Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

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Matthies
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Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Matthies » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:45 pm

This info is from the 2008 Colorado Bar Association 2008 Economics of Law Practice Survey. Its Colorado only, but is some good data for what lawyers actually earn. 2,529 lawyers in Colorado responded to the survey with the largest repose rate coming from those in Denver (its state wide, so those living in the larger cities earned more on average than those living in the smaller cities). The 25/50/75 numbers for salary are in the report, but just mean is listed here to avoid having too many numbers. Check your local bar association website to see if they have a similar report.

Some Basic stats:

Overall Average Salaries by years of Practice [includes fulltime and part-time attorneys](p. 9-11):

Average hourly billing rate for 2008 = $225 an hour (p. 9)
Average salary for all lawyers with no experience= $70,216 (134 respondents )
Average salary for all lawyers with 1-3 years experience = $72,378.00 (260 respondents )
Average salary for all lawyers with 4-5 years experience = $87,468 (193 respondents )
Average net income for all lawyers full and part-time in Colorado = $131,758.00

Mean Attorney Net Income by Practice Size [only includes fulltime attorneys] (p. 12)

Practice Classification - (number of respondents) - mean salary

Solo, office outside of home (191) $106,717
Solo, home office (59) 96,764
Solo with 1 or more associates (32) 168,719
Space sharer (66) 107,455
Partner in firm with 2-7 partners (252) 173,900
Partner in firm with 8-29 partners (88) 217,548
Partner in firm with 30+ partners (55) 339,255
Of Counsel (53) 231,226
Associate in firm with 1 partner (67) 70,864
Associate in firm with 2-7 partners (192) 78,516
Associate in firm with 8-29 partners (79) 96,906
Associate in firm with 30+ partners (99) 133,348
Judge/Magistrate/ALJ (Full time) (42) 112,525
Judge/Magistrate/ALJ & Private Practice (6) 125,000
Arbitrator/Mediator (5) 92,946
City/County Government (97) 173,685
State Government (59) 83,927
Federal Government (27) 96,337 7
In-House Counsel (for-profit org.) (164) 165,884
In-House Counsel (not-for-profit org.) (36) 98,217
Counsel with legal aid/legal services agency (12) 62,849
Contract Attorney (6) 73,333
Law Clerk (36) 45,902

Mean Attorney Net Income By Practice Area [fulltime private practice attorney only] (p.20)

Administrative Law (5) $130,000
Arbitration/Mediation/ADR (3) 120,000
Appellate Practice (4) 129,250
Banking (7) 121,714
Bankruptcy/Receivership (24) 115,724
Business/Corporate Law (80) 143,394
Civil Rights Law (4) 84,250
Construction law (29) 133,272
Collections (9) 104,289
Communications/Technology (3) 203,333
Criminal Defense-public (2) 42,500
Criminal Defense-private (52) 95,887
Criminal Prosecution (2) 58,250
Domestic Relations/Family/Juvenile Law (164) 115,457
Elder Law (9) 81,122
Employment/Labor (defense) (26) 142,425
Employment/Labor (plaintiff) (13) 115,000
Entertainment/Sports/Gaming Law (1) 35,000
Environmental Law (11) 121,636
Estate Planning/Estate Administration (94) 116,348
General Practice (14) 97,659
Health and Hospital law (9) 170,556
Immigration and Naturalization (12) 141,786
Indian Law (4) 46,050
Insurance Law (not torts) (12) 110,208
Intellectual Property (38) 185,667
Litigation (civil/commercial) (227) 172,343
Municipal/Public Entity (28) 146,179
Natural Resources (oil & gas/mining) (22) 183,547
Pensions/Profit Sharing/ERISA (4) 375,750
Personal Injury/Malpractice (defense)( 25) 117,940
Personal Injury/Malpractice (plaintiff) (44) 153,668
Public Utilities/Regulated Industries( 2) 177,596
Public Benefits (Soc. Sec./Medicare/Medicaid) (4) 140,250
Real Property (118) 156,898
Securities (9) 183,278
Taxation (corporate) (3) 143,000
Taxation (individuals/small businesses) ( 81,500
Water (26) 131,799
Workers' Compensation( 27) 150,815

Mean Attorney Net Income By Years In Practice [all attorneys public/private] p.21

5 or < (527) $72,950
6 to 10 (324) 109,538
11 to 15 (289) 142,589
16 to 25 (439) 158,155
>25 (500) 183,316

Mean Attorney Net Income By Number of Attorneys in Firm [fulltime private practice]p.

1 (301) $100,559
2 (114) 103,803
3-6 (259) 131,714
7-10 (130) 140,562
11-20 (150) 145,243
21-50 (174) 203,444
>50( 79) 202,969

Full Report: http://www.cobar.org/repository/LPM%20D ... Survey.pdf

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98234872348
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:47 pm

City/County Government (97) 173,685

This strikes me as interesting...

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Matthies
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Matthies » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:52 pm

mistergoft wrote:City/County Government (97) 173,685

This strikes me as interesting...


I have nothing to gage this on other than what I have heard from lawyers that I know, but city/county judges in Denver are the highest paid in the state because several years ago they tied their salaries to county supervisors, so they have gotten a raise every year where most judges have not. The city/county numbers maybe be influenced by that, but you would think they would instead be grouped with Judges/ALJ rather than county employees. Dunno.

