Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salary

Women comprise the majority of Legal Assistants in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $45K per year on average. Total cash compensation for Legal Assistants runs from $27K to $68K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $5K and profit sharing that can reach almost $10K. Geographic location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, more than half have medical insurance and more than two-fifths receive dental plans. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$30,499 - $70,036
$30K
$45K
$70K
MEDIAN: $45,194
10%
50%
90%

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$12.00 - $26.20
$12
$17
$26
MEDIAN: $17.36
10%
50%
90%

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$0$70K
Salary $30,499 - $70,036
Bonus $151.52 - $4,994
Profit Sharing $592 - $7,096
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).
)
$27,338 - $67,925
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Oct 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 474
Hourly Data $0$47
Hourly Rate $12.00 - $26.20
Hourly Tips $3.25
Overtime $17.59 - $47.55
Annual Data $0$67K
Bonus $151.52 - $4,994
Profit Sharing $592 - $7,096
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).
)
$27,338 - $67,925
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Oct 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 373

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

  • 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 Paralegal / Legal Assistant


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Legal Assistants who transition into an Attorney role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $81K per year. It is not uncommon for a Legal Assistant to continue on to become a Paralegal or a Paralegal or Legal Assistant.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Job Listings

Popular Skills for Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Legal Assistants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Online Research, Legal Research, Litigation Case Management, and Document Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 11 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Organizing, Microsoft Excel, and Filing Court Documents. The majority of those who know Client Interaction also know Case Management. People who know Document Preparation usually also know Filing Court Documents, Case Management, and Document Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Pay by Experience for a Paralegal / Legal Assistant has a positive trend. An entry-level Paralegal / Legal Assistant with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $35,000 based on 417 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Paralegal / 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 $45,000 based on 177 salaries. An experienced Paralegal / Legal Assistant which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $50,000 based on 213 salaries. A Paralegal / 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 $56,000 based on 154 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,571

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Legal Assistants, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 53 percent above the national average. Legal Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+20 percent), Seattle (+17 percent), Dallas (+16 percent), and New York (+5 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Legal Assistants is geography, with workers in Oklahoma City earning a whopping 21 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Columbus (19 percent less) and Richmond (14 percent less).

Paralegal / Legal Assistant Reviews

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

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Baltimore:
"Headline."
Pros: Investigatory work, interviewing witnesses, drafting legal documents, work flexibility, relaxed atmosphere,
Cons: Purely administrative tasks.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Houston:
"I do client intake on PI cases only."
Pros: I like having authority over others.
Cons: I won't more money.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Alpharetta:
"Perks."
Pros: Laid-back atmosphere. Complimentary drinks. Weekly car wash service.
Cons:

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in San Francisco:
"Motivated."
Pros: Helping people achieve the American dream.
Cons: Lack of training and development.

Paralegal / Legal Assistant in Palo Alto:
"Engaging, though tedious."
Pros: I enjoy working with people in a dynamic and challenging environment and working together to surmount difficult problems.
Cons: I don't enjoy the high level of administrative work that comes with billing and managing invoices.

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

Key Stats for Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 157 votes.
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
20%

Experience Affects Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

▲34%

▲19%

▲8%

National Average
$42,000

▼16%

Skills That Affect Paralegal / Legal Assistant Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 157 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 62%
dental benefits
Dental: 43%
vision benefits
Vision: 36%
no benefits
None: 37%