A Criminal Defense Lawyer earns an average salary of $80,655 per year. Pay for this job rises steadily for more experienced workers, but goes down significantly for employees with more than 20 years' experience.

$42,048 - $177,539
$42K
$81K
$180K
MEDIAN: $80,655
10%
50%
90%

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$17.45 - $257.60
$17
$65
$260
MEDIAN: $65.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$42,048 - $177,539  
   
Bonus
$95.79 - $16,281  
Profit Sharing
$91.14 - $84,580  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,230 - $215,300  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 111
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$90$180$270
Hourly Rate
$17.45 - $257.60  
   
Hourly Tips
$7.50  
Overtime
$40.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$180K$360K$540K
Bonus
$95.79 - $16,281  
   
Profit Sharing
$91.14 - $84,580  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,230 - $215,300  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 15

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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Job Description for Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense lawyers are tasked with representing their clients in court. After conducting legal research, they must argue their client's case in front of a judge, prosecutors, and/or jury, and aspiring criminal defense lawyers must be members of the Bar in their states of employment. Employers prefer those who graduated from a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

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Criminal Defense Lawyer Tasks

  • Present cases in court representing the local, state or federal government.
  • Review reports, evidence, and conduct research.
  • Question witnesses, victims or others involved in the case.

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Pay by Experience Level for Criminal Defense Lawyer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Key Stats for Criminal Defense Lawyer

Gender

Female
41 %
Male
59 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 14 votes.
026
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
20%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Criminal Defense Lawyer Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

National Average
$88,000

Late-Career
up arrow 7%

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 14 votes.

Gender

Female
41 %
Male
59 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 38%
vision benefits
Vision: 31%
dental benefits
None: 35%
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