Overpaid Lawyers? 4,300 Govt Attorneys Earn More Than Governors

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 10, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Did you know that about 77,000 federal employees make more than the governors of their respective states? Apparently, around 4,300 of these federal employees are lawyers.

Overpaid lawyers. How many attorneys have heard jokes and other snide comments at the expense of their salaries?

Well, now you can add another snide comment to the list - attorneys can make more than the governor of a state.

Though, to be honest, attorney salaries have always been high. Is it surprising that some federal attorneys might be making some serious cash? Not really.

After all, private sector salaries for attorneys start off at $160,000 for those BigLaw kids. And, with such a large monetary incentive for graduates from top law schools or graduates with top grades, it makes sense that the feds had to up the ante - and the salary - for at least the more experienced attorneys.

Governor salaries are also not exactly way up there - they can range from $70,000 to $212,000, with California having the highest governor's salary, reports the ABA Journal.

Despite the publicity, attorney salaries for federal jobs are still considered somewhere "in between." How many attorneys do you know who went to work for the federal or state government did so for the money?

Probably very few.

And, besides attorneys, other federal employees were also paid higher than their respective governors. Namely, medical personnel, technology specialists, librarians, air traffic controllers, park rangers, chaplains... and an interior designer, reports the ABA Journal.

So, if you want to make more than a governor, you could take on a variety of jobs. Lawyer. Interior designer. The options really do seem endless.

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