The salaries of government and nonprofit lawyers have hardly grown at all since 2004 – when they were already pretty paltry, a new report from the legal group NALP has found.Public defenders usually start out making just $50,000 a year, while lawyers who lend their talents to civil rights groups and other nonprofits make just $45,000 a year.
Those salaries have barely kept pace with inflation in the past eight years, while the cost of law school has risen dramatically, NALP said.
But aspiring do-gooders have more to worry about than their minuscule paychecks.
Law professor Paul Campos, whose blog aims to expose the law school “scam,” calls public interest work a risky proposition.
There’s been a glut of applicants for low-paid government and nonprofit jobs because competition for jobs at law firms has gotten more competitive than ever, according to Campos.
“When I was in law school, public interest was a fall-back position,” Campos told Business Insider.
But now, he says, “There are no jobs in the public sector.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.