Paralegals and Legal Assistants: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Paralegals and Legal Assistants jobs information
pros and cons of being a Paralegal and Legal Assistant

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Other names for this job might include Assistant Paralegal, Attorney Law Clerk, Bankruptcy Assistant, Certified Paralegal, Child Support Specialist, Closing Agent, Complex Commercial Litigation Paralegal, Contract Preparer, Contracts Specialist, Corporate Law Assistant


  • $52390
    Salary
  • 69%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B+



Paralegals and Legal Asst: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Paralegal and Legal Asst is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Paralegals and Legal Assistants assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

  • Prepare affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.
  • Prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits.
  • Prepare legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, and real estate closing statements.
  • Meet with clients and other professionals to discuss details of case.

Read more about what does A Paralegal and Legal Asst really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Become one

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Salary

Average salary
$52390 per year

Hourly wage
$25.19 an hour


Paralegals and Legal Asst with little to no experience tend to make between $30670 and $37880 while the more experienced ones make over $62590 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
DC$37.13$77230
AK$31.96$66470
CA$28.48$59230
NY$27.84$57920
WA$27.52$57230

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Paralegal and Legal Asst is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Paralegals and Legal Asst are DC, AK, CA, NY and WA.

However a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Paralegal and Legal Asst is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Paralegals and Legal Asst make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Paralegals and Legal Asst what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelors degree followed by Associates degree.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Paralegal and Legal Asst successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Paralegals and Legal Asst have these 5 skillsets.

Reading Comprehension
Active Listening
Writing
Speaking
Critical Thinking

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Paralegals and Legal Asst is they are good at Attention to Detail. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Attention to Detail
Cooperation
Dependability
Integrity
Initiative
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become A Paralegal and Legal Asst and the degree, training and education you need


Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Paralegal and Legal Asst as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to follow routines
Suitable for people who values relationships between coworkers and customers and wants to work in a friendly noncompetitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes practical and handson work
Salary is below average
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)


There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



What is the job like

Job satisfaction
69%

Is this job meaningful
45%


Working hours
More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule
Regular (Set schedule and routine)


On a normal working week Paralegals and Legal Assistants work More than 40 hours per week.

69% of Paralegals and Legal Asst said they were satisfied with their job and 45% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Organizers and The Thinkers


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.



How we can help

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Rank: C+
Salary: $45670

They perform secretarial duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
Rank: C
Salary: $50120

They perform duties related to the purchase, sale or holding of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases or sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
Rank: B
Salary: $35560

They compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
Rank: B
Salary: $53590

They provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
Rank: C+
Salary: $38070

They compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.






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Career type

Law and Legal
Legal Services

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Related to Paralegals and Legal Assistants Career Information

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm
http://www.nala.org/
https://www.nals.org/
http://www.paralegals.org/

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Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Written by: Stanley Tan
Paralegals and Legal Asst assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
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