Litigation Paralegal Salary
Earnings for Litigation Paralegals in the United States come in at around $53K annually on average. Cash earnings for Litigation Paralegals — which occasionally include more than $6K from bonuses and more than $6K from profit sharing — stretch from around $35K to approximately $75K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Most Litigation Paralegals report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and over one-half earn dental coverage. Among survey respondents, women are more common than men; 87 percent of Litigation Paralegals are female. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Job Description for Litigation Paralegal
The litigation paralegal performs several important duties in the litigation process. One of their primary tasks is document handling; on a day-to-day basis, they must organize, coordinate, and file necessary documents for the attorney to access. The paralegal also acts as the liaison among all involved parties of a case, including witnesses, the court, and clients. The litigation paralegal also performs a number of tasks under the supervision of attorneys, such as preparing materials for court, conducting research, and preparing for depositions. They may also be required to do a range of administrative tasks such as filing paper work, photocopying, and preparing motions for the court. The litigation paralegal is responsible for the upkeep of client files; they make new files for new clients and discard the files of those clients whose cases are closed.Read More...
The basic education requirements for this position vary. Some litigation paralegals are allowed to gain their experience from on-the-job training and advance professionally over time. Others will obtain a paralegal associate's degree or a paralegal certification. Litigation paralegals should have excellent communication skills, be well organized, and be able to take instruction well from the attorney(s) with whom they work.
Litigation Paralegal 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 Litigation Paralegal
At the upper end, Litigation Paralegals who move into an Attorney role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Attorneys is a much higher $81K per year. The most common career progression for Litigation Paralegals leads to becoming a Paralegal, where pay is typically $42K. However, many Litigation Paralegals also opt to become Senior Paralegals, a position that pays $60K on average.
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Popular Skills for Litigation Paralegal
Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Data Analysis, Complex Litigation Case Management, Knowledge Discovery, and Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 12 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Medical Records. Most people skilled in Litigation Case Management are similarly competent in Knowledge Discovery. Most people familiar with Document Preparation also know Complex Litigation Case Management, Knowledge Discovery, and Document Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Litigation Paralegal
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Litigation Paralegals, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $43K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $54K. On average, Litigation Paralegals make $59K following one to two decades on the job. Litigation Paralegals with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $63K.
Pay Difference by Location
Philadelphia is home to an above-average pay rate for Litigation Paralegals, 26 percent higher than the national average. Litigation Paralegals can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+25 percent), Houston (+25 percent), Denver (+25 percent), and Los Angeles (+21 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Cleveland, 15 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers salaries are below the median are Atlanta and Orlando (2 percent lower).