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.

$29,166 - $62,651
$29K
$42K
$63K
MEDIAN: $41,843
10%
50%
90%

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$11.39 - $24.25
$11
$16
$24
MEDIAN: $15.74
10%
50%
90%

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$0$62K
Salary $29,166 - $62,651
Bonus $99.92 - $4,038
Profit Sharing $479.71 - $6,189
Commission $2,450
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
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 3,639
Hourly Data $0$43
Hourly Rate $11.39 - $24.25
Hourly Tips $0.63
Overtime $17.59 - $43.40
Annual Data $0$58K
Bonus $99.92 - $4,038
Commission $2,450
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
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 4,019

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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.

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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


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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. 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

National Average: $37,572

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

Legal Assistant Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Legal Assistant?

Legal Assistant in Vancouver:
"We do good work helping vulnerable elderly people."
Pros: That the hours are flexible and that we do good work helping elderly people who are being exploited or who have had family not offer them much needed assistance.
Cons: Bad communication between my boss and I and sometimes the work comes a lot at a time or slowly, never in between. Very unpredictable.

Legal Assistant in San Antonio:
"Benefits, repetitive, paid vacation."
Pros: Organizing, completing a task, learning.
Cons: Stress levels, office politics, drama.

Legal Assistant in Beverly Hills:
"Work flexibility."
Pros: I like helping people and doing stuff that actually matters.
Cons: I do more work than I think im getting paid for and my bosses are a little misogynistic.

Legal Assistant in Denver:
Pros: Small Firm so close interaction and bond between staff. Leadership role in marketing meetings & firm meetings. Cases I work on.
Cons: Overworked & underpaid as I was hired to be a Legal Assistant, but am having to also be the receptionist thus making to overwhelming/stressful with so much to do.

Legal Assistant in Forest:
"It is a respectful job."
Pros: I am able to work Mon. Thru Fri. Off weekends and holidays.
Cons: Can be stressful with a large load.

Legal Assistant in Virginia Beach:
"Good Work Environment."
Pros: Hanger Law has an excellent community. Employees are cooperative rather than competitive which fosters a friendly and enjoyable environment.
Cons: After three years of experience, there has not been much room for growth in my position, nor has there been much compensation for experience.

Legal Assistant in Houston:
Pros:
Cons: Time frame disorganization which leads to customers dissatisfaction.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Legal Assistant

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1502 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
17%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Legal Assistant Salaries

▲36%

▲21%

▲6%

National Average
$38,000

▼15%

Skills That Affect Legal Assistant Salaries



National Average
$38,000

Document Preparation
▼1%


Case Management
▼2%


▼4%

▼4%

▼5%




▼7%



Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1502 votes.

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 58%
dental benefits
Dental: 39%
vision benefits
Vision: 30%
no benefits
None: 40%
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