Paralegal salary, the whole concept seems extremely attractive to you. So you are curious to know everything about the profession, Who is a Paralegal, what do paralegals do and what would be an average salary for paralegal. You may have heard everywhere that paralegals generally receive a lot of money in exchange for providing their expertise. One can also visit law school for some important and in depth knowledge.
Well, it is natural that the markets are filled with certain rumors. However, that won’t be the case for long as we are here to bust the rumors. Here, we would not only discuss the average paralegal salary that a professional receives in the United States of America, but we shall also differentiate the amount of average salary for paralegal that people are paid across the different states and cities of the country.
Furthermore, we shall also figure out the best way you can choose the right college to realize your professional goals. So, let’s not wait anymore and get started instantly.
Paralegal Salary: A Gist
An average PS depends on several factors. First of all, your experience in the field of this particular profession dictates how much you’re going to be paid. Similarly, the state or city where you live and work also determines the amount of money you are going to earn as a paralegal professional.
Aaccording to official data, in 2018, paralegals generated a median salary of $50,940. The report also reveals that the top 25 percent best-paid paralegals earned $65,080 that year. On the other hand, the 25% paralegals at the lowest-payment mark made about $38,860 annually.
Average Salary for Paralegal – In American Cities
Here are the metropolitan areas in the United States of America that pay the highest amount of salary to paralegal professionals. And the cities are:
- San Jose, California: $86,630Napa, California: $78,480
- Oxnard, California: $74,860
- Trenton, New Jersey: $69,430
- Washington, District of Columbia: $68,820
Average Paralegal Salary – By States
Here we have also mentioned the names of the states that pay the highest mean salary to paralegals. These states are District of Columbia, Connecticut, California, Washington, and Massachusetts.
- District of Columbia: $80,470
- Connecticut: $62,760
- California: $61,240
- Washington: $60,940
- Massachusetts: $60,320
Who is a Paralegal?
Many people think of the position of a paralegal as an associate to a lawyer. The American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) describes a paralegal as anyone who is doing practical and administrative legal work as permitted by law which would be done by an attorney in the absence of the paralegal.
What do Paralegals do?
Paralegals have knowledge of the law acquired through schooling, or training, and job experience that allows them to do legal work. Paralegals adhere to recognized standards and professional accountability rules. But really what activities could one expect to do as a paralegal every day and what Paralegal Salary they can expect accordingly.
The fact is, paralegals, perform a broad variety of activities, and not every day is exactly the same. There are however some core functions that are commonly performed by paralegals. Here are some of the common duties for which the paralegals are daily responsible.
What is a paralegal salary – Legal Research and Presentations
Some of a paralegal’s most significant tasks are to help his or her lawyer plan for trials, hearings, and closings. Much of this consists of carrying out legal research and gathering relevant information on the case. This involves reviewing the facts of the case, as well as defining the relevant rules, court rulings, and relevant legal documents for the case.
Here we will discuss what is a paralegal salary in depth with all stated points. The paralegal gathers information and analyzes it, and provides a written report that the attorney uses to decide how the case will be handled. Sometimes, the paralegals are also active in the planning of company presentations.
A further important part of being a paralegal is interviewing. A paralegal does not normally conduct the initial client interview where the lawyer obtains information about the client’s legal problems. They are however often present to observe the questioning and take notes so that they are ready to conduct subsequent interviews with clients and witnesses.
Drafting Legal Documents
A paralegal professional’s day is majorly spent drafting legal documents. This often includes the drafting of correspondence and pleadings, such as complaints, interrogatories, subpoenas, pretrial orders, deposition notices, and legal briefs.
Administration of Law Office
Paralegals are required to perform administrative activities such as filing documents, responding to telephone calls, and maintaining and arranging reference files, in addition to these duties. Paralegals are also responsible for maintaining their attorney’s schedules.
They often spend some hours each day contacting clients, attorneys, witnesses, consultants, and court personnel to arrange conferences, hearings, workshops, depositions, and trials. Paralegals can also manage any travel arrangements that are needed.
Before knowing what is a paralegal salary you must have know about the job profiles of a paralegal that will pay you the salary. A paralegal is often present with their attorney in addition to these tasks, as they attend trials, depositions, executions, closures of real estate, and court or administrative hearings. A paralegal’s work often varies depending on the form of law the paralegal operates in.
For instance, a corporate paralegal may manage shareholder documents while a criminal-law paralegal may thoroughly investigate police reports. Irrespective of the field of law, a person with an organized mind and multitasking capacity may find a paralegal’s day-to-day tasks rewarding and challenging.
Working under an attorney’s supervision, the work product of the paralegal is merged with and becomes a part of a client’s attorney’s work product. The paralegal’s non-lawyer status has to be clear in communications with clients and the public. Paralegals cannot provide legal advice or carry out duties exclusively reserved for licensed lawyers.
Here are the duties a paralegal performs
Here are the typical duties that you can expect to perform to get Paralegal Salary:
- Conducting client interviews
- Maintaining general contact and communication with your client.
- Locating the witnesses and interviewing them.
- Conducting investigations
- Carrying out statistical research.
- Documenting everything necessary
- Conducting legal research.
- Drafting legal documents, pleadings, and correspondence.
- Summarizing depositions, testimony, and interrogatories.
