Best and Worst States to Be a Lawyer
The legal industry is one that is ever-changing, and lawyers today must evolve along with the industry. It is true that attorneys are still some of the top earners in the country. However, not all states offer the same benefits, and some states offer more benefits than others. Earning potential, working conditions, and industry competition are just a few of the important factors for aspiring attorneys to consider.
In addition, the costs of legal professional education tuition continue to skyrocket, and recent graduates and young professionals must overcome sizable student debt by securing a profitable location in which to practice law as a professional. A law degree may not be the golden ticket it used to be in many states, and the gap separating those who earn the most and those who earn the least is widening. In general, the country is producing many more lawyers than there are open positions, creating a struggle for new attorneys to find and fill an opening.
Best States for Earnings as a Lawyer
According to a report by The Huffington Post, on average there is a lawyer for every 247 Americans. Lawyers who work at large firms charge rates that average about $900/hour, while the lowest-paid attorneys charge about $200/hour. As far as income is concerned, Colorado comes in at #10 as a best state for lawyers, followed by Virginia at #9. Georgia and Pennsylvania claim spots 8 and 7, while Illinois, Connecticut, and New York come in at 6, 5, and 4, respectively. The top three states for lawyers according to this report are Delaware, coming in at #3, California at #2, and the District of Columbia clinching the spot as the very best state in which to be a lawyer.
Worst States for Attorneys
At the other end of the spectrum, Forbes just released a report on the worst states for litigation in 2015. This report factored in more than just income, and took into account factors such as job openings compared to available professionals, and other work-related benefits. Arkansas comes in as the 10th worst state, followed by Missouri. Mississippi, Florida, and New Mexico ring in at spots 8, 7, and 6, respectively. Alabama ranked as the 5th worst state, and California, Illinois, and Louisiana follow at ranks 4, 3, and 2. The number one worst state for litigation in the U.S.? West Virginia landed that spot for 2015’s Forbes report.
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