According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the paralegal
profession is one of the fastest growing fields in the
One of the most debated factors in obtaining a higher salary is paralegal certification. Does having a designation such as Certified Paralegal or Registered Paralegal, really increase your chances of a higher salary? This also is dependent on firm size and geography, but research shows that paralegals with designations earn an average of $11,000 more per year than those without designations.
Because there aren’t national minimum educational requirements for paralegals, the education vs. experience debate continues. With more paralegal studies programs offered now than ever before, those new to the profession will likely have a higher starting salary with a bachelor’s degree. Paralegals who have been in the profession longer than 15 years are more likely to not hold a formal degree, but their experience has placed many of them at the top of the paralegal pay scale.
Geographic region also plays a huge part in
paralegal compensation. Areas of the
As far as environments are concerned, corporate paralegals tend to earn the highest average salaries, followed by law firm paralegals and then government paralegals.
Legal Assistant Today Magazine's 16th annual paralegal salary survey results show that pay for paralegal jobs climbed slowly in 2007. The average salary of a paralegal increased 3.7% to $52,979.
In the 16 years
Legal Assistant Today
magazine has conducted its annual paralegal compensation survey,
paralegal salaries have varied dramatically.
Take, for example, the survey results from the last two years,
when wages escalated an incredible 11.2 percent in 2005 but barely got
off the ground in 2006 with only a 1.4 percent increase.
According to our current survey results, the national average for
paralegal salaries in 2007 reached $52,979, a 3.7 percent increase from
“I’d say that’s right on par,” said
Gerard Grandzol, senior placement director for Special Counsel in
The salary numbers also sounded accurate to Baxter
Quinn Andrews, a 3-year litigation paralegal with Hall, Farley,
Oberrecht & Blanton in
In 2007, survey respondents received an average raise of $2,791, down from the $3,456 average raise in 2006. The highest individual salary reported was $120,000 and the lowest was $18,000, which is only $8,500 less than the highest reported bonus of $26,500. And while that bonus represents an extreme, 61.8 percent of respondents said they received a bonus, with the average being $3,120. Comparatively, in 2006, the highest individual salary reported was $110,000, and the lowest was $23,000, which was $1,000 less than the highest reported bonus of $24,000. The average bonus for 2006 was $2,962 and 66.1 percent of our survey respondents received a bonus that year. Overall, 68.7 percent of survey respondents in 2007 think they are paid fairly, an increase of more than 5 percent over the 2006 survey results.
As in previous years, salaries varied geographically. Paralegals in….
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one-year paid subscription to Legal Assistant Today Magazine
The full 14 pages of paralegal salary survey results may be obtained immediately and FREE with a year's subscription to Legal Assistant Today magazine. At $28 for six issues, including the free, instant download of the complete LAT Salary Survey for 2007, it is a tremendous resource that will hardly make a dent in your salary.
After you complete the short magazine subscription form, you will be directed to a fast-loading PDF. You may also request a free printed version of the survey results by calling (800) 394-2626.
The Salary Survey Contains the following 44 color charts and graphs: