An assistant district attorney can be a victim's best friend and a criminal's worst nightmare. ADAs work under the direct supervision of a locality’s district attorney. ADAs represent the state’s or federal government’s interests in court proceedings. Since ADAs are employees of governments, their salary is regulated by public policy. The salary of an ADA varies according to experience, length of service, geographic location and the hiring entity.
SimplyHired.com lists the average salary for an ADA as $55,000, as of May, 2014. In comparison, the jobs website reports that the national average salary for a DA is $59,000, as of May, 2014.
The salary for an ADA varies by location. As of May 2014, SimplyHired lists the average salary for an ADA working in Dallas, Texas, as $56,000. The average salary for an ADA working in Santa Clara, California, is $73,000. The average salaries for ADAs working in Washington, D.C., and Nashville, Tennessee, are $74,000 and $52,000 respectively. An ADA working in New York, New York, can expect to earn $69,000 annually. Salaries tend to vary within states as well.
The amount of experience needed to acquire an ADA position varies by location. In Philadelphia, the average starting salary for an ADA, as of May, 2014, was $50,199. ADAs with more experience can earn more than $60,000 a year. In New York, most ADA positions are given to entry-level candidates. New hires fresh from law school earn $59,500, while the salary may be more for experienced attorneys.
Benefits significantly increase the amount of total compensation for ADAs. In many localities, an ADA is entitled to the same benefits as other city employees. In Philadelphia, ADA benefits include 11 paid holidays a year, a pension plan, sick leave, 20 paid vacation days, four annual leave days, and medical and life insurance. In New York, ADAs earn four weeks of annual paid leave in addition to the same health and pension benefits as other city employees.
Assistant United States Attorney
At the federal level, as of May, 2014, an assistant U.S. Attorney position would pay anywhere from $53,344 to $157,000, depending on pay grade and experience, according to USAJobs, the federal jobs site. The minimum amount of experience is three years of practice after graduating from law school. Applicants must also have passed the bar exam.