The National Center of State Courts recently published its 2023 rankings of judicial salaries, with California and DC trading #1 and #2 spots. At a mean national judicial salary of around $174,000, by starting out in a modest condo and scrimping and saving, a judge in California might achieve the dream of homeownership just before retiring into private ADR.
But Troy Shelton notes that his home state of North Carolina ranks 45th with the mean judicial salary around $152,000. Meanwhile, North Carolina is flanked by states each averaging greater salaries by $40-50k.
Some interesting facts about judicial salaries:
💲 Very few Big Law attorneys, where pay greatly exceeds judicial pay, become judges.
💲 Cost of living is tricky to account for—should metro-area judges be paid more then rural-area judges just because of where they live?
💲 In 2021 the national median 1st-year associate salary was $165,000, rivaling judicial salaries—something seems wrong here.