A Public Defender earns an average salary of $58,690 per year.

$40,605 - $96,717
$41K
$59K
$97K
MEDIAN: $58,690
10%
50%
90%

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$19.65 - $49.59
$30
MEDIAN: $29.50
50%

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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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$40,605 - $96,717  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,067  
Profit Sharing
$1,455  
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).
)
$40,550 - $98,068  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 136
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$29.50  
   
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$33K$66K$99K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,067  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,455  
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).
)
$40,550 - $98,068  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 6

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Public Defender

Public defenders are lawyers who represent individual defendants for cases ranging from felonies and misdemeanors to traffic cases. Usually, a person must prove to the court the inability to pay a lawyer’s fees, and so the lawyer is paid by the government either as a regular employee or on a per-case basis depending on the needs of the state or municipality.

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Public Defender Tasks

  • Represent clients in cases involving felony or misdemeanor charges, delinquent youth, mental health or disability issues, and abuse or neglect.
  • Conduct research using law libraries or computer databases and develop strategic plans.
  • Draft legal documents and advise clients on legal matters.

Public Defender Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Public Defender

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

Key Stats for Public Defender

Gender

Female
45 %
Male
55 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 4 votes.
043
Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
13%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Public Defender Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 47%

Experienced
up arrow 27%

Mid-Career
up arrow 17%

National Average
$59,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 4 votes.

Gender

Female
45 %
Male
55 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 70%
vision benefits
Vision: 61%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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