Do Paralegals Make Good Money?

Paralegals? How many of you guys have heard about this word before? I am sure that many of you who are reading this article will just be hearing about the word for the first time or most of you might have heard of it from somewhere but all the same, we will be talking about them today so you should be attentive to grab every information possible.

What comes to your mind when you hear good money? For me, I feel good money simply refers to any amount that is capable of taking care of all a man’s basic needs, necessity, and responsibilities.

Once you are earning an amount from a job you do or business that handles all your bills and is up to the standard of living in the state or country. With that been said, we are about to find out if paralegals make good money from the work they do.

First of all, who are paralegals? Paralegals are under the line of paraprofessionals so I will first like to define what paraprofessionals are.

A paraprofessional is a person who has been trained specially to help and assist professional though they do not have a professional license. A paralegal is a special type of paraprofessional who has the needed knowledge and teaching to work without the supervision by a professional.

There are constant pressures by clients to lower the cost of legal services, lawyers and law firms in the legal profession these makes this make them find a way to improve efficiency and lower overhead.

These actions make it possible to hire more paralegals that will perform the same task only a lawyer would perform. Furthermore, many higher corporations have an internal legal team that has started considering their project staffing and they are now using paralegals for their simple administrative functions.


What do Paralegals do?

Paralegals help to support the functions of lawyers and law firms which include investigative, research, administrative, organizational, and drafting and legal documents. These actions they perform help the lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. In some firms, the paralegals have to help an attorney with interviews, data collection, meeting scheduling, exhibit collection during meetings, organize meetings and have a lot of direct contact with clients.


How much do Paralegals Earn?

As a new and inexpert paralegal, you will be making the lowest average income of about $30,000 while the highest you can expect is about $40,000. If you’re a greenhorn paralegal, you will make the most money in California, while cities like Georgia you will expect substantially fee.

Once you have some experience you can make up to $50,000 per year. Mostly, for paralegals, the maximum salaries are $90,000. However, remember that the larger firms tend to pay higher salaries than smaller because they can afford it.



Paralegals help lawyers inexecuting subsidiary tasks such as organizing files, conducting legal research and procuring affidavits and other formal reports.

Paralegals earn their salary by working full-time although some paralegals are employed temporarily during busy periods also long hours are common when is it a deadline approaches.


Average Salary

Information from the Bureau of Labor the Statistics as of May 2011 states that  the paralegals were paid an average of $49,960 per year, or $24.02 per hour and also the least-earning 10 percent received $29,390 annually, or $14.13 per hour; the premier-earning 10 percent made $75,400 per year or $36.25 hourly.


Employment Sectors

There are 252,250 paralegals and almost 73 percent of the nation paralegals work for legal services, this information includes both the self-employed and others working in the offices of attorneys.

The average salaries for an employer of this type of paralegal were $47,790 yearly or $22.98 per hour.

The second highest source of jobs for paralegals was the federal government this had 6 percent of the positions and the mean wages were at $64,750 annually or $31.13 per hour.

The positions of the local government rank third with 5 percent of the jobs and its annual salary are $50,980 or hourly $24.51.

The best pay for a paralegal was the petroleum and coal products companies with the mean wages at $81,480 annually or $39.18 per hour.

The second was the software publishers and their annual salary was $77,520, or an hourly of $37.27


States and Cities

In the year 2011, paralegals had the best employment opportunities in the city of California, which had 10  percent of the total jobs, and also the New York City had 7 percent of the whole paralegal jobs.

The salaries for the city of California were $59,030 per year, or $28.38 per hour while the salary for those in the City of New York were $57,940 annually, or $27.86 hourly, also cities like were New York State, Florida, Washington DC, and Chicago, Illinois had good opportunity, the best salaries was the District of Columbia which had the minimum of $68,120 per year, or $32.75 per hour.

San Francisco which was a Metropolitan area topped the list with an annual salary of $70,410, or $33.85 per hour.



Associate Degree is needed for most paralegals and that’s the reason why most Paralegals enter the job market with the associate degrees. One can obtain a certificate in paralegal studies if he has a bachelor’s degree in another subject.



The BLS has predicts that the paralegal jobs is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020 and is better due to the 14 percent predicted for all jobs in all industries and higher than the 11 percent predictable for the legal occupations.

Most employers will need special experience from the paralegals such as corporate litigation or contracts.



A paralegal that has an associate degree will certainly need a bachelor degree before he can enter law school, this helps to offer practical experience during the law school.

The best way to upgrade from paralegal without attaining extra education is by becoming self-employed and also working as a contractor, this helps the paralegals to set their rates and get the best clients. Also, self-employed paralegals can start their own services companies and can hire other paralegals for jobs.

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