Paralegals can expect an average starting salary around $30,000-$35,000 in most areas.
Paralegals are basically legal assistants, but have fairly substantial responsibilities in comparison to other assistant jobs. A paralegal position is very research-heavy, requiring substantial comfort with computers, databases, and processing large amounts of information.
Most paralegals work for a law firm and work with either one partner-level lawyer or a group of lawyers at the firm. Around 71% of paralegals work directly for a firm, and most work in or around cities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a paralegal is $49,600.
A paralegal is a high paying job that doesn’t require a 4-year degree. You do however need an associates degree in paralegal studies, which is offered from most community colleges.
Some Commonly Asked Questions About Salary Levels/A Career as A Paralegal
Can Paralegals work from home?
Typically, no. While many paralegals have some flexibility in their schedule, and can work from home on occasion, most cannot work from home on a full time basis. Being a paralegal often requires being present in lots of meetings, taking diligent notes, and regularly working with the firms partners to make sure they have all the information they need to do their jobs.
Being a paralegal also typically requires sifting through private information, and many firms will not allow access to their databases without being on the secure network at their offices.
Do I need to be certified to become a Paralegal?
While this video is a bit outdated (look at those computers!) It gives a good overview of a paralegal’s job: