Lawyer Starting Salary: A Comprehensive Guide

  • Admin
  • May 23, 2023

Hey, Sobat! Are you considering a career as a lawyer? If so, you may be wondering what the starting salary is for this profession. In this article, we will explore the average starting salary for lawyers and what factors may affect it.

The Average Lawyer Starting Salary

According to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the median starting salary for a new associate in 2020 was $72,500. However, this number can vary based on several factors such as:

• Geographic location

• Type of law firm

• Area of practice

• Years of experience

Geographic Location

Where you practice law can heavily impact your starting salary. For example, the starting salary for a lawyer in New York City may be significantly higher than a lawyer starting in a rural area. Here’s a table of the average starting salary for lawyers in several cities across the United States:

City Average Starting Salary
New York City $190,000
Los Angeles $165,000
Chicago $160,000
Houston $150,000
Miami $145,000
Dallas $143,000
Seattle $140,000
Atlanta $135,000

Type of Law Firm

The type of law firm you work for can also affect your starting salary. Large law firms, also known as “Big Law,” typically offer higher salaries than smaller firms. Here’s a table of the average starting salary for lawyers based on the type of law firm:

Type of Law Firm Average Starting Salary
Large Law Firms (500+ attorneys) $190,000
Midsized Law Firms (50-500 attorneys) $95,000
Small Law Firms (2-50 attorneys) $68,000
Solo Practitioners $49,000

Area of Practice

The area of law you practice in can also impact your starting salary. Some areas of law, such as corporate law or intellectual property law, tend to offer higher salaries than others. Here’s a table of the average starting salary for lawyers based on their area of practice:

Area of Practice Average Starting Salary
Corporate Law $170,000
Intellectual Property Law $160,000
Tax Law $115,000
Criminal Law $58,000
Family Law $55,000

Years of Experience

As with any profession, the longer you practice law, the higher your salary will likely become. Here’s a table of the average salary for lawyers based on their years of experience:

Years of Experience Average Salary
0-3 years $81,000
4-9 years $117,000
10-14 years $150,000
15+ years $185,000


In summary, the starting salary for lawyers can vary greatly depending on several factors. The median starting salary according to NALP is $72,500, but this number can be much higher or lower depending on the geographic location, type of law firm, area of practice, and years of experience. We hope this guide has been helpful in giving you an idea of what you can expect as a new lawyer.Until next time, Sobat! Keep exploring and learning!