Ben Polk Promotes Pay Equity for Public Defenders

Ben Polk (’12), Visiting Scholar at the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU Law School, authored a post for the law school’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice website celebrating Mongolia’s successful efforts to enact law creating pay equity between public defenders and public prosecutors (“Fair Pay for Public Defenders: If Mongolia Can Do It, Any Country Can,” May 19). “In recent years, many commentators have argued that individual pay parity—between defense and prosecution lawyers—is insufficient to ensure an equal playing field. Instead, they argue that what is needed is institutional parity. . . . Mongolia’s revised law does not yet achieve parity on this institutional level, but individual parity is still a huge and significant step, one that is particularly remarkable in light of Mongolia’s economic constraints. Their achievement stands as an admonition to wealthier jurisdictions who claim that pay parity is too expensive.”