Legal Assistant Salary

Most Legal Assistants in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $15.58 per hour. In the world of Legal Assistants, total cash compensation can vary between $25K and $59K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $4K and $5K, respectively. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the particular firm, but experience level and geography are influential factors as well. Although about two in five lack health benefits of any kind, the greater part do enjoy medical insurance, and close to two-fifths get dental coverage, too. For the most part, Legal Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$29,102 - $62,647
$29K
$42K
$63K
MEDIAN: $41,637
10%
50%
90%

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$11.23 - $24.05
$11
$16
$24
MEDIAN: $15.58
10%
50%
90%

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$0$62K
Salary $29,102 - $62,647
Bonus $101.38 - $3,949
Profit Sharing $427.12 - $5,076
Commission $4,000
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).
)
$25,199 - $58,583
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 3,543
Hourly Data $0$43
Hourly Rate $11.23 - $24.05
Hourly Tips $0.94
Overtime $17.57 - $43.30
Annual Data $0$58K
Bonus $101.38 - $3,949
Commission $4,000
Profit Sharing $427.12 - $5,076
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).
)
$25,199 - $58,583
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 3,944

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Employers: Start Here »

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 may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Attorney. The latter position pays an average of $81K annually. Legal Assistants typically move into roles as Paralegals or Legal Secretaries, and those positions pay $4K more and $5K more, respectively.

Legal Assistant Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Legal Assistant


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Legal Assistants include Small Law Firm, Manley, Deas, Kochalski LLC, Office of The Public Defenders, Shutts & Bowen, Llp, and Jackson Lewis Llp. Other big spenders include Jackson Lewis Llp, Shutts & Bowen, Llp, and Codilis and Associates, top-paying firms where Legal Assistants see paychecks nearing $63K, $52K, or $40K.

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. It is often found that people who know Document Preparation are also skilled 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: $37,286

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

Legal Assistants will find that Washington offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 28 percent. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in New York (+20 percent), Seattle (+20 percent), San Francisco (+20 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 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 San Antonio:
"Benefits, repetitive, paid vacation."
Pros: Organizing, completing a task, learning.
Cons: Stress levels, office politics, drama.

Legal Assistant in Beverly Hills:
"Work flexibility."
Pros: I like helping people and doing stuff that actually matters.
Cons: I do more work than I think im getting paid for and my bosses are a little misogynistic.

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 Forest:
"It is a respectful job."
Pros: I am able to work Mon. Thru Fri. Off weekends and holidays.
Cons: Can be stressful with a large load.

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 Houston:
Pros:
Cons: Time frame disorganization which leads to customers dissatisfaction.

Legal Assistant in Raritan:
Pros: The family like atmosphere and very nice working environment, no favoritism, casual, no conflict.
Cons: Boring.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Legal Assistant

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1363 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
17%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Legal Assistant Salaries

▲37%

▲22%

▲7%

National Average
$37,000

▼14%

Skills That Affect Legal Assistant Salaries



Document Preparation
▼0%


National Average
$37,000

Case Management
▼1%


▼3%

▼3%

▼4%




▼6%



Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1363 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: 30%
no benefits
None: 40%
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