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98234872348
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:57 pm

Matthies wrote:
mistergoft wrote:City/County Government (97) 173,685

This strikes me as interesting...


I have nothing to gage this on other than what I have heard from lawyers that I know, but city/county judges in Denver are the highest paid in the state because several years ago they tied their salaries to county supervisors, so they have gotten a raise every year where most judges have not. The city/county numbers maybe be influenced by that, but you would think they would instead be grouped with Judges/ALJ rather than county employees. Dunno.

If those are judge salaries, I would be slightly less amazed than if those are just general town/county lawyers (i.e. those that write municipal/county codes or perform some other bureaucratic function).

Regardless I am impressed/envious.

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lawlover829
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby lawlover829 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:04 pm

Cool Info.

rekopter
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby rekopter » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:12 pm

Very helpful, as always. Thanks, Matthies.

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observationalist
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby observationalist » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:56 pm

mistergoft wrote:
Matthies wrote:
mistergoft wrote:City/County Government (97) 173,685

This strikes me as interesting...


I have nothing to gage this on other than what I have heard from lawyers that I know, but city/county judges in Denver are the highest paid in the state because several years ago they tied their salaries to county supervisors, so they have gotten a raise every year where most judges have not. The city/county numbers maybe be influenced by that, but you would think they would instead be grouped with Judges/ALJ rather than county employees. Dunno.

If those are judge salaries, I would be slightly less amazed than if those are just general town/county lawyers (i.e. those that write municipal/county codes or perform some other bureaucratic function).

Regardless I am impressed/envious.


I remember looking up the salaries of city attorneys in the Hudson Valley when I was working there... most were six figures and approaching 200K. Granted, Westchester County towns probably pay better on average than in other parts of the country, but it's not a bad gig.

Matthies, any advice for any 2Ls trying to find anything environmental-related to do for 2L summer in Denver? I think you may have already been contacted for advice but I'm not sure if it was for enviro stuff. They're willing to take a stab at anything paid or unpaid so long as they'll get experience and be there networking for the summer. I've got two organizations I'm having them write to through the Waterkeeper Alliance but they're both operating in the southern part of CO. Any input on how to tap into any of those 11 (seriously? Just 11???) enviro attorneys would be appreciated.

FrankReynolds
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby FrankReynolds » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:07 am

are these really averages and not medians?!

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Dingo McPhee
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Dingo McPhee » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:36 am

FrankReynolds wrote:are these really averages and not medians?!

It looks like it - the OP said "means."

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Matthies
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Matthies » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:47 am

observationalist wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
Matthies wrote:
mistergoft wrote:City/County Government (97) 173,685

This strikes me as interesting...


I have nothing to gage this on other than what I have heard from lawyers that I know, but city/county judges in Denver are the highest paid in the state because several years ago they tied their salaries to county supervisors, so they have gotten a raise every year where most judges have not. The city/county numbers maybe be influenced by that, but you would think they would instead be grouped with Judges/ALJ rather than county employees. Dunno.

If those are judge salaries, I would be slightly less amazed than if those are just general town/county lawyers (i.e. those that write municipal/county codes or perform some other bureaucratic function).

Regardless I am impressed/envious.


I remember looking up the salaries of city attorneys in the Hudson Valley when I was working there... most were six figures and approaching 200K. Granted, Westchester County towns probably pay better on average than in other parts of the country, but it's not a bad gig.

Matthies, any advice for any 2Ls trying to find anything environmental-related to do for 2L summer in Denver? I think you may have already been contacted for advice but I'm not sure if it was for enviro stuff. They're willing to take a stab at anything paid or unpaid so long as they'll get experience and be there networking for the summer. I've got two organizations I'm having them write to through the Waterkeeper Alliance but they're both operating in the southern part of CO. Any input on how to tap into any of those 11 (seriously? Just 11???) enviro attorneys would be appreciated.



Denver is a hot bed of environmental organizations. I would start with a search around Denver on the web. There are literally 100s of organizations here. For firms try Davis Graham and Stubbs and Burstein Hyatt and Farber. Also join the CBA (its free for studnets) then join the envrio section ($15), get in on thier newsleter. 11 is all that responded, oly 16% of elgibale lawyers responded.

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Matthies
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Matthies » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:49 am

Dingo McPhee wrote:
FrankReynolds wrote:are these really averages and not medians?!

It looks like it - the OP said "means."



Yea mean, the 25/50/75 numbers are in the report

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irie
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby irie » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:52 am

wish other state bars had this stuff published :-)

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Matthies
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Matthies » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:32 pm

Here is the SALT survery of law professors salries (for those schools partcipating) http://www.saltlaw.org/userfiles/SALT%2 ... 7-2008.pdf

Anonymous User
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:35 pm

There are a lot of decently paid lawyers, the problem is getting one of those jobs.... :(

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Matthies
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Re: Lawyer Salary Survey, what layers make in at least one state

Postby Matthies » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There are a lot of decently paid lawyers, the problem is getting one of those jobs.... :(


That's the rub




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