Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salary

Women account for the majority of Legal Assistants in the United States. The entire group has an average salary of $41K per year. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $25K and $59K per year. Final cash compensation to Legal Assistants varies from around $25K to approximately $59K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $4K and $6K, respectively. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While some workers in this profession — roughly two in five — do not have any health coverage, a majority do receive medical benefits and more than a third have dental insurance. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Legal Assistants. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$28,651 - $60,985

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$11.06 - $24.31

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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$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$28,651 - $60,985  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,889  
Profit Sharing
$750 - $5,617  
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).
)
$25,233 - $59,306  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,373
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$11.06 - $24.31  
   
Overtime
$14.89 - $38.68  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,889  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $2,035  
Profit Sharing
$750 - $5,617  
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).
)
$25,233 - $59,306  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,130
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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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As Legal Assistants transition into upper-level roles such as Attorney, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Attorneys earn $81K on average 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 respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Legal Compliance, Litigation Case Management, and Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 17 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. For most people, competency in Client Interaction indicates knowledge of Case Management. Most people familiar with Document Preparation also know Filing Court Documents, Case Management, and Document 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. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $33K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $40K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Legal Assistants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $46K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $51K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Legal Assistants, working in the bustling city of Seattle has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+30 percent), Washington (+28 percent), Denver (+27 percent), and Chicago (+21 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Tampa, 9 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Orlando (6 percent lower) and Las Vegas (5 percent lower).

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.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries




National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries











up arrow 5%


Client Interaction
up arrow 4%

Document Preparation
up arrow 3%

Filing Court Documents
up arrow 3%

National Average
$38,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 417 votes.

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 59% dental benefits Dental: 37%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 39%
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