According to the LawyerEdu.org website, the average salary of a criminal lawyer is $78,500 annually, with a salary range of $45,000 to $130,000. Public defenders and prosecuting district attorneys both belong to the public employee criminal lawyer community. The SimplyHired careers website says assistant public defenders earn an average 2014 salary of $46,000 while assistant district attorneys earn about $55,000. Criminal lawyers in individual private practices earn the lowest salaries among lawyers, however.
Defense Versus Prosecution
In a 2010 survey, the National Association for Law Placement found that salaries for criminal defense lawyers in established law firms ranged from $80,000 to $172,500. NALP's 2012 survey of public interest attorneys says that public defenders earned average salaries of $50,500 to $78,600. Assistant district attorney salaries from $62,800 to $72,600, according to NALP. Nationally, SimplyHired says average salary for all criminal defense attorneys, public and private, is $58,000 as of 2014.
Criminal Lawyer Salaries by Location
According to the Salary Expert website, a New York criminal defense lawyer in private practice earns a 2014 salary of about $118,000 while one in Abilene, Texas makes about $63,000. As of 2014, the Texas Tribune website says the salary range for non-management prosecuting attorneys in Dallas County is $53,783 to $119,055. By contrast, the starting salary for a prosecuting attorney in the Miami-Dade County region of Florida is $40,000 as of 2014.
- National Association for Law Placement: New Findings on Salaries for Public Interest Attorneys
- Salary Expert: Criminal Defense Lawyer Salaries
- SimplyHired: Average Criminal Defense Attorney Salaries
- LawyerEdu.org: Criminal Lawyer Career
- SimplyHired: Average Assistant Public Defender Salaries
- SimplyHired: Average Assistant District Attorney Salaries
- National Association for Law Placement: New Public Interest and Public Sector Salary Figures from NALP Show Little Growth Since 2004
- The Texas Tribune: District Attorneys Office Salaries at Dallas County
- Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney, 11th Judicial Court: Starting Salaries
- Photo Credit IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images