Paralegal Salary (United States)

A Paralegal earns an average salary of $42,919 per year. The skills that increase pay for this job the most are Legal Compliance and Real Estate.
Paralegal Total Pay (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$29,821 - $63,913
(Median)
30K
35K
43K
53K
64K
MEDIAN: $42,918
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Paralegal Total Pay (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$11.37 - $26.42
(Median)
11
14
17
21
26
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Salary
$29,821 - $63,913  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,894  
Profit Sharing
$511 - $5,744  
Commission
$-0.50 - $15,050  
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).
)
$27,432 - $63,685  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Jun 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 13,782
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$11.37 - $26.42  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $10.00  
Overtime
$16.54 - $45.75  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,894  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $15,050  
Profit Sharing
$511 - $5,744  
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).
)
$27,432 - $63,685  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Jun 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 13,782
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United States (change)
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Job Description for Paralegal

A paralegal assists lawyers with research and legal documents. Most of the time, a paralegal will research legal precedence and investigate facts related to attorneys' cases, but time is also spent preparing legal documents such as briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, affidavits, and real estate closing statements. The paralegal will maintain document files and ensure that documents are properly filed with the clerk of court. It is the paralegal's responsibility to gather research data such as statutes, codes, previous court decisions related to the case, and legal articles. This data must be analyzed and interpreted as to how it applies to the case the attorney is handling. The paralegal might also be asked to investigate facts of the case to help the attorney determine which action to take in preparing the case. The paralegal will call on witnesses to testify at court hearings, and will help the attorney to prepare witnesses for their side of the case. Other responsibilities include directing and coordinating activities for the law office, including the delivery of subpoenas that involve important case information. Reliable transportation is necessary, as a paralegal will travel between the office and the courthouse frequently. A paralegal usually works at least fifty hours per week, as legal work is very time-consuming and hours past standard a full-time workweek are required more often than not in order to meet the stringent filing deadlines for court documents. A degree in legal studies or a related field such as criminal justice, or paralegal certification, is required. Previous experience in a law firm is extremely helpful.
Paralegal 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 Paralegal

Paralegal Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Paralegal

Popular Skills for Paralegal

Pay by Experience Level for Paralegal

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

Pay Difference By Location

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National Average
$41,000
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.

Paralegal Reviews

What is it like working as a Paralegal?
Paralegal in Seattle:
"Litigation Paralegal."
Pros: Research, document review and organization, client interaction, collaboration.
Cons: Stress level, long hours, lack of professional development opportunities, management.
Paralegal in Denver:
"Ups And Downs."
Pros: Learning something new about HOA Law as well as bankruptcy and foreclosure. I enjoy the people I work with because we work as a team to make sure we succeed.
Cons: Because we deal in collections, there are time when the stress of explaining to people, whether they are the homeowners or the management companies, can be stressful.
Paralegal in Indianapolis:
"50% Tedious, 50% Interesting."
Pros: I like the fact that I am able to learn new things about the law everyday. It is important to me that justice is served.
Cons: Some of the work can be very tedious and mind-numbing.
Paralegal in Seattle:
"Good For The Short-term."
Pros: Good pay, perks, lots of vacation, health benefits, car home in the evenings.
Cons: Inflexible hours, LOTS of hours, corporate culture, no career advancement, dry work.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Paralegal Salaries

National Average
$41,000

Skills That Affect Paralegal Salaries

Document Preparation
up arrow 1%
Case Management
up arrow 1%
Medical Records
0%
National Average
$41,000
Legal Research
up arrow 1%
Drafting Correspondence
up arrow 2%
Client Interaction
up arrow 3%
Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 3061 votes.

Gender

Female
87%
female alumni
 
Male
13%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 67% dental benefits Dental: 44%
vision benefits Vision: 31% employee benefits None: 31%
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