Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salary

Women comprise the majority of Legal Assistants in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $41K annually on average. Compensation ranges from $25K on the lower end to $59K per year on the higher end. Total incomes of Legal Assistants incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $4K from bonuses and close to $6K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $25K and $59K. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Some workers in this field — close to two-fifths — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a majority and dental plans are enjoyed by over a third. Work is enjoyable for Legal Assistants, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$28,469 - $60,841
(Median)
$28K
$41K
$61K
MEDIAN: $40,585
10%
50%
90%

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$10.89 - $24.35
(Median)
$11
$15
$24
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
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$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$28,469 - $60,841  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,921  
Profit Sharing
$903 - $5,608  
Commission
$0.00 - $2,035  
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).
)
$25,171 - $59,116  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,420
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$10.89 - $24.35  
   
Overtime
$14.84 - $38.61  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,921  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $2,035  
Profit Sharing
$903 - $5,608  
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).
)
$25,171 - $59,116  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,174
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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

  • 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 / Legal Assistant


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Legal Assistants who transition into an Attorney role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $81K per year. Becoming a Paralegal or a Paralegal or Legal Assistant is often the next step for a Legal Assistant.

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Popular Skills for Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Survey results imply that Legal Assistants deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, facility with Legal Compliance, Litigation Case Management, and Microsoft Office are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 16 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. People who know Document Preparation usually also know Filing Court Documents, Case Management, and Document Management. The majority of those who know Client Interaction also know 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 generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $33K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $40K. Legal Assistants bring in $47K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $50K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


Seattle is home to an above-average pay rate for Legal Assistants, 35 percent higher than the national average. Legal Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+30 percent), Los Angeles (+30 percent), Denver (+27 percent), and Chicago (+21 percent). Trailing the national average by 9 percent, Orlando is the market with the smallest paychecks. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Tampa and Las Vegas (8 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Reviews

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

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.

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Experience Affects Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries




National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 435 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 59% dental benefits Dental: 37%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 40%
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