The 10 Cities With The Highest Attorney Salaries For 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 3 months ago

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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do attorneys get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for attorneys by city across America broken down by seniority level. These averages give you a very good sense of what to expect for your salary.

So to better understand how attorney salaries change across American cities, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for attorneys in the biggest cities across America.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living — because your salary goes further in Cleveland than it does in San Francisco.

So what’s the city with the best salary for attorneys after this adjustment? That would be Lawyers.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten cities for attorney salaries:

  1. San Jose, CA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Boulder, CO
  4. Houston, TX
  5. Denver, CO
  6. Dallas, TX
  7. Philadelphia, PA
  8. Seattle, WA
  9. Los Angeles, CA
  10. Montgomery, AL

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of the top 100 cities.




If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

How we determined an attorney pay by city in America

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for attorneys from the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics’.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across cities, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

This left us with enough data for 341 metro areas across the country. We then took the primary area of the metro and labeled that the ‘city’ for this analysis. So, for example, ‘Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division’ became simply Boston.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a city by the living wage in that state. As an example, the living wage in CA is $57,315 and the average attorney pay in San Jose is $207,950, so our index value would be:

$57,315 / $207,950 = $0.3

We then ranked every city on this criteria with the city with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for attorneys.

Here’s a quick look at the top ten.

1. San Jose, CA

San Jose, CA

Total Jobs: 5,610
Average Annual Salary: $207,950
Average Entry Level Salary: $91,220
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 1.13

2. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

Total Jobs: 16,490
Average Annual Salary: $183,070
Average Entry Level Salary: $77,570
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 1.53

3. Boulder, CO

Boulder, CO

Source: Public domain

Total Jobs: 820
Average Annual Salary: $162,050
Average Entry Level Salary: $83,910
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 1.01

4. Houston, TX

Houston, TX

Source: Public domain

Total Jobs: 12,670
Average Annual Salary: $175,380
Average Entry Level Salary: $74,510
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 0.96

5. Denver, CO

Denver, CO

Total Jobs: 9,650
Average Annual Salary: $156,000
Average Entry Level Salary: $70,430
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 1.47

6. Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX

Total Jobs: 13,810
Average Annual Salary: $160,860
Average Entry Level Salary: $71,660
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 0.87

7. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

Total Jobs: 18,280
Average Annual Salary: $152,100
Average Entry Level Salary: $60,950
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 1.44

8. Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Source: Public domain

Total Jobs: 8,300
Average Annual Salary: $147,670
Average Entry Level Salary: $72,720
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 0.94

9. Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Total Jobs: 37,320
Average Annual Salary: $176,020
Average Entry Level Salary: $69,050
Average Experienced Salary: $0
Location Quotient: 1.37

10. Montgomery, AL

Montgomery, AL

Total Jobs: 970
Average Annual Salary: $119,120
Average Entry Level Salary: $61,800
Average Experienced Salary: $186,490
Location Quotient: 1.33

And that’s our list of the cities with the highest salaries for attorneys

If you’re looking to start out your career as an attorney and want to get paid the most, check out these cities.

If you’re curious, here are the cities with the lowest pay for attorneys in America:

  1. Hickory
  2. Elkhart
  3. Kankakee

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cities With The Highest Salaries For Attorneys

