A Paralegal Salary in United States, sometimes referred to as a legal assistant, supports the activities of attorneys and other legal professionals with research and the preparation of specific legal documentation. Paralegals may meet with clients to gather information and prepare statements or affidavits.
They use specialized legal software and systems to collect and record information required for trials, litigation, and contract preparation. Paralegals may specialize in an area like real estate, litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and immigration.
How Much Does a Paralegal Make?
Paralegals made a median salary of $52,920 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $67,080 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $40,640. Again, the philosophy is that the person utilizing such service is representing himself or herself in all legal matters and merely hiring a document preparer.
The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range:
- Salary Range
Paralegal salaries in the United States range from 34,800 USD per year (minimum salary) to 111,000 USD per year (maximum salary).
- Median Salary
The median salary is 72,300 USD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Paralegals are earning less than 72,300 USD while the other half are earning more than 72,300 USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Paralegal Salary in United States Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.
Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Paralegal(s) are Paralegal Salary in United States earning less than 48,200 USD while 75% of them are earning more than 48,200 USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of Paralegal(s) are earning less than 93,300 USD while 25% are earning more than 93,300 USD.
Best paid skills and qualifications for Paralegals:
The jobs requiring this skill have decreased by 40.12% since 2018. Paralegals with this skill earn +43.45% more than the average base salary, which is $43,480 per year.
Additional Cash Compensation:
- Average Base Pay: $51,166 /yr
- Average: $2,776
- Range: $408 – $18,876
Paralegals Average Hourly Wage in United States:
The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in the United States is 34 USD. This means that the average Paralegal in the United States earns approximately 34 USD for every worked hour.
Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )
The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour.
Paralegals Salary Outlook:
Many people thinking about a career change are turning to the paralegal profession as their best career option. Paralegals can train in as little as one year, and can earn a respectable salary whether they work in Texas, Illinois, or New York.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for Paralegal Salary in United States is $56,230 (2021 data). Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors.
To help you decide where you might like to work as a professional paralegal, here are annual salaries by state.
Paralegals Salary Comparison by Years of Experience:
- A Paralegal with less than two years of experience makes approximately 41,200 USD per year.
- While someone with an experience level of between two and five years is expected to earn 53,000 USD per year, 29% more than someone with less than two years of experience.
- Moving forward, an experience Paralegal Salary in United States level between five and ten years lands a salary of 73,100 USD per year, 38% more than someone with two to five years of experience.
- Additionally, Paralegal(s) whose expertise spans anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 90,500 USD per year, 24% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.
- If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 97,000 USD per year, 7% more than someone Paralegal Salary in United States with ten to fifteen years of experience.
- Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 103,000 USD per year, 7% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.
Best Paying States for Paralegals:
The states and districts that pay Paralegals the highest mean salary are the District of Columbia ($83,330), California ($66,250), Washington ($63,050), Colorado ($62,950), and New York ($62,530).
|District of Columbia
Paralegals Education, training, and certification:
Many paralegals have completed a formal paralegal education program. Others have only on-the-job paralegal training. Paralegal Salary in United States Formal paralegal education programs may result in a certificate, diploma, higher diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a paralegal certificate.
Many paralegals have completed all of their training before entering the profession, while others have completed their education while working their way up from the mail-room in a law firm. Many paralegals take Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses to fulfill the requirements of their firm, state, or association.
Paralegals Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States:
A Paralegal is considered to be a moderate bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.
43% of surveyed staff reported that they haven’t received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 57% said that they Paralegal Salary in United States received at least one form of monetary bonus. Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.
Highest paying cities for Paralegals in United States:
The metropolitan areas that pay the highest salary in the paralegal profession are Napa, San Jose, Trenton, San Francisco, and Santa Rosa.
|San Jose, California
|Trenton, New Jersey
|San Francisco, California
|Santa Rosa, California
Paralegal service or document preparers:
There are a variety of services available to the general public depending on the State of residence. These companies have been known as Paralegal Services until they were required to change their names. These companies are now typically known to the general public as Court Document Preparers or Court Forms Providers.
The State of Florida has numerous companies that prepare court documents for a variety of issues, such as Divorce, Bankruptcy, Paternity, Custody, Modification of Child Support, Name Change, Wills, and Power of Attorney, Quit Claim Deeds, etc. If you do not have the ability to remedy your situation because of the high-cost fees of any attorney a Court Document Preparer can save thousands of dollars. Such document preparers, however, frequently come under the scrutiny of various state bar organizations by overstepping the basic document preparation and engaging in what could be considered “unauthorized practice of law.”
Such document preparation is indeed cost-saving for those who truly want to represent themselves in a legal matter, but want to pay someone to create the required documents. If problems arise in the legal case, however, the person who hired the paralegal service needs to understand that there is typically no legal liability on the part of the paralegal service and that such institutions cannot be sued for legal malpractice.
FAQs About Paralegal Salary in United States:
How much does a Paralegal in the United States make?
The national average salary for a Paralegal is $51,166 per year in the United States. Filter by location to see Paralegal salaries in your area. Salaries estimates are based on 12886 salaries submitted anonymously by Paralegal employees.
What is the highest salary for a Paralegal in the United States?
The highest salary for a Paralegal in the United States is $75,141 per year.
What is the lowest salary for a Paralegal in the United States?
The lowest salary for a Paralegal in the United States is $34,841 per year.
What state do paralegals make the most money?
New York and Texas also pay paralegals well: Average Salary for Paralegals in New York is $58,070. Average Salary for Paralegals in Texas is $54,430.
Why are paralegals important?
The paralegal plays an important role on any legal team. They help support lawyers during trial and to prepare for cases. The paralegal is the heart of a law firm as they are taking on more duties formerly given to legal secretaries and entry-level lawyers.
What area of law pays the most for paralegals?
While it only takes an associate’s degree to get into the paralegal field, it will typically take more than that to get a high paying job. One area where paralegals can make a good salary is the corporate law field.
Are paralegals in high demand?
The types of law and legal specialty areas are diverse, and employment opportunities for paralegals are projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026. This is a much faster rate than the average for all other occupations.
How long does it take to become a paralegal?
It can take anywhere between two and seven years to become a paralegal, depending on where you are in your journey and what degree you want to pursue. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete, a bachelor’s takes four years and a master’s generally takes two years.
What is the job description of a paralegal?
The Paralegal (PL) assists with case planning, development, and management, legal research, interviews clients, gathers facts and retrieves information, drafts and analyzes legal documents and collects, complies and utilizes technical information, to make recommendations to an attorney.
In the United States, Paralegal Salary in United States originated as assistants to lawyers at a time when only lawyers offered legal services. In those jurisdictions where the local legal profession/judiciary is involved in paralegal recognition/accreditation, the profession of paralegal still basically refers to those people working under the direct supervision of a lawyer. The profession of paralegal varies greatly between the states because some states do require paralegals to be licensed.
In other jurisdictions, however, such as the United Kingdom, the lack of local legal profession/judiciary oversight means that the definition of paralegal encompasses non-lawyers doing legal work, regardless of whom they do it for. Although most jurisdictions recognize paralegals to a greater or lesser extent, there is no international consistency as to the definition, job role, status, terms, and conditions of employment, training, regulation, or anything else and so each jurisdiction must be looked at individually.