It’s Good to Be a Lawyer — Even Today

Photo by slgckgc (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Within some circles, it’s become fashionable to knock the legal profession: Law school is too expensive, the jobs require too many hours and the market for legal services is becoming too commoditized — to repeat just a few of the more common complaints.

For now, being a lawyer still looks pretty good.

Case in point: This week, the career website Glassdoor Inc. reported that lawyers were the second-highest paid profession in 2015, behind only physicians:

Glassdoor graphic

The graphic above shows the 25 highest-paying professions in the U.S. based on reviews that Glassdoor took from the beginning of 2015 until January of this year, according to a Bloomberg article on the study. The article noted, “the more skills a role requires, the better chance it has at commanding a higher salary.”

So maybe law school is still worth it? Even though futurists like Richard Susskind believe artificial intelligence technology eventually will supplant much of the work currently performed by human lawyers, this is not expected to have an impact until the 2020s. It seems then that the legal profession is still within a rarefied group of high-paid professions.

To be exact, the median base salary for lawyers listed on Glassdoor was $144,500 — higher than software development managers, software architects, IT managers, data scientists and a boatload of other professions.

Glassdoor compiled the data based on reports by U.S. employees on its site.

It also noted that long-term job satisfaction is tied less to compensation than it is to things like culture and value, opportunities and trust in senior leadership. So if you’re a lawyer and you’re not satisfied at your current position, there were close to 10,000 job openings for lawyers on Glassdoor.

For more legal resources, visit Bloomberg Law.