Not every assistant attorney general salary is the same, nor is every attorney general salary the same. Each state has their own individual set of budgetary rules and requirements for attorneys to function. In many cases, lawyers begin their legal jobs by accepting lower-than-average salaries as a way to “learn on the job”. It often takes time for law students to realize the differences between states’ statutes of entry, thus it is often easier for them to accept salaries that are considerably lower than the norm. While this may seem like good practice, there are some drawbacks to low salary law jobs. Here are some reasons why you may prefer to be paid substantially more than the national average:
Low-salaried attorneys tend to specialize in a narrow area. The very nature of a solo practitioner’s work means that she or he must have significant experience in the area of law in which he or she is practicing. Specializing within a narrow field reduces the need to learn about the general principles of criminal law and civil procedure. Specialization is another reason why attorneys general earn much less than their national peers.
Attorney general salary salaries also tend to be quite low compared with other specialties. Unlike doctors, who command high single-digit salaries, attorney generals generally only see increases in their annual compensation once they reach six years of practice. While this can be desirable for many barristers, some states have made it illegal to pay attorney generals and other legal professionals excessively low wages, in an effort to reduce the cost of training new attorneys.
Attorney general salary figures also vary significantly by location. Solicitor general salaries are much higher or lower in New York City and Los Angeles than in Texas, where they are often lower than the national average. A number of factors account for this disparity, including differences in local tax structures, access to talented attorneys in certain areas of the country, the cost of living in different cities, and the availability of good lawyers. While some argue that attorney general salary figures reflect the average salaries for professionals in similar fields, there is no clear agreement on this. Some feel that the overall average should be based on the number of years that a lawyer has been practicing, since experience increases with age.
One factor that accounts for the relatively high average attorney general salary is the relatively limited number of years of legal education required for a practicing attorney general. Though attorneys must meet some form of ethical and professional responsibility while working, they are not required to complete any specific degree programs. Instead, most attorneys become licensed in one state and then practice law in the states in which they have licensed licenses. Any attorney general may also work as a legal assistant, which does not require completion of any degree programs. Because these assistants do not require any licensing, their salaries will almost always be lower than those of attorneys.
General attorneys earn about forty thousand dollars a year, according to the American Bar Association. The highest attorney general salary in recent years has been around sixty thousand dollars a year. The median salary is around forty thousand dollars and can vary across different states. In addition to the annual salary, the top lawyers in the United States reportedly make between six and seven hundred thousand dollars a year. A number of other professionals also earn very large salaries, including medical doctors, accountants, and business executives.