A lot of other bloggers have discussed what public defenders make and whether that's a reasonable wage, etc.
"Overworked and Underpaid" is an oft used expression, but maybe it doesn't give enough context. Want context?
Today, I walked passed a Starbucks. I found myself thinking, "Hmm... if I could work one day on the weekend, and maybe two nights a week..." and "if I could work 20 hours a week, I'd get health benefits..." This continued for a while.
Tonight, I come home, turn on my laptop, and check my bank account. "Bingo. One hour left until payday and I made it!"
That's context. I'm poor. Send money.
Now, if I only got paid per plea, as some of my clients would have you believe...