Study reveals the real-life salary of Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods today

real-life salary Elle Woods
Credit: DFree /

Something for the weekend: Following the announcement of a prequel to the film Legally Blonde, a study by digital marketing firm Hennessey Digital has revealed what the real-life salary of lawyer and movie protagonist Elle Woods, played by Reece Witherspoon (pictured above), would be today.

The firm first created a list of famous fictional lawyers, then used data from Glassdoor to determine each character’s average annual salary based on their specific role and location. It also used an inflation calculator to work out each character’s average salary when their TV show or film premiered or was set. This determined the ranking of the characters with the highest average salaries.

According to the research, Elle Woods would realistically earn an annual salary of $139,870 (£110,032) as a trainee lawyer in 2024, if she decided to stay in Massachusetts following her graduation from Harvard Law School. If she chose to return to her home state of California to train, she would earn an average salary of $144,635 (£113,781) in real life.

In 2001, when Legally Blonde was released, she would have earned an average salary of $78,414.11 (£61,686.81) in Massachusetts or $82,289.49 (£66,308.86) in California.

Meanwhile, the character Harvey Specter from TV show Suits ranked top of the list of richest fictional lawyers. As a named partner at a New York law firm, he would earn an average salary of $1,437,000 (£1,130,459) in 2024.

Other high-ranking lawyers include Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City, who would earn an average salary of $462,500 (£363,839) as a corporate attorney in New York, and Chuck McGill and Howard Hamlin from TV show Better Call Saul, who would both earn $758,299 (£596,538).

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Jason Hennessey, chief executive officer of Hennessey Digital, said: “Some of the most iconic characters in film and television series are lawyers, which is why it’s so fascinating to learn how much these characters would realistically earn in 2024. It’s also enlightening to see how much location can impact a person’s salary, even in the fictional world.”

These sound like great salaries to us at Employee Benefits, perhaps we should consider changing profession!