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Top 25 Cities for Law School Graduates
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Summary: Take a look at this list of the top 25 cities in the United States for law school graduates to be in based on housing costs, average salary, amenities, and available jobs.

Law school graduates are seeing some positive numbers after nearly ten years of struggling prospects for jobs after graduation. There is no guarantee that graduates will find a job in the legal field with a high salary but the chances are improving – partially due to the lower law school enrollment numbers.


GoodCall took a look at the numbers, finding that 86.7 percent of the class of 2014 was employed by ten months after graduation. This was the first increase since 2007. Over 60 percent of the positions were in full-time, long-term jobs with a bar passage requirement. Traditional legal jobs are still struggling but solo and small firm practices focused on corporate, real estate, patent law, litigation, and tax law are picking up the pace.

GoodCall fine-tuned their results to find which cities are the best to work based on average lawyer salary, housing prices, area amenities, and job availability and competition. It is worth noting that many of the top 25 places are small towns. A few big cities like Los Angeles and Orlando made the top 25 list but most are smaller, lesser known places. Much of this can be attributed to the housing costs being significantly lower in the small towns.

Here are the top 25 cities for law school graduates (some of these have multiple related or nearby cities listed):

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  1. Hot Springs, AR has a population of just under 100,000 but the average salary for attorneys sits at $126,140. Housing is affordable with a 7.43 percent rating on the affordability index and there are 7.16 jobs available per 1,000 lawyers.
  2. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL have a higher population of nearly 2.4 million, but housing is still affordable at 8.67 percent. The average salary is higher at $163,210. There are number of amenities in the area, scoring a 6.18 rating per 1,000 people.
  3. Myrtle Beach and Conway, SC and North Myrtle Beach, NC have a population of 431,964 for the area. The average salary is lower at $119,530 but there are 10.39 jobs available per 1,000 lawyers.
  4. Great Falls, MT has a low population at 82,278 but the salary is at $145,400. Housing is very affordable with a 6.91 percent rating.
  5. Fort Collins, CO has a population of 333,577. The salary is higher at $153,660. The area has a variety of amenities, receiving a score of 8.34 per 1,000 people. Housing is high at 9.21 percent.
  6. Brownsville and Harlingen, TX have a relatively high population of 422,156 but only has 5.03 jobs per 1,000 attorneys. The salary is average at $126,570 but housing is affordable at 6.94 percent.
  7. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA have a large population of over 13 million but also has a high salary average to go with it of $170,010. Housing is very high at 9.95 percent but the available amenities are also high at 9.99 per 1,000 people so there is plenty to do.
  8. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN have a population of 1.8 million in the area. The salary is at $125,250 and has a job availability rating of 10.41 per 1,000 attorneys. Housing is very high at 10.13 percent.
  9. Pittsburgh, PA has a high population of nearly 2.4 million and an average salary of $139,500. Housing costs are lower at 7.97 percent.
  10. South Bend, IN and Mishawaka, MI have a population of $320,098 and a salary at $122,010. Housing costs are average at 8.46 percent. Amenities and job availability sit at around 6 percent each.
  11. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX have a population of 842,304 and a lower salary at $106,030. Housing costs are average at 8.36 percent and a job availability rate at 6.36 percent per 1,000 attorneys.
  12. New Orleans and Metairie, LA have a higher population of nearly 1.3 million. The salary is average at $129,630. Housing is high at 9.53 percent but amenities are good at 6.9 per 1,000 people.
  13. College Station and Bryan, TX have a population of 249,156. The salary is solid at $135,860. Amenities and job availability are low at 4.54 and 4.8.
  14. New Bern, NC has a lower population of 126,245. The salary is high at $162,980. Housing is low at 7.01 percent but amenities and job availability are also low at 3.15 and 4.93.
  15. Burlington, NC has a population of 158,276 but a lower salary of $126,150. Housing costs are average at 8.59 percent but the job availability is where the city is strong at 22.92 positions per 1,000 attorneys.
  16. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT have a high population of 948,053 and a high salary to match at $181,860. Housing is expensive at 10.27 percent affordability but the job availability is strong at 8.94.
  17. Centralia, IL has a very low population of 38,339. The salary is lower at $109,270 but the job availability is high at 23.10 per 1,000 attorneys.
  18. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX have a high population of 6.6 million and a relatively high salary of $161,590. Amenities and job availability is low at 4.86 and 3.69.
  19. Tulsa, OK has a high population of 981,005 and a higher salary of $151,830. The housing is especially affordable at 7.29 percent.
  20. Stephenville, TX has a small population of 41,122 but a decent salary average of $127,650. Housing is very affordable at 7.51 percent and the amenities are high at 11.21 per 1,000 people but job availability is at a 0.
  21. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC have a larger population area of 874,869. Salary is high at $157,380. Housing is very affordable in the area.
  22. Morgantown, WV has a smaller population of 138,176 but a decent salary of $126,360. Housing is still affordable at 7.45 percent.
  23. Auburn and Opelika, AL have a lower population of 156,993 and a lower salary of $116,490. Housing is more expensive at 9.53 percent but job availability is very high at 12.98 positions per 1,000 attorneys.
  24. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL have a higher population of 357,305 and an average salary of $130,490. Housing is very high at 11.10 percent but amenities are high too at 7.43 per 1,000 people.
  25. Charlotte-Concord, NC and Gastonia, SC have a population of over 2.4 million for the area. Housing is high at 9.19 percent and the salary is average at $139,080. Job availability is decent at 6.34 positions at 6.34 per 1,000 attorneys.

Read these related articles to learn more:

Best Small Cities for Law School Graduates to Work In

Best Metropolitan Cities for Law School Graduates to Gravitate Towards

Law School Graduates Continue to Struggle




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