Child-advocacy lawyers are licensed attorneys who defend the rights of children while working in a private practice, large law firm or state's child protective services division. The salary of a child-advocacy lawyer varies considerably depending on his location, experience and employer. According to WiredKids.org, child advocacy lawyers earn an average annual salary of $33,737 as of 2011.
A child-advocacy lawyer's duty is to protect the best interest of his juvenile client. He may defend the child against criminal charges, speak on his behalf in a custody hearing or represent him as a plaintiff in a civil or criminal case. Child-advocacy lawyers have a juris doctorate degree. During law school, they usually take courses that focus on children's issues, such as custody law or juvenile law.
Because children are typically unable to pay for legal counsel on their own, child-advocacy lawyers don't earn as much as most other law professionals. A child-advocacy lawyer's average salary is much less than the average of $129,440 earned by lawyers in other industries as of 2010. Child-advocacy lawyers' earnings fall beneath the 10th percentile of lawyer salaries in the U.S.
Factors Affecting Pay
Child-advocacy lawyers working in certain locations may earn more than others in the field. Lawyers working in the District of Columbia, New York and Delaware make more money than those in other states. Child-advocacy lawyers may also earn more if they work for a private firm instead of the state.
Some child-advocacy lawyers may perform pro bono service, which is legal representation provided without compensation. Such lawyers may earn less than other lawyers working in the industry. Child-advocacy lawyers may also earn more money as they gain experience or stature within a firm.