Private Attorney or Public Defender?

private attorney

For people who are pursuing a law degree and pursuing their career as a lawyer, it is the most common and important question that comes to their mind. People often get confused about whether they should pursue their career as a private attorney or public defender. In this article, Carli Kierny will tell you about everything you need to know about private attorneys and public defenders.

According to Carli Kierny, the major difference, and similarities between a Private Attorney and a public defender are given below:

Private Attorney and Public Defender: Similarities and Differences –

Public Defender

Many people choose to become public defenders to assist people who have been wrongly accused of the crimes and help them beat their charges. They assist people in small minor cases like a violation of traffic rules in big cases like felonies and other crimes. Defending someone that is accused wrongly of the crimes he or she has not done adds value to the work you are doing.


Usually, public defenders have a lot of workload on their heads as many defenders are not able to afford an attorney on their own, so the court appoints a public defender so they can have a fair chance of defending themselves. If the court appoints the public defender, he has to fight the case no matter what and whose side he or she is on. Some public lawyers are employees of the government and some of them work on 300 plus cases throughout the year, even though they earn less than the private attorney it is not a bad career option for the people that find value in the work. They are usually overworking because of such heavy caseloads some Sometimes they are given 6-10 cases at one time, which is so exhausting for any person. Public defenders are also underpaid in comparison to private attorneys; they make ⅓ of the money than private attorneys. If you can handle such a heavy workload this can be a great career option for you.

Private Attorney

Public defenders and public attorneys are similar in every way. They also work on defense cases and other cases too. If you are opting to become a public defender you are directly working and giving back to the community. Private attorneys are mostly independent and work for themselves. Hiring a private attorney is not for everyone as their charges are high and being a private attorney is not easy as you have to meet the expectations as the standard you set for yourself in the market. The income usually depends on the number of cases a private attorney attends during the time. The workload for the public attorneys also depends on the number of cases that they choose to take. They are independent and have no interference from anyone on how much they have to work. Private attorneys need a high degree and they charge on an hourly basis they work for you. It can be a great career option for those who are pursuing their career as a lawyer but also want to work independently with less workload.


Public attorneys and private attorneys are similar to each other yet opposite both of them defends people work on cases and get paid, public defenders get paid less in comparison to private attorneys, you can choose any field, but if you are focused on working for the community and you want values in the work you do regardless of getting paid less then you should become a public defender. But also it has its own negative side the workload is very much if you choose to become a public defender. And if you choose to be a private attorney, you can work on your terms your time you are independent. They also get paid more, but you have to maintain your standards in the market therefore you cannot cheat with the work rate. In the above article, Carlie Kierny talked about whether you should become a public defender or a private attorney and everything you need to know about it.