Legal Aid Lawyer

Defend people who can't afford legal services.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$75,000 – $165,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Legal Aid Lawyers do?

As a Legal Aid Lawyer, you are a ray of hope for people with few other options. That’s because you represent cases for clients who are otherwise unable to pay for a Lawyer.

With a few exceptions, your clients as a Legal Aid Lawyer are facing criminal charges. When they appear in court, they have the constitutional right to request a Lawyer, paid for by the state. If they meet income requirements, the court appoints a Legal Aid Lawyer, to handle their cases.

With the help of aides, you gather facts, interview witnesses, submit paperwork to the courts, and correspond with opposing counsel. Because the cases are generally criminal in nature, you may visit your client in jail, facilitate bail, and coordinate court appearances.

You manage several cases at the same time, in varying stages of progress. For this reason, you need to be able to multitask. On a typical workday, you might appear in court for a hearing in the morning, create emails, memos, and other paperwork in the afternoon, and review a pile of files in the evening.

Some Legal Aid Lawyers begin in this field and later move on to other types of law. Others stay on and make a career out of defending the indigent. Either way, this position requires dedication, long hours, and a compassionate nature. The clients you represent are dependent on your understanding of the law, knowledge of the courts, and determination to build a fair case.

Should I be a Legal Aid Lawyer?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Legal Adviser, Legal Advisor, Legal Arbitrator, Legal Counsel, Legal Department Manager, Legal Examiner See More

    How to become a Legal Aid Lawyer

    Most Legal Aid Lawyers have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaf9&chl=||||master%27s+%288%25%29|doctorate+%2892%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,92
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