- Attending executions of wills, closings of immovable property, depositions, judicial or disciplinary hearings, and trials with the counsel.
- Authoring and signing correspondence provided the paralegal status is indicated, and there are no independent legal opinions or legal advice in the correspondence.
Where Can you Seek Employment?
Remember that the demand for paralegal professionals is surging across the globe. Whether you wish to travel to a different state of stay right where you are, you will never run out of employment opportunities.
Although the profession of paralegal had its origins in law firms, in the modern era, paralegals generally operate in most sectors and business organizations like insurance companies, banks, and health organizations. Interestingly, the US government happens to be a big employer of paralegal professionals.
In this regard, one thing that you must remember regarding paralegal salary is that in a law firm environment, a paralegal’s time for actual legal work (not clerical or administrative work) is paid to clients almost the same as the time of an attorney, but at a lower hourly rate.
How to Choose the Right College for Paralegal Education?
With nearly a thousand paralegal schools in every state, as well as distance learning and online paralegal programs, there are plenty of opportunities for prospective paralegals to find a paralegal school that suits their specific needs.
Choosing a paralegal school can rely on several factors. If you choose to specialize in one field of law, paralegal schools can be found that offer coursework based on your subject.
Or, if you want to get into the field quickly, many programs provide a good legal and research foundation that you can complete in as little as a few months and get ready for your paralegal job with a satisfactory Paralegal Salary.
Some factors to consider when assessing paralegal schools are presented here.
Is the College Accredited?
Find out if the American Bar Association (ABA) or any other regional accrediting body has accreditation for the paralegal program. Many non accredited paralegal schools are committed to the teaching of qualified paralegals, and not all markets have accredited local schools.
When the school is not certified it is necessary to know whether it can follow the certification criteria. Always address the value of accreditation with prospective employers; if school accreditation is important to them, you need to understand that before selecting a paralegal program.
How Much Time You’re Ready to Invest?
Paralegal associate degree programs vary from as little as three months to two years. Shorter certificate programs, perhaps by working as a legal secretary, are appropriate for those who already have degrees or who have previous legal experience. For recent high school graduates or others without a secondary degree, longer associate or bachelor’s degrees may be more desirable. More the higher degree you achieve more will be your Paralegal Salary.
What Type of Program does your College Offer?
Legal studies programs offer a diploma, associate, or bachelor’s degree, which vary from criminal justice programs — where the concentration is primarily on criminal law — which paralegal programs that focus on law enforcement — by providing you with education in civil, administrative, and criminal law.
Legislation differs from state to state, and there is a definite benefit of attending a paralegal school where you want to practice. It also gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with state and local rules and make connections for potential job search.
The Level of Flexibility
Paralegal schools offer a range of options to suit the needs of the students. You may need a paralegal program that allows you to work while completing your coursework, one that offers evening classes, or one that has full-time or part-time options for studying. If your work obligation is a major concern, you may need to find a program that offers online study courses. Where you can earn Paralegal Salary while studying.
What about the Expenses?
As we have talked about Who is a Paralegal and what requirements you need to become a paralegal, the one major factor is the money you expend. Attending a part-time paralegal school might often lead to additional expenses, which you wouldn’t desire at any cost. Figure out the costs beforehand and weigh that with the benefits you are bound to receive.
How is the Faculty?
Do the paralegal school’s emphasis and philosophy suit your needs and interests? Is the team filled with practicing attorneys and paralegals, or retired ones? Both constitute important considerations.
Does your College Provide Internship Opportunities?
If your major concern is Paralegal Salary then find out if a number of internships are offered by the paralegal program or not. because practices give you the chance to obtain some practical work experience, so that you get a clear idea of what do paralegals do. It gives you a chances to learn which fields of law you are most interested in, build connections, and receive school credit.
Target Your Niche
If you are interested in a specific field of expertise, ask the guidance counselor at the paralegal school if they have put students in law firms or other organizations that concentrate on your area of interest.
Level of Education to Get Paralegal Salary
Make sure you select a paralegal school whose faculty and staff is committed just as much to help you find a job as to teaching. The school should be able to tell you which percentage of its graduates are taking a certification examination and what is their job placement.
Not only does a good paralegal program prepare you for your paralegal career, but it also helps you find that first job as a successful professional.
Now we believe that you have got a fair idea of how you can choose the perfect college that will help you to cruise forward, closer to your professional dreams and also a basic idea on your Paralegal Salary. In this regard, all you need to do is conduct your research and choose the right college. And before that, pay attention to the data available regarding the paralegal’s salary standards.
Does Higher Salary Matter to You?
It’s obvious that you shall receive a higher amount of paralegal salary in selected states and cities. But at the same time, you must also understand something real quick. In most of the cities and states where the paralegal professionals are paid the highest salary, the lifestyle costs tend to be much higher than others.
In such a scenario, what would be the use of those thousands of dollars if all you end up with is paying enormous taxes and draining the wealth in terms of food and lodging expenses? You must always take personal finance into account. In many cases, living in a small town and earning less leads to higher wealth accumulation than living in a big city and spending like a king.
We believe that now you can make better decisions. Just in case you need to know more about paralegal salary, leave a comment below or you can simply checkout online schools near me. We’ll get back to you.