TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

NALP: Salaries Rise For Public Service Attorneys

NALP New LogoNALP, New Public Service Attorney Salary Figures from NALP Show Slow Growth Since 2004:

According to new research from NALP, salaries for public service attorneys have risen modestly since 2004, but among attorneys working in civil legal services organizations, as public defenders or local prosecuting attorneys, or as attorneys in public interest organizations, those providing civil legal services have the lowest median entry-level salary, earn the smallest increases in salary based on experience, and have seen the slowest growth in salary levels over the past 14 years. ...

The 2018 report demonstrates that, in general, practice experience brings with it relatively modest salary increases, particularly within civil legal services organizations. For example, the median entry-level salary for a legal services attorney is $48,000; at 11-15 years of experience the median is $69,500. Pay for public defenders and local prosecuting attorneys is somewhat higher, starting at about $58,000 and $56,000, respectively, and increasing to about $96,000 and $84,000, respectively, for those with 11-15 years of experience


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The 2004 median salary of $34,000 for entry-level civil legal services lawyers is worth $46,187 in real dollars, or just 3.7% less than the median 2018 salary. So that median salary has, in real dollars, only been increasing by a fraction of one percent per year since 2004 – unlike the cost of attending law school. One can eyeball similar changes for the rest of the median entry-level salaries from 2004 to 2018 in the table of the article. And as always, it’s important to note that the majority party in government wants to eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 11, 2018 12:22:10 PM