Criminal Defense Lawyer Salary in 2021 【Exact Salary】 | CareerExplorer

The average salary of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in 2021 is $91,027 per year.

criminal defense lawyer salary

The recorded average salary a criminal defense lawyer makes in a year is $91,027. They are getting the highest salary of $104,724 to a lower salary of $77,803 per year.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Salary in 2021:

EXPERIENCEMONTHLY SALARY
Less than 2 years$77,803
More than 2 years$91,027
More than 5 years$104,724

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How Much Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Make?

In 2021, the average Criminal Defense Lawyer’s salary is $91,027. But this figure ranges between $77,803 and $104,724. The salary of a criminal defense lawyer depends upon factors like education, additional certifications, and years of experience. A fresh graduate from a law school and as a criminal lawyer starts their journey as a junior associate at a law firm, a prosecutor, or a public defender. 

Prosecutors are lawyers who defend the case for the state and against criminals. The criminal prosecutor’s salary on average is $60,914 in 2021. This figure can go as low as $54,803 and high up to $75,458. Public defenders are a sub-type of criminal defense lawyers. They work to defend citizens accused of wrongdoings and are unable to pay for private lawyers. These criminal lawyers make a little more than prosecutors. In 2021, public defenders earned a yearly salary of $67,172. 

Criminal Defense Lawyer Salary in Different States of United States 2021:

States Annual Salary
San Francisco, CA $103,784
Washington, DC $91,332
Miami, FL $88,616
Chicago, IL $86,570
Boston, MA $92,560
New York, NY $109,506
Dallas, TX $90,436

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Most of the criminal defense lawyers are government employees and earn a good enough salary. While a few of them are private attorneys and normally charge by the hour, day, or case. Criminal defense lawyers have a hectic job and have to work on multiple cases at one time, and every case might be on a different level of the criminal process. 

How To Become a Criminal Lawyer?

Having a bachelor’s degree is the most important part of becoming a lawyer, however, there are no such recommended courses to get into a law school. However, courses that help in developing your research and communication skills might help. The next step is to appear for the LSAT as it is a requirement for law school applications. On average, law school study takes three years to end after which, you can earn a Juris Doctor degree. At this stage, the individuals decide what majors they should take. The last step is to pass the bar state exam and earn a license to practice in a specific state of the U.S. 

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What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do?

The job of a criminal defense lawyer comprises representing the defendant in the criminal court system. A defense attorney is also responsible for making arrangements for hearings, conferences, trials and sentence hearings. They must defend their clients, either adults or juveniles at the federal state. If the lawyers need to represent the clients in federal court, firstly they must apply for admission to practice in that court. Lawyers need to counsel their clients that would be in their best interests. 

Final Words

The study period of criminal defense lawyers never stops, they seek additional training and study further to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons. Criminal lawyers have extensive knowledge of the law, which helps them to protect their client’s rights. However, experience and climbing the ladder of having the most successful cases will have a positive impact on a criminal defense lawyer’s salary. 

Written by Sansa Jacob

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