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.
|Salary||$30,392 - $68,768|
|Bonus||$152 - $4,925|
|Profit Sharing||$613 - $5,872|
|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).)
|$27,283 - $67,267|
|Hourly Rate||$11.93 - $26.48|
|Overtime||$17.82 - $44.28|
|Bonus||$152 - $4,925|
|Profit Sharing||$613 - $5,872|
|Total Pay (||$27,283 - $67,267|
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...
In many operations, the attorneys may turn to their legal assistants to help with research and reporting. The paralegal is frequently be called on to draft legal documents as well. Additionally, the paralegal is often be tasked with maintaining the office, including making sure supplies are purchased as needed. Because a practice's attorney are frequently busy away from the office, the paralegal may be the first point of interaction for clients. They also usually handle a great deal of scheduling of meetings for the attorney, including appearances in court, depositions, and other obligations.
While many law offices consider individuals for this position who possess high school diplomas (or the equivalent), larger practices increasingly prefer individuals with some sort of secondary training in office or legal administration. Paralegals also need to be familiar with basic computer software, such as Microsoft Word and Excel. (Copyright 2018 PayScale.com)
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.
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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
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).
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