In the decade since the Great Recession, wages for private lawyers have risen, with the average salary now at $144,230. However, digging deeper into a collection of data released in the last year-and-a-half shows the wealth is not being shared equally across gender, region, client type and practice areas.
“There’s a fair bit of income inequality—that is not unique to the legal profession. At the very top of the profession, people are extremely well-compensated,” says Jon Lindsey, a partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa. “There’s lots of lawyers who aren’t at big firms, who aren’t partners, who aren’t rainmakers, who are making a fraction of what those folks are making. It depends on where you are in the scheme of things.”
The big winners—as in other areas of the U.S. economy—are those already winning, according to the ABA Profile of the Legal Profession, released at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August.