A Public Defender earns an average salary of $57,542 per year. Experience has a moderate effect on pay for this job.

$40,378 - $96,470
(Median)
$40K
$58K
$96K
MEDIAN: $57,542
10%
50%
90%

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$21.50 - $50.01
(Median)
$
$36
$
MEDIAN: $36.00
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
$40,378 - $96,470  
   
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).
)
$40,577 - $97,814  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 138
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
$36.00  
   
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$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).
)
$40,577 - $97,814  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 5
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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

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

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Pay by Experience Level for Public Defender

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

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Experience Affects Public Defender Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 50%

Experienced
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 15%

National Average
$58,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
52 %
Male
48 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 94%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
medical benefits
Vision: 63%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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