Legal Assistant Salary
Legal Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $15.59 per hour. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $4K and $5K, respectively — total cash payment to Legal Assistants can bottom out near $25K or peak near $59K depending on individual performance. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but career duration and location are influential factors as well. Job satisfaction for Legal Assistants is high. Health benefits are not claimed by all — two in five lack any form of coverage — but a majority have medical insurance, and roughly two-fifths have dental, too. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
|Salary||$29,166 - $62,651|
|Bonus||$99.92 - $4,038|
|Profit Sharing||$479.71 - $6,189|
|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).)
|$25,370 - $58,730|
|Hourly Rate||$11.39 - $24.25|
|Overtime||$17.59 - $43.40|
|Bonus||$99.92 - $4,038|
|Profit Sharing||$479.71 - $6,189|
|Total Pay (||$25,370 - $58,730|
Job Description for Legal Assistant
A legal assistant, also called a paralegal, works either with individual lawyers at a firm or with legal teams. He or she helps lawyers with their caseloads by performing research, searching through documents and evidence, facilitating interviews, preparing memos and providing any other assistance before and during trial proceedings. One of the key roles of a legal assistant is to help lawyers with preparing and prioritizing evidence. A legal assistant is typically tasked with looking through this potential evidence, marking passages and pages for further study by case attorneys. The legal assistant may also be tasked with providing reports and summaries of the evidence for circulation among the legal team.Read More...
Legal assistants also assist with other aspects of casework and trial preparation. They may schedule interviews, and help ensure that proper recording equipment is available and working. In some jurisdictions, depending on the case, a legal assistant may conduct these interviews, typically using questions prepared by the supervising attorney. Legal assistants also provide general administrative and organizational assistance, such as screening phone calls, scheduling meetings and taking notes on these proceedings.
There are some educational requirements that most law firms look for in hiring legal assistants. Community colleges and vocational schools offer coursework in the paralegal or legal assistant fields. In jurisdictions that require certification for legal assistants, passing this testing process is also a requirement. Most legal assistants work in a law office environment during regular business hours, but field work and some travel should be expected. (Copyright 2017 PayScale.com)
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 Legal Assistant
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. The most common next step for a Legal Assistant is to become a Paralegal or a Legal Secretary. The former position pays an additional $4K per year on average, and the latter position pays $5K more per year.
Legal Assistant Job Listings
Popular Employer Salaries for Legal Assistant
Small Law Firm, Manley, Deas, Kochalski LLC, Office of The Public Defenders, Shutts & Bowen, Llp, and Jackson Lewis Llp are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Legal Assistants. Legal Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks at Jackson Lewis Llp ($63K), Shutts & Bowen, Llp ($52K), and Codilis and Associates ($40K).
Other low-paying employers include Family Law Office at $27K and Small Law Firm at $30K, though some Legal Assistants there earn up to $40K.
Popular Skills for Legal Assistant
Legal Assistants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Filing Court Documents, Drafting Correspondence, Document Management, and Document Preparation are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Customer Service, Client Interaction, and Filing. It is often found that people who know Document Preparation are also skilled in Client Interaction, Case Management, and Document Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Legal Assistant
Pay by Experience for a Legal Assistant has a positive trend. An entry-level Legal Assistant with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $32,000 based on 3,972 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A 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 $40,000 based on 1,481 salaries. An experienced Legal Assistant which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $45,000 based on 1,543 salaries. A 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 $51,000 based on 1,220 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Legal Assistants in Washington enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 27 percent above the national average. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in New York (+20 percent), Seattle (+19 percent), San Francisco (+19 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). With compensation 18 percent below the national average, Orlando is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.
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