What can you expect to make if you were fortunate enough to get into Yale Law School, consistently the top school in U.S. News’ rankings?
Not surprisingly, it all depends on what a JD Yalie does with the degree. Many work in the most lucrative area of private practice, ranging from one-person offices to major firms. Then, there are graduates who venture into jobs in federal, state and local government, including Congress, the Office of the President, and the judiciary. A few others go for teaching law or corporate jobs, and some enter public service settings.
Overall, the average pay for a JD from Yale hit $115,160 in 2016, the latest year for which data is currently available. That is an 8.4% jump from the year-earlier average of $106,211 a nice The median starting pay was $70,000, up slightly from $68,665 in 2015.
PAY FOR GRADS GOING INTO PRIVATE PRACTICE ROSE $20K TO $180K
The highest starting salaries went to law grads who went into private practice. For the Class of 2016, the median starting salary was a hefty $180,000, up $20,000 from the previous year when the median was $160,000. The average private practice salary was $175,947, up from $157,663.
These numbers are fairly uniform across all of the very best law schools in the country where the $180,000 median for a private practice job is exactly the same at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago and UPenn, among others.
After those lucrative private practice jobs with big law firms, JDs who enter judicial clerkships pull down the highest median salaries: $64,562. That’s a good deal more than grads who move into government or public interest jobs who in 2016 reported median pay of $53,500 NS $45,000. For the few grads who went into academic positions, starting pay also was low: a median of $47,000.
The Yale employment report was based on 194 graduates who were employed and 187 who responded with salary data.