Rank City Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 San Jose, CA $207,950 $91,220 5,610
2 San Francisco, CA $183,070 $77,570 16,490
3 Boulder, CO $162,050 $83,910 820
4 Houston, TX $175,380 $74,510 12,670
5 Denver, CO $156,000 $70,430 9,650
6 Dallas, TX $160,860 $71,660 13,810
7 Philadelphia, PA $152,100 $60,950 18,280
8 Seattle, WA $147,670 $72,720 8,300
9 Los Angeles, CA $176,020 $69,050 37,320
10 Montgomery, AL $119,120 $61,800 970
11 New Orleans, LA $122,640 $63,250 3,600
12 Austin, TX $126,120 $63,300 5,880
13 Phoenix, AZ $154,200 $70,760 7,340
14 Boston, MA $170,720 $72,250 16,460
15 Hartford, CT $147,370 $83,970 3,350
16 Chicago, IL $159,900 $62,380 26,860
17 New York, NY $172,020 $69,330 80,900
18 Milwaukee, WI $147,650 $64,880 3,740
19 Richmond, VA $147,500 $67,260 3,330
20 Las Vegas, NV $139,080 $75,880 3,840
21 Bridgeport, CT $171,690 $70,130 2,210
22 San Diego, CA $156,650 $69,090 7,390
23 Cheyenne, WY $114,400 $62,910 270
24 Beaumont, TX $144,910 $67,860 450
25 Raleigh, NC $135,700 $58,570 2,960
26 Atlanta, GA $136,890 $53,300 15,920
27 Greenville, NC $144,640 $67,730 210
28 Cincinnati, OH $135,400 $55,460 3,690
29 Sacramento, CA $133,860 $74,390 5,610
30 Wheeling, WV $111,120 $56,790 270
31 Napa, CA $157,900 $99,640 200
32 Davenport, IA $143,390 $70,200 450
33 St. Louis, MO $121,630 $55,460 6,000
34 Oxnard, CA $172,900 $65,820 1,210
35 Harrisburg, PA $120,960 $60,500 1,800
36 Morgantown, WV $124,210 $56,060 210
37 Portland, OR $127,370 $68,590 4,310
38 Jackson, MS $107,090 $60,300 1,230
39 Dover, DE $140,170 $68,110 200
40 Huntsville, AL $129,190 $62,860 570
41 Columbia, SC $119,180 $55,500 1,690
42 Birmingham, AL $127,170 $51,780 2,220
43 Fargo, ND $119,880 $68,190 370
44 Santa Fe, NM $98,280 $65,460 450
45 Fayetteville, AR $128,900 $56,870 630
46 Portsmouth, NH $146,270 $66,720 310
47 Santa Rosa, CA $154,980 $83,100 480
48 Cleveland, OH $121,920 $50,730 4,750
49 Nashville, TN $126,870 $57,110 2,950
50 Hilton Head Island, SC $121,290 $59,800 210
51 Trenton, NJ $120,950 $69,190 1,950
52 Miami, FL $145,430 $53,000 20,140
53 Durham, NC $141,830 $54,770 1,210
54 Provo, UT $123,660 $66,480 620
55 Santa Cruz, CA $158,890 $94,910 200
56 Bismarck, ND $104,680 $58,570 350
57 Kansas City, MO $122,750 $50,350 4,820
58 Sioux Falls, SD $139,800 $57,300 350
59 Flagstaff, AZ $141,610 $68,790 140
60 Salt Lake City, UT $117,600 $55,290 3,170
61 Louisville/jefferson County, KY $109,690 $52,980 2,100
62 Olympia, WA $111,430 $68,260 490
63 Knoxville, TN $122,280 $56,040 1,250
64 Canton, OH $128,320 $54,530 480
65 Omaha, NE $115,160 $60,410 1,630
66 Oklahoma City, OK $114,400 $50,540 3,950
67 Charleston, WV $95,990 $53,990 920
68 Little Rock, AR $96,500 $55,210 1,760
69 Anchorage, AK $120,820 $71,400 680
70 Lubbock, TX $134,830 $55,210 410
71 Tulsa, OK $143,080 $48,950 1,570
72 Longview, TX $127,130 $66,700 190
73 Salem, OR $117,900 $63,600 700
74 Manchester, NH $125,050 $64,610 580
75 Casper, WY $123,350 $58,960 100
76 Columbus, OH $121,030 $48,840 4,680
77 Indianapolis, IN $111,430 $54,360 4,200
78 Fayetteville, NC $120,350 $63,540 360
79 Albuquerque, NM $110,370 $54,920 1,880
80 Detroit, MI $115,140 $54,450 9,350
81 Madison, WI $122,980 $57,460 1,700
82 Pittsburgh, PA $132,330 $51,400 5,340
83 Boise City, ID $106,070 $55,000 1,230
84 New Bern, NC $127,060 $60,210 110
85 Lexington, KY $114,470 $46,680 990
86 New Haven, CT $154,930 $64,870 1,000
87 Parkersburg, WV $109,670 $53,630 110
88 Minneapolis, MN $123,970 $56,100 9,620
89 Wausau, WI $133,870 $59,320 190
90 Providence, RI $122,250 $65,110 1,790
91 Mobile, AL $117,240 $49,270 640
92 Amarillo, TX $115,190 $76,290 230
93 Springfield, IL $117,660 $58,150 490
94 Ann Arbor, MI $119,210 $66,660 450
95 Dayton, OH $109,020 $56,080 1,000
96 Tallahassee, FL $118,010 $54,420 2,190
97 Reno, NV $154,370 $54,550 680
98 Greenville, SC $118,730 $56,850 930
99 York, PA $123,050 $66,660 360
100 Pittsfield, MA $163,150 $71,970 80
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