Average Public Defender Salary

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The average salary for a Public Defender is $61,324.
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United States (change)
$43k - $97k
$26 - $10k
Total Pay
$42k - $100k

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Job Description for Public Defender

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.

Job Satisfaction for Public Defender

3.9 out of 5
Highly Satisfied

Popular Employer Salaries for Public Defender

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Popular Skills for Public Defender

Skills in Criminal, Client Interaction, Negotiation and Writing Procedures & Documentation are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Legal Research.

Pay by Experience Level for Public Defender

An entry-level Public Defender with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $50,179 based on 21 salaries. An early career Public Defender with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $51,787 based on 88 salaries. A mid-career Public Defender with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $69,973 based on 36 salaries. An experienced Public Defender with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $74,709 based on 39 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $77,740.
Employees with Public Defender in their job title in Los Angeles, California earn an average of 42.6% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in New York, New York (26.7% more) and Las Vegas, Nevada (19.0% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Seattle, Washington (13.6% less) and Phoenix, Arizona (3.8% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 213 survey responses.
Entry Level
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career

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