Salaries of lawyers, who work in legal aid organizations

legal aid society attorney salary

If you are wondering how much does a legal aid lawyer make, we have all answers for you. Average salaries in legal aid societies for Staff Attorney / Lawyer in USA

legal aid society lawyer salary

If you want to know how much do legal aid attorney makes in the United States, numbers are here. We collected all information and hope it would be useful for you.

According to, staff attorney makes $63,682 per year with 294 job openings at this moment. You may imagine that this is not highly paid job and you are right, but correctional Officer makes even less - $36,192 with 777 job openings. Vice-President average salary is $152,144 in legal aid societies. So numbers don’t look very exiting? That’s right.

Payscale gives about the same estimation for average salary for the legal aid society employees:

  • Staff Attorney makes about $48k - $89k,
  • Legal Secretary - $32k - $57k,
  • Public Interest Lawyer - $45k - $89k,
  • Criminal Defense Lawyer - $53k - $205k,
  • City Attorney - $44 - $108k,
  • Attorney / Lawyer - $52k - $100k.

Such salaries could be considered as high comparing to the rest of positions in legal aid societies. For example, social worker makes $33k - $53k, intake specialist - $29k – $47k. However, don’t overestimate such income level for attorneys.

According to the Legal Aid Society – well-known nonprofit organization – law school graduate starting salary is about $53,582. It is increased to $62,730 upon admittance to the bar. However, median salary for law school graduate – first year associate at a private law firm is about $135k. As you see, difference between nonprofits and private law firm is huge.

how much money make attorney

According to Glassdoor, average base pay for Legal Aid Society Staff Attorney in New York City is $72,233 with range from $54k to $110k. It’s doesn’t include bonuses, but cash bonus doesn’t exist in many nonprofit, however, some organizations could pay up to 1k as an annual bonus. At the same time don’t be surprised about salary of over 100k if you see such available job. The New York Times tells a story about Steven Wasserman, who earns a salary of $119,248 after 35 years in Legal Aid Society in New York. It sounds like long career, but still this salary is lower than the first year associate in a private law firm.

So answering a question “how much do legal lawyers make”, you need to know one more fact: about a third of lawyers of legal aid organizations in New York have to work additional jobs like Grubhub or Uber in order to make ends meet. Of course, they do it because current salaries aren’t covering cost of life.


Peter Robert Jackson

Wonderful article. I was sure they don't make a lot of money

Alex Junior

Interesting! Only great people would choose such jobs

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