,660$10,82010.54%
Ohio$128,170$124,160$121,520$113,610$113,400$14,77013.02%
Oklahoma$122,040$116,270$118,790$115,260$123,510-$1,470-1.19%
Oregon$128,160$116,860$119,500$117,810$114,730$13,43011.71%
Pennsylvania$139,120$142,890$138,610$139,050$134,600$4,5203.36%
Rhode Island$134,370$124,600$125,330$129,410$131,430$2,9402.24%
South Carolina$114,320$111,090$105,320$104,300$107,230$7,0906.61%
South Dakota$111,930$112,810$109,070$100,000$101,360$10,57010.43%
Tennessee$121,790$124,370$124,470$129,830$127,700-$5,910-4.63%
Texas$142,730$144,110$150,250$145,800$149,400-$6,670-4.46%
Utah$141,460$134,770$112,380$109,280$108,670$32,79030.17%
Vermont$100,950$104,790$107,490$105,900$103,970-$3,020-2.90%
Virginia$151,970$143,220$139,180$136,790$139,050$12,9209.29%
Washington$131,530$129,550$136,480$129,220$126,900$4,6303.65%
West Virginia$109,290$102,040$98,630$95,220$100,430$8,8608.82%
Wisconsin$124,410$129,440$130,450$123,600$111,080$13,33012.00%
Wyoming$102,810$100,090$105,600$98,090$112,710-$9,900-8.78%

Top 10 US states with the biggest growth in wages for lawyers (2016-2020)

  1. Utah: +30.17%
  2. Illinois: +19.10%
  3. Idaho: +18.69%
  4. Maryland: +13.30%
  5. Ohio: +13.02%
  6. Kentucky: +13.02%
  7. Iowa: +12.64%
  8. New Hampshire: +12.29%
  9. Wisconsin: +12.00%
  10. Montana: +11.87%

Top 10 US states with the biggest decline in wages for lawyers (2016-2020)

  1. Mississippi: -18.59%
  2. Arkansas: – 8.83%
  3. Wyoming: -8.78%
  4. Maine: -6.86%
  5. Alaska: -5.92%
  6. Tennessee: -4.63%
  7. North Carolina: -4.54%
  8. Texas: -4.46%
  9. Missouri: -4.34%
  10. Nevada: -3.69%

Paralegals and legal assistants

Annual mean wage for paralegals and legal assistants, by state (2016-2020)

StateAverage salary 2020Average salary 2019Average salary 2018Average salary 2017Average salary
2016
Change 2020-2016Change (%) 2020-2016
Alabama$49,150$47,380$45,530$44,740$45,300$3,8508.50%
Alaska$58,800$56,360$59,140$62,860$66,950-$8,150-12.17%
Arizona$52,350$50,940$48,370$49,860$50,470$1,8803.72%
Arkansas$40,420$40,820$42,050$41,270$39,700$7201.81%
California$66,250$61,810$61,240$59,720$59,130$7,12012.04%
Colorado$62,950$62,250$58,350$58,340$54,240$8,71016.06%
Connecticut$61,070$60,240$62,760$60,150$56,840$4,2307.44%
Delaware$51,870$57,140$57,290$55,120$55,420-$3,550-6.41%
Disctrict of Columbia$83,330$82,010$80,470$78,350$76,620$6,7108.76%
Florida$52,100$51,130$50,120$49,110$48,680$3,4207.03%
Georgia$54,130$54,440$54,130$53,130$52,930$1,2002.27%
Hawaii$55,520$54,530$52,280$50,740$47,400$8,12017.13%
Idaho$49,830$48,110$46,510$43,430$42,080$7,75018.42%
Illinois$60,390$59,960$57,180$56,990$55,210$5,1809.38%
Indiana$48,550$48,280$49,090$48,460$45,560$2,9906.56%
Iowa$50,520$50,140$46,990$48,130$47,920$2,6005.43%
Kansas$45,090$44,460$43,790$43,470$44,480$6101.37%
Kentucky$46,690$44,650$46,130$45,590$46,840-$150-0.32%
Louisiana$47,580$50,140$50,540$49,380$44,960$2,6205.83%
Maine$50,860$52,320$49,490$48,110$46,050$4,81010.45%
Maryland$56,710$56,890$55,950$55,360$53,740$2,9705.53%
Massachusetts$62,160$61,650$60,320$56,970$55,250$6,91012.51%
Michigan$54,350$51,790$50,590$51,000$51,570$2,7805.39%
Minnesota$58,270$57,390$56,880$56,510$55,640.00$2,6304.73%
Mississippi$48,240$45,960$44,300$43,650$46,590$1,6503.54%
Missouri$48,260$48,160$53,110$52,340$49,870-$1,610-3.23%
Montana$47,600$46,270$44,330$43,570$44,590$3,0106.75%
Nebraska$55,290$53,010$49,250$46,490$46,100$9,19019.93%
Nevada$60,140$58,110$57,600$54,670$54,700$5,4409.95%
New Hampshire$56,590$55,930$54,550$54,190$50,820$5,77011.35%
New Jersey$61,150$60,300$58,260$61,650$57,540$3,6106.27%
New Mexico$49,100$49,020$48,050$43,940$43,230$5,87013.58%
New York$62,530$58,070$58,750$58,000$59,300$3,2305.45%
North Carolina$49,540$47,370$47,210$47,700$47,910$1,6303.40%
North Dakota$47,290$46,660$45,870$46,870$45,350$1,9404.28%
Ohio$49,720$48,210$49,200$48,310$48,240$1,4803.07%
Oklahoma$47,490$46,950$48,330$47,440$43,310$4,1809.65%
Oregon$57,510$57,970$55,850$53,010$52,360$5,1509.84%
Pennsylvania$58,490$55,490$52,780$54,080$53,380$5,1109.57%
Rhode Island$55,050$52,440$50,650$52,820$56,090-$1,040-1.85%
South Carolina$46,690$46,540$45,480$44,590$43,860$2,8306.45%
South Dakota$50,410$49,130$49,560$46,220$44,560$5,85013.13%
Tennessee$48,990$49,830$49,050$49,200$49,500-$510-1.03%
Texas$57,020$54,430$56,270$54,940$54,480$2,5404.66%
Utah$57,030$52,200$49,140$46,490$45,500$11,53025.34%
Vermont$52,050$49,050$50,570$51,610$50,320$1,7303.44%
Virginia$53,400$52,520$51,600$53,030$52,640$7601.44%
Washington$63,050$60,840$60,940$60,280$59,590$3,4605.81%
West Virginia$52,680$48,580$46,080$43,650$44,040$8,64019.62%
Wisconsin$50,950$50,380$50,360$48,820$48,120$2,8305.88%
Wyoming$43,160$45,250$46,770$50,210$49,160-$6,000-12.21%

Top 10 US states with the biggest growth in wages for paralegals and legal assistants (2016-2020)

  1. Utah: +25.34%
  2. Nebraska: +19.93%
  3. West Virginia: +19.62%
  4. Idaho: +18.42%
  5. Hawaii: +17.13%
  6. Colorado: +16.06%
  7. New Mexico: +13.58%
  8. South Dakota: +13.13%
  9. Massachusetts: +12.51%
  10. California: +12.04%

Top 7 US states with the biggest decline in wages for paralegals and legal assistants (2016-2020)

  1. Wyoming: -12.21%
  2. Alaska: -12.17%
  3. Delaware: -6.41%
  4. Missouri: – 3.23%
  5. Rhode Island: -1.85%
  6. Tennessee: – 1.03%
  7. Kentucky: -0.32%

Thank you for your attention!

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