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Lawyers earn a median amount of $120,000 a year - https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm#tab-5

Chefs and head cooks earn a median amount of around $50,000 a year https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-a...

So I'm not so sure about your point.




There are plenty of lawyers who are basically scraping by. Advocacy lawyers (e.g. someone working for the ACLU) generally don't make that much, as far as I'm aware. They take their pay in policy victories. (Or, I guess, in the satisfaction of struggling.)

But that's less than 50% of lawyers, and it's voluntary.


The point is that there is a pretty big disparity between the big paying law jobs and the normal jobs on a frequency basis, the median earning value doesn't demonstrate this reality.

I did the research on this when I thought I wanted to go into law myself.


Wait that’s why you use the median


Lawyer salaries follow a bimodal distribution[1], that's why the median isn't very helpful. Besides showing the distribution (what the article does) the more interesting figures would be the two modes.

What might be relevant for the discussion here is that lawyer salaries have been unimodal 25 years ago but have changed over the course of time. It has been argued here on HN [2][3] and elsewhere [4] that developer salaries are bound to suffer the same fate.

[1] https://www.biglawinvestor.com/bimodal-salary-distribution-c...

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16337434

[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12588202

[4] https://danluu.com/bimodal-compensation/


Lawyers also rarely graduate with anything less than six figure debts and many are forced to live within the lifestyle/means of someone with half their salary for a decade plus because of it.




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