Legal Assistant Salary

Women account for the majority of Legal Assistants in the United States. The entire group has an average salary of $15.44 per hour. In the world of Legal Assistants, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $4K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $5K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $25K and $59K. While experience level and geography impact pay for this group, the particular firm is the most influential factor. The majority of Legal Assistants claim high levels of job satisfaction. Some workers in this field — nearly two in five — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a majority and dental plans are enjoyed by two in five. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$28,909 - $62,587
$29K
$41K
$63K
MEDIAN: $41,369
10%
50%
90%

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$11.10 - $23.83
$11
$15
$24
MEDIAN: $15.44
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$28,909 - $62,587  
   
Bonus
$101.77 - $3,994  
Profit Sharing
$415.49 - $5,242  
Commission
$2,400  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,031 - $58,571  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 3,428
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$11.10 - $23.83  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.88  
Overtime
$17.31 - $43.16  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$101.77 - $3,994  
   
Commission
$2,400  
Profit Sharing
$415.49 - $5,242  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,031 - $58,571  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 3,739

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Legal Assistant

A legal assistant, also called a paralegal, works either with individual lawyers at a firm or with legal teams. He or she helps lawyers with their caseloads by performing research, searching through documents and evidence, facilitating interviews, preparing memos and providing any other assistance before and during trial proceedings. One of the key roles of a legal assistant is to help lawyers with preparing and prioritizing evidence. A legal assistant is typically tasked with looking through this potential evidence, marking passages and pages for further study by case attorneys. The legal assistant may also be tasked with providing reports and summaries of the evidence for circulation among the legal team.

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Legal Assistant Tasks

  • Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts or preparing legal documents.
  • Direct and coordinate law office activity, including delivery of subpoenas.
  • Call upon witnesses to testify at hearing.
  • Investigate facts and law of cases to determine causes of action and to prepare cases.
  • Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions and legal articles, codes and documents.

Common Career Paths for Legal Assistant


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Legal Assistants who transition into an Attorney role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $81K per year. Legal Assistants typically move into roles as Paralegals or Legal Secretaries, and those positions pay $5K more and $5K more, respectively.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Legal Assistant


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Legal Assistants include Small Law Firm, Manley, Deas, Kochalski LLC, Office of The Public Defenders, Shutts & Bowen, Llp, and Jackson Lewis Llp. Jackson Lewis Llp, Shutts & Bowen, Llp, and Codilis and Associates are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Legal Assistants earning around $63K, $52K, or $40K at each firm, respectively.

Other low-paying employers include Family Law Office at $27K and Small Law Firm at $30K, though some Legal Assistants there earn up to $40K.

Popular Skills for Legal Assistant


Survey takers working as Legal Assistants report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Filing Court Documents, Drafting Correspondence, Document Management, and Document Preparation are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Customer Service, Client Interaction, and Filing. Most people skilled in Document Preparation are similarly competent in Client Interaction, Case Management, and Document Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Legal Assistant

Pay by Experience for a Legal Assistant has a positive trend. An entry-level Legal Assistant with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $32,000 based on 3,972 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Legal Assistant with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $40,000 based on 1,481 salaries. An experienced Legal Assistant which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $45,000 based on 1,543 salaries. A Legal Assistant with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $51,000 based on 1,220 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $37,046

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Washington is home to an above-average pay rate for Legal Assistants, 28 percent higher than the national average. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in New York (+21 percent), Seattle (+21 percent), San Francisco (+20 percent), and Los Angeles (+18 percent). The lowest-paying market is Orlando, which sits 18 percent below the national average.

Legal Assistant Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Legal Assistant?

Legal Assistant in Denver:
Pros: Small Firm so close interaction and bond between staff. Leadership role in marketing meetings & firm meetings. Cases I work on.
Cons: Overworked & underpaid as I was hired to be a Legal Assistant, but am having to also be the receptionist thus making to overwhelming/stressful with so much to do.

Legal Assistant in Virginia Beach:
"Good Work Environment."
Pros: Hanger Law has an excellent community. Employees are cooperative rather than competitive which fosters a friendly and enjoyable environment.
Cons: After three years of experience, there has not been much room for growth in my position, nor has there been much compensation for experience.

Legal Assistant in Sacramento:
"I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my job!..."
Pros: I LOVE my job...but its mainly because I have AMAZING attorneys that I work for...and our office is great we are like a small tight knit family ...we work as a team and each of us has our own very important part we play in how each file is handled.
Cons: Ordering medical records and billing from certain hospitals in sacramento area ...grrrrr.

Legal Assistant in Dallas:
Pros: I like that I have job security since there are few employees and a LOT of work.
Cons: No structure, no sick pay, no time surveillance, no formal company policies.

Legal Assistant in Arlington:
"Flexibility, Stressful At Times, Meaningful Work, Deadlines"
Pros: Helping those who cannot represent themselves through guardian services, conservatorships, and executing estate planning and Trust documents;
Cons: Negative aspects of management, office politics, sharp deadlines.

Legal Assistant in Washington:
"Not Exactly What I Had In Mind."
Pros: Our vacation and sick leave are bunched together so you can accrue and use your paid leave as you wish.
Cons: Most of the time, my work is mundane, tedious, and underwhelming. For the most part, I am uninspired and not stimulated intellectually.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Legal Assistant

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1131 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
17%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Legal Assistant Salaries

▲38%

▲23%

▲8%

National Average
$37,000

▼14%

Skills That Affect Legal Assistant Salaries




Document Preparation
▼0%

Case Management
▼0%

National Average
$37,000


▼2%


▼3%

▼4%



▼6%



Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1131 votes.

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 58%
dental benefits
Dental: 39%
vision benefits
Vision: 29%
no benefits
None: 40%