How Much Do Federal Attorneys Earn?

Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Federal attorneys work for the U.S. Department of Justice, or DOJ, and should be a new school of law graduates or experienced attorneys. They add both civil and criminal divisions to represent a good range of departments and divisions, from taxes to white-collar crime to smuggling and prosecuting terrorism suspects. U.S. attorneys add every state and their salaries vary by their assignment, location and knowledge. Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer  is used for taking up criminal cases.

Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer


Attorneys working for the federal government earned a mean $129,440 per year, or $62.23 per hour, as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their pay was the highest among all federal legal occupations, which averaged $102,940 annually, or $49.49 hourly. The DOJ states that two pay scales apply to lawyers. Those working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office are on one pay scale. All other attorneys are paid from the overall Services pay scale employed by most federal employees and administered by the Office of Personnel Management. Both scales use location and knowledge to work out salary ranges. Federal attorneys are used to taking complete care of federal accounts and also they used to work for the government so they get paid quite pretty.

Attorney’s Offices

Title 28 of the U.S. Codes authorizes attorney salaries for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Because salaries vary by position, no general tables are published. However, job postings give some idea of the pay. As of Sept. 24, 2012, an assistant U.S. attorney working for the agency in the Eastern District of California was recruited at a pay range of $54,478 to $144,189 per year. The position presumed to graduate from an accredited school of law, licensing within the state of California, membership in good standing of the bar from any jurisdiction, and a minimum of three to 5 years of litigation experience after school of law.

Other Agencies

For attorneys hired under the GS pay scale, those with a law degree received a basic annual salary of $50,287 as of 2012. One year of post-law school judicial clerkship experience brought in $60,274 per year, and at two to three years of experience, the yearly salary was $71,674. Because costs of living vary by city, lawyers also receive locality adjustments, which are increases to the essential salary. For example, new lawyers working in Washington, D.C., earned $62,467 annually, a locality increase of over 24 percent. For candidates with two to three years of experience, the locality increases for the same area amounted to a yearly salary of $89,033.


As a part of their total compensation, federal attorneys receive equivalent benefits thanks to all government employees. This starts with a minimum annual leave of 13 days a year, rising to 26 days per annum after 15 years of service. Sick leave accumulates at 13 days annually and employees receive 10 paid holidays annually. They can also enrol in health insurance plans with costs that are partially covered by the government. During retirement, the Federal Employee Retirement Systems offer income from three sources: Social Security, a basic annuity and therefore the Thrift Savings Plan