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Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salary

The larger portion of Legal Assistants in the United States are women. Median pay in this female-dominated area goes for around $40K annually. The pay spectrum stretches from $25K to $59K per year. With some bonuses approaching $4K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $6K, overall incomes of Legal Assistants spread between $25K and $59K depending on individual performance. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Around two in five of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a majority report medical coverage and over a third claim dental coverage as well. For the most part, Legal Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$27,954 - $60,564
(Median)
$28K
$40K
$61K
MEDIAN: $40,420
10%
50%
90%

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$10.58 - $23.99
(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
$27,954 - $60,564  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,905  
Profit Sharing
$903 - $5,625  
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).
)
$24,925 - $58,786  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,597
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.58 - $23.99  
   
Overtime
$15.04 - $39.35  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,905  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $2,035  
Profit Sharing
$903 - $5,625  
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).
)
$24,925 - $58,786  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,307
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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' 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 Paralegal or a Paralegal or Legal Assistant is a typical transition from a Legal Assistant role.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Legal Assistants report using a deep pool of skills on the job. 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 20 percent, 16 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. Those proficient in Document Preparation are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $32K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $40K. Legal Assistants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $46K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $50K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Legal Assistants, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 36 percent above the national average. Legal Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+33 percent), Los Angeles (+28 percent), Denver (+27 percent), and New York (+23 percent). With compensation 7 percent below the national average, Fort Lauderdale is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Below-median salaries also turn up in Tampa and Las Vegas (7 percent lower and 3 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
$37,000


Skills That Affect Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 505 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 59% dental benefits Dental: 36%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 40%
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