Paralegals


Overview

Introduction

Paralegals, also known as legal assistants, assist in trial preparations, investigate facts, prepare documents such as affidavits and pleadings, and, in general, do work customarily performed by lawyers. Approximately 325,700 paralegals and legal assistants work in law firms, businesses, and government agencies all over the United States; the majority work with lawyers and legislators.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary


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Employment Prospects


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Minimum Education Level



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Experience



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Skills

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Personality Traits

Organized...

Earnings

Salaries vary greatly for paralegals. The size and location of the firm and the education and experience of the employee are some factors that determine the annual earnings of paralegals.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that paralegals and legal assistants had median annual earnings of $50,940 in May 2018. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $82,050, while the lowest paid 1...

Work Environment

Paralegals often work in pleasant and comfortable offices. Some paralegals work out of their homes in special employment situations. When investigation is called for, paralegals may travel to gather information. Most paralegals work a 40-hour week, although long hours are sometimes required to meet court-imposed deadlines. Longer hours—sometimes as much as 90 hours per week—are usually the norm...

Outlook

Employment for paralegals is expected to grow 12 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which is much faster than the average for all careers. One reason for the continued demand in the profession is the financial benefit of employing paralegals. The paralegal, whose duties fall between those of the legal secretary and those of the attorney, helps make the delivery of ...