How Much do Paralegals Make an Hour? Salary for a Paralegal

How much do paralegals make an hour? How much do paralegals charge per hour? Paralegals assist lawyers by performing tasks for them such as legal research, file organization, obtaining affidavits and other formal statements from the court, and whatever else the law office might require.

Although they are educated and trained to know the ins and outs of a courtroom, do not practice law, or try cases. That said, paralegals are expected to have at least an Associate’s degree in paralegal studies.

Most paralegals are considered to be full-time, and when a deadline is approaching, they can expect to work long hours. There are plenty of chances to further your career as a paralegal, and simply because you will not have an active voice in the courtroom does not mean that a career as a paralegal won’t be a satisfying one.

Paralegals assist Attorneys in gathering all the information they may need, but should not be confused with a secretary.

Clerical work and assignments are still reserved for them, and the Paralegal’s main responsibility is to aid in making sure that the Attorney is ready to succeed in court, and that all of the groundwork has been laid for them before.


How Much Do Paralegals Make?

As with any profession, the amount of money that paralegals make will vary slightly from state to state, because of different variables; such as demand for a paralegal’s services, as well as high densely populated an area is.

In 2011 in California and New York, the average income recorded for a Paralegal was $28.38/hour, or $59,030 per year.

Metro areas reportedly have higher salaries for Paralegals; for instance, San Francisco, California has the highest-paid rates for Paralegals: $70,410 or $33.85/hour.

While this report is from a higher concentrated area back in 2011, the average salary for a Paralegal is around $75.000 per year today. As stated above, this number can change with the need for their services, as well as the job market. Even with changes in these areas, being a paralegal is still a very viable and lucrative career, and there is a certain level of job security in the field.

Paralegals make a decent amount, and as you can see these numbers have only gone up from 2011 to today.

In the section below, we will be going over other ways that you will be able to increase your salary as a paralegal, or even further your education and train to be an Attorney down the road. Regardless of what your future plans may be, there are always ways to advance your career and increase your potential earnings as a Paralegal.



Although there is plenty of room for growth for a Paralegal, and the transition from Paralegal to Lawyer may seem logical, this is not the case.

Although their knowledge, expertise, and experience will give them a leg up starting out with acquiring the proper education, Paralegals will still need to have a Bachelor’s degree before even starting law school.

The real-world experience they received, however, will give them a huge advantage over their peers if and when they decide to pursue higher education and attend law school.

Another very viable option for a Paralegal to advance their career and increase their flow of income is to transition to being self-employed. This essentially makes it so that they would be an independent contractor, and could set their own schedule and rates per job, and the more experienced Paralegals will be able to work with more interesting clients.

Additionally, working this way allows a Paralegal to essentially start their own consulting firm business, and start hiring others to work under them.

If being an independent contractor as a Paralegal is something that sounds interesting, but you don’t want to chase down clients or start your own business, it is always an option to seek out these Paralegal firms and ask if they are hiring.

Keep in mind that in some regions these may be ideal positions and you might have to find a way to make sure that you stand out from the crowd. In some regions, it can be highly sought out to make your own hours and choose your own clients, and you may have a harder time in this regard.

That said, if you were working for a Paralegal firm, you most likely would be assigned clients, and would not be able to choose them; this is something that you should keep in mind.



To answer the question on how much Paralegals make per hour, it depends on the need for a Paralegal in the area you are trying to work in, but are guaranteed $20-$40/hour. As you can see, Paralegals can make really excellent money, and advance their careers without furthering their education. That said, if after they have solidified their standing and career as a Paralegal and choose to pursue a career as an Attorney, that is also a very viable option and one that would open a lot of doors, and increase their yearly earnings.

We hope this article was helpful and informative, and that you are able to take the information provided above in order to further your endeavors. We sincerely hope that this will answer any and all questions that you may have had about how much a Paralegal can make and that if you are contemplating a career in the justice field, this will help you to come to a decision.

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