Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salary

Women make up the vast majority of Legal Assistants in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $45K annually. With some bonuses approaching $5K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $7K, overall incomes of Legal Assistants spread between $27K and $68K depending on individual performance. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Although over a third lack health benefits of any kind, a majority do enjoy medical insurance, and just over two-fifths get dental coverage, too. For the most part, Legal Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$30,856 - $70,372
$31K
$45K
$70K
MEDIAN: $45,496
10%
50%
90%

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$11.91 - $25.82
$12
$17
$26
MEDIAN: $17.31
10%
50%
90%

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$0$70K
Salary $30,856 - $70,372
Bonus $202.53 - $4,934
Profit Sharing $776 - $7,213
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).
)
$27,167 - $67,618
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 466
Hourly Data $0$43
Hourly Rate $11.91 - $25.82
Hourly Tips $5.00
Overtime $17.66 - $43.74
Annual Data $0$67K
Bonus $202.53 - $4,934
Profit Sharing $776 - $7,213
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).
)
$27,167 - $67,618
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 378

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United States (change)

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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.

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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


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At the upper end, Legal Assistants 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. A Legal Assistant often moves on to become a Paralegal or a Paralegal or Legal Assistant.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Job Listings

Popular Skills for Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Legal Assistants report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Online Research, Legal Research, Litigation Case Management, and Document Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 11 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Organizing, Microsoft Excel, and Filing Court Documents. Those proficient in Client Interaction are, more often than not, also skilled in Case Management. A tool kit that includes Document Preparation also typically contains Filing Court Documents, Case Management, and Document Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Pay by Experience for a Paralegal / Legal Assistant has a positive trend. An entry-level Paralegal / Legal Assistant with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $35,000 based on 417 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Paralegal / 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 $45,000 based on 177 salaries. An experienced Paralegal / Legal Assistant which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $50,000 based on 213 salaries. A Paralegal / 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 $56,000 based on 154 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,594

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

Surpassing the national average by 53 percent, Legal Assistants in Washington receive some of the highest pay in the country. Legal Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+20 percent), Seattle (+17 percent), Dallas (+16 percent), and New York (+5 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Legal Assistants is geography, with workers in Oklahoma City earning a whopping 21 percent below the national average. Employers in Columbus and Richmond also lean toward paying below-median salaries (19 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).

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 Houston:
"I do client intake on PI cases only."
Pros: I like having authority over others.
Cons: I won't more money.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Alpharetta:
"Perks."
Pros: Laid-back atmosphere. Complimentary drinks. Weekly car wash service.
Cons:

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in San Francisco:
"Motivated."
Pros: Helping people achieve the American dream.
Cons: Lack of training and development.

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
90 %
Male
10 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 132 votes.
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
19%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

▲34%

▲19%

▲8%

National Average
$42,000

▼16%

Skills That Affect Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 132 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 64%
dental benefits
Dental: 43%
vision benefits
Vision: 35%
no benefits
None: 36%
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