By Jimmy Isaac

In an area where per capita income lags behind most other cities, Longview attorneys are among the highest paid in the nation, a new report shows.

The Longview metropolitan statistical area’s 180 lawyers made an average of $153,870 in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Longview area ranked No. 12 among 363 markets in the nation, and second-highest in Texas behind Houston, where lawyers earned on average about $10,000 more.

Houston and Longview are among only 15 metro areas nationally where attorneys averaged at least $150,000 for the year. The national average in 2011 was $130,490, and the average pay was below $100,000 in 45 percent of U.S. markets, according to

Other Texas markets in the national top 25 were No. 16 Odessa ($149,410) and No. 25 Dallas-Plano-Irving ($142,800).