Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salary

Legal Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $41K per year. Pay generally varies between $25K and $59K per year. Cash earnings for Legal Assistants — including $4K in bonuses and $6K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $25K to $59K depending on individual performance. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Some workers in this field — two in five — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by more than half and dental plans are enjoyed by more than a third. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$28,472 - $60,759
(Median)
$28K
$41K
$61K
MEDIAN: $40,587
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$10.82 - $24.32
(Median)
$11
$15
$24
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$28,472 - $60,759  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,887  
Profit Sharing
$906 - $5,600  
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).
)
$25,119 - $59,000  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,458
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
$10.82 - $24.32  
   
Overtime
$14.89 - $38.71  
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 - $3,887  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $2,035  
Profit Sharing
$906 - $5,600  
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).
)
$25,119 - $59,000  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,204
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: 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

  • 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


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


Legal Assistants' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as an Attorney. The average Attorney brings home $81K per year. A Legal Assistant may also move into a role as a Paralegal or a Paralegal or Legal Assistant.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Job Listings

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Survey results imply that Legal Assistants deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. 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, 16 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Most people skilled in Document Preparation are similarly competent in 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.


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $32K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $40K. On average, Legal Assistants make $46K following one to two decades on the job. Legal Assistants who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $50K.

Pay Difference by Location


Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for Legal Assistants, 35 percent above the national average. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+31 percent), Los Angeles (+29 percent), Denver (+27 percent), and Chicago (+21 percent). With compensation 8 percent below the national average, Orlando is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers in Tampa and Las Vegas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (8 percent lower and 4 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

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 448 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
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 59% dental benefits Dental: 37%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 40%
ADVERTISEMENT