The average salary for a Criminal Defense Lawyer is $80,515.
Criminal Defense Lawyer by
Tell us about your job and pay factors like skills and education Find your market worth with a report tailored to you Negotiate your pay with confidence
What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?
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).
Some employers may promote interns from within an organization to become criminal defense lawyer…Read more
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.
Job Satisfaction for Criminal Defense Lawyer
Explore the most common career paths for Criminal Defense Lawyer. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner
to research other job paths.
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Criminal Defense Lawyer Job Listings
What Are Popular Skills for Criminal Defense Lawyers?
Skills in Criminal and Defense Systems are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Litigation Case Management, Public Speaking and Negotiation.
What is the Pay by Experience Level for Criminal Defense Lawyers?
An entry-level Criminal Defense Lawyer with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $65,573 based on 33 salaries. An early career Criminal Defense Lawyer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $73,893 based on 110 salaries. A mid-career Criminal Defense Lawyer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $88,510 based on 74 salaries. An experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $103,861 based on 67 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $96,732.
Pay Difference by Location
Employees with Criminal Defense Lawyer in their job title in Boston, Massachusetts earn an average of 45.3% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in New York, New York (21.3% more) and Los Angeles, California (13.0% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Dallas, Texas (13.1% less) and Washington, District of Columbia (1.6% less).
Years of Experience
This data is based on 329 survey responses.