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How Much Does The Average Lawyer Make Per Hour?

Average U.S. law firm partner rate increases to 381 per hour Larry
Average U.S. law firm partner rate increases to 381 per hour Larry from

Lawyers are among the most highly-paid professionals in the world, commanding salaries that can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But how much does the average lawyer make per hour? The answer depends on the type of lawyer, their experience level, and the region in which they practice. Here, we'll take a look at some of the factors that play a role in determining what a lawyer earns per hour.

Types of Lawyers and Their Salary

There are many different types of lawyers, each with their own specialty. Corporate lawyers tend to make the highest salaries, followed by criminal defense lawyers, trial lawyers, and family law attorneys. Corporate lawyers earn an average of $140 per hour, while criminal defense attorneys earn $125 per hour, trial attorneys make $118 per hour, and family law attorneys bring in $95 per hour. On the lower end of the pay scale are immigration lawyers, who make an average of $80 per hour, and personal injury lawyers, who make about $72 per hour.

Experience and Education Level

The type of lawyer isn't the only factor that affects a lawyer's hourly rate. Experience and education level also come into play. Generally speaking, the more experience a lawyer has, the higher their hourly rate. A lawyer with 5 years of experience will typically make more than a lawyer with just 1 year of experience. Similarly, lawyers with higher levels of education—such as a law degree from a prestigious university—will typically make more than those with only a basic law degree.


Where a lawyer practices also plays a role in their hourly rate. Lawyers in large cities such as New York or Los Angeles earn more than lawyers in smaller cities and towns. This is because of the higher cost of living in these areas and the increased competition for jobs. For example, a lawyer in Los Angeles might charge $250 per hour, while a lawyer in a small town might charge only $75 per hour.


In addition to the type of lawyer, experience level, and region in which they practice, a lawyer's hourly rate can also be affected by their specialization. A lawyer who specializes in a specific field, such as tax law or patent law, will typically make more than a lawyer who handles a variety of cases. This is because they are more knowledgeable in that particular area and can therefore command a higher rate.

Law Firm Size

The size of the law firm that a lawyer works for can also affect their hourly rate. Lawyers working for large firms tend to make more than those working for smaller firms. This is because large firms typically have more resources and can afford to pay their lawyers higher rates. Additionally, large firms tend to have a larger client base, which means more billable hours for the lawyers.

Demand for Services

Finally, the demand for a lawyer's services plays a role in determining their hourly rate. If a lawyer is in high demand, then they can charge more for their services. For example, a lawyer who specializes in a particular area of law might be in high demand due to their expertise, and therefore be able to charge a higher rate.


The amount a lawyer makes per hour depends on a variety of factors, including the type of lawyer, their experience level, region in which they practice, and specialization. Corporate lawyers tend to make the most, while immigration and personal injury lawyers make the least. Additionally, experience, education level, law firm size, and demand for services can all factor into the hourly rate. Ultimately, the amount a lawyer earns per hour depends on the individual and their particular situation.