Legal Assistant Salary

Legal Assistants usually earn approximately $41K per year in the United States, but Jackson Lewis Llp offers a significantly higher median of $63K. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$28,098 - $60,287

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$10.61 - $23.64

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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
$28,098 - $60,287  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,027  
Profit Sharing
$508 - $6,054  
Commission
$98.26 - $2,467  
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).
)
$24,614 - $57,952  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,897
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.61 - $23.64  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.40  
Overtime
$12.82 - $40.87  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,027  
   
Commission
$98.26 - $2,467  
Profit Sharing
$508 - $6,054  
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).
)
$24,614 - $57,952  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,590
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Job Description for Legal Assistant

A legal assistant works with attorneys to help them with their casework. Attention to detail is necessary. The assistant will research legal precedents and investigate facts of cases to determine appropriate causes of action and help prepare cases for settlement or litigation. A strong command of the English language and legal terminology are required, as the legal assistant will prepare legal documents such as affidavits, briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, real estate closing documents, and client communication. The assistant will also maintain document files and file pleadings with the clerk of court, so an applicant must have a working knowledge of the court system. The job includes gathering research data to analyze for attorney use, such as statutes, previous court decisions, legal articles, legal codes, and other necessary documents. A legal assistant will also call on witnesses to testify at court hearings and arbitration or moderation sessions. The position also requires that the employee direct and coordinate activity for the law office, including the delivery of subpoenas and the review of incoming documents. The assistant is expected to maintain a professional demeanor in dealing with clients of the law firm and court personnel as well as coworkers, and is expected to be able to meet strict deadlines. A legal assistant must be able to work under pressure and produce reliable results, as their work is the foundation of the attorneys’ cases. While the position has standard office hours Monday through Friday, it is expected that there will be additional work as necessary to meet deadlines.


Legal Assistant Tasks

  • Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions and legal articles, codes and documents.
  • Prepare affidavits or other documents, maintain document file and file pleadings with court clerk.
  • Prepare legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts and real estate closing statements.
  • Investigate facts and law of cases to determine causes of action and to prepare cases.
  • Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts or preparing legal documents.

Common Career Paths for Legal Assistant


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As Legal Assistants transition into upper-level roles such as Attorney, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Attorneys earn $81K on average per year. The most common next step for a Legal Assistant is to become a Paralegal or a Legal Secretary. The former position pays an additional $5K per year on average, and the latter position pays $5K more per year.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Legal Assistant

Popular Skills for Legal Assistant


Legal Assistants seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Document Management, Filing Court Documents, Document Preparation, and Drafting Correspondence are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Customer Service, Filing, and Client Interaction. Most people experienced in Client Interaction also know Case Management. Most people who know Document Preparation also know Filing Court Documents, Case Management, and Document Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Legal Assistant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Legal Assistants, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $31K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $39K. Legal Assistants who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $45K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $50K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Legal Assistants, Boston provides a pay rate that is 34 percent greater than the national average. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in New York (+24 percent), San Francisco (+21 percent), Austin (+20 percent), and Houston (+18 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Orlando, 6 percent below the national average.

Legal Assistant Reviews

What is it like working as a Legal Assistant?

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

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Experience Affects Legal Assistant Salaries




National Average
$37,000


Skills That Affect Legal Assistant Salaries

Document Management
up arrow 4%

Document Preparation
up arrow 2%

Filing Court Documents
up arrow 2%

Drafting Correspondence
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%

Case Management
0%

Microsoft Office
0%

National Average
$37,000

Organizing
up arrow 1%

Scheduling
up arrow 2%

Legal Research
up arrow 2%

Typing
up arrow 3%

Client Interaction
up arrow 4%

Office Administration
up arrow 4%

up arrow 6%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1947 votes.

Gender

Female
92 %
Male
8 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 62% dental benefits Dental: 39%
vision benefits Vision: 27% employee benefits None: 37%
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