15:44, July 10 144 0 abajournal.com

2018-07-10 15:44:05
Median pay for public service lawyers rises modestly, NALP reports

Salaries for public service lawyers continue to slowly increase, but their pay is still below that of lawyers in private practice, according to a salary survey by the National Association for Law Placement.

Among public service lawyers, pay was lowest for lawyers in civil legal services, according to a NALP press release. Median pay in 2018 ranged from $48,000 for a new legal-services lawyer to $69,400 for a legal services lawyer with 11 to 15 years of experience. In 2004, the median for those categories was $34,000 and $51,900.

Median pay for first-year associates in private practice in 2017 was much higher, even in smaller firms. The median was about $90,000 for new associates at firms of fewer than 50 lawyers, and $115,000 at firms with 51 to 100 lawyers. Many large firms offered starting pay of $180,000 last year, which has been raised to $190,000 at many firms this year.

Lawyers in other public interest positions, including many experienced lawyers, also made less money in 2018 than associates in private practice.

Entry-level lawyers who work for public interest organizations made a median salary of $50,300, while those with 11 to 15 years of experience made $80,500. In 2004, the amounts were $36,700 and $64,000.

Entry-level local prosecuting attorneys made a median salary of $56,200, while those with 11 to 15 years of experience made $84,400. In 2004, the amounts were $40,000 and $69,300.

Entry-level public defenders made a median salary of $58,300, while PDs with 11 to 15 years of experience made $96,400. In 2004, the median amounts were $39,000 and $65,000.

The survey was based on responses from nearly 350 organizations, and reflected the salaries of lawyers who primarily practiced law.