THERE’S A LAWYER SHORTAGE IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

There is reportedly a shortage of lawyers in Franklin County, and low starting pay is seen as a prime reason. Now, that shortage is causing problems in not only the courtroom, but also in social care. County Public Defender Tom Soucia met with county legislators last week to discuss what he says is an attorney shortage facing his office. The Public Defender’s Office in Franklin County has two attorneys leaving, yet an existing vacancy remains unfilled. While after that meeting, county leaders did agree to permit Soucia to recruit attorneys on a full-time, part-time, and per diem basis to fill in the needed personnel, Soucia said it’s just part of the solution. He claims that a big part of the retention problem is that the salaries for the assistant public defender positions in Franklin County are much lower than those of surrounding counties. In Clinton County, the salary ranges from $65,000 to $75,000. In Franklin County, it’s about $55,000.