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Public Service Salaries

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Public service is a calling for many, and a career that provides countless rewards. However, in recent years, research on employment trends has shown an alarming shortage of public sector and social justice jobs that provide a reasonable standard of living for those with educational debt.

The median entry-level salary for an attorney from the class of 2008 at a civil legal services organization was $40,000.

  • The median entry-level salary for public defenders was about $47,400.
  • State and local prosecuting attorneys started around $47,800.
  • The median entry-level salary was $41,000 for attorneys in public interest organizations, such as those dealing with immigrant or civil rights issues.

Source: NALP Public Sector and Public Interest Attorney Salary Report, 2008