Paralegals and Legal Assistants: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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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 legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, and real estate closing statements.
  • Prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits.
  • Investigate facts and law of cases and search pertinent sources, such as public records and internet sources, to determine causes of action and to prepare cases.
Read more about what does a Paralegal and Legal Assistant really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$54500 per year

Average hourly wage
$26 per hour


Paralegals and Legal Assistants with little to no experience tend to make between $31400 and $38860 while the more experienced ones can earn over $65080 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
DC$39$80,470
CT$30$62,760
CA$29$61,240
WA$29$60,940
MA$29$60,320

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Paralegal and Legal Assistant is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Paralegals and Legal Assistants are DC, CT, CA, WA and MA.

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

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Paralegal and Legal Assistant is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Paralegals and Legal Assistants what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had an Associate’s Degree followed by a Bachelor’s 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
Read more about how to become a Paralegal and Legal Assistant and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Paralegal and Legal Assistant.

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

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
69%

Is this job meaningful
45%


69% of Paralegals and Legal Assistants 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.




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Related career information

Paralegals and Legal Assistants job description, Paralegals and Legal Assistants salary, Paralegals and Legal Assistants information, what is the job of a Paralegal and Legal Assistant like, pros and cons about Paralegals and Legal Assistants, colleges and universities for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, is Paralegals and Legal Assistants the right career for me, careers in Law and Legal

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