Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salary

Women comprise the majority of Legal Assistants in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $45K per year on average. Overall cash earnings for Legal Assistants stretch from $27K on the lower end to $68K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $5K from bonuses and $6K from profit sharing. Geographic location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, more than half have medical insurance and more than two-fifths receive dental plans. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$30,899 - $70,254
$31K
$45K
$70K
MEDIAN: $44,780
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$11.98 - $26.06
$12
$17
$26
MEDIAN: $17.03
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$30,899 - $70,254  
   
Bonus
$198.43 - $4,964  
Profit Sharing
$402.68 - $5,575  
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).
)
$27,036 - $67,800  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 485
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$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$11.98 - $26.06  
   
Hourly Tips
$5.00  
Overtime
$18.51 - $45.21  
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$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$198.43 - $4,964  
   
Profit Sharing
$402.68 - $5,575  
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).
)
$27,036 - $67,800  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 384

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Employers: Start Here »

Job Description for Paralegal / Legal Assistant

A paralegal (also known as a legal assistant) works in a law office for one or more attorneys to assist them in the execution of their practice. Many times a paralegal will be called upon to type written notes or transcribe recordings of meetings or telephone calls. A paralegal must also be organized and comfortable with research and document drafting; they also must have outstanding written and verbal communications skills.

Read More...

Paralegal / 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 Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px


For Legal Assistants, progressing to an Attorney role may result in a significant raise. On average, an Attorney can earn $81K annually. A Paralegal or a Paralegal or Legal Assistant is a typical transition from a Legal Assistant role.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Job Listings

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Legal Research, Online Research, Litigation Case Management, and Document Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 12 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Excel, Organizing, and Microsoft Office. Most people familiar with Document Preparation also know Filing Court Documents, Case Management, and Document Management. Most people skilled in Client Interaction are similarly competent in Case Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Paralegal / Legal Assistant

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


Legal Assistants with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $35K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $44K. Legal Assistants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $50K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $55K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,058

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

For Legal Assistants, working in the bustling city of Washington has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+29 percent), Seattle (+19 percent), Dallas (+14 percent), and Boston (+12 percent). Legal Assistants in Oklahoma City earn salaries far below the national average by 20 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Columbus (18 percent lower) and Richmond (13 percent lower).

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Reviews

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

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Baltimore:
"Headline."
Pros: Investigatory work, interviewing witnesses, drafting legal documents, work flexibility, relaxed atmosphere,
Cons: Purely administrative tasks.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Palo Alto:
"Engaging, though tedious."
Pros: I enjoy working with people in a dynamic and challenging environment and working together to surmount difficult problems.
Cons: I don't enjoy the high level of administrative work that comes with billing and managing invoices.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Fort Hood:
"Paralegal."
Pros: I am very well organized and well planned. I like being able to work directly with my attorney and know exactly what I need to do to assist him. I enjoy managing files and records for all court actions.
Cons: Under paid, over worked, no overtime pay.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 115 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
18%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

▲33%

▲21%

▲8%

National Average
$41,000

▼14%

Skills That Affect Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 115 votes.

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 64%
dental benefits
Dental: 43%
vision benefits
Vision: 37%
dental benefits
None: 35%
ADVERTISEMENT