How much is a Legal Assistant’s salary?
It is important to know how much you stand to make before you go into any career field.
Although Legal Assistants do not earn as much as attorneys who have been to law school, you can expect to receive good pay that provides a living wage.
In addition to salary, most Legal Assistants and Paralegals receive health insurance benefits, sick leave, and vacation pay.
Legal Assistant Salary
Salaries can vary wildly depending on many factors.
The number one cause of discrepancy is experience. A Legal Assistant who has just graduated from Paralegal school is going to receive a lower wage than a Paralegal who has been working in the field for 15 years.
The level of education completed also influences pay, since a person holding a bachelor’s degree is likely to be better paid than someone with an associate’s degree.
The salary range is between $29,000 – $75,000.
The median salary for Legal Assistants and Paralegals in the United States is $46,990. Which is the equivalent of about $22.50 an hour.
According to 2005 census data in Canada, the average salary was C$41,321. In 2014, the probable salary is between $40,000-$50,000 CAD.
The job outlook for Legal Assistants is positive since it is expected to increase at a healthy rate for the foreseeable future.
As of 2012, the number of Legal Assistants and Paralegals in the United States was at least 267,030.
There are opportunities to work in government, private practice, corporate offices and even freelancing, so potential continues to abound for Legal Assistant employment.
The type of employer can influence your pay grade. Paralegals who work for large national law firms will get paid a greater salary than those working for an attorney who is a sole practitioner in a small town. Employees of the federal government can enjoy a higher pay grade than a city government Legal Assistant. A corporate office is going to be able to provide a higher rate of pay than a legal aide clinic can.
Another aspect which makes a difference in wages is the particular field of law involved. A legal office that specializes in family law might pay less than a firm who predominately handles medical malpractice suits. Attorneys who generally only practice criminal defense may not have the resources to pay their Paralegals as much as lawyers who take on tort law.
Furthering your Legal Assistant Training ensures a greater salary level.
When seeking employment, you are likely to apply for a variety of positions in a variety of legal offices, and accept whatever job you are offered. While everyone wants to receive the highest pay possible for their hard work, hopefully salary is not your number one concern when entering the legal field. As you gain experience and look to advance your career, you may have the opportunity to be more selective with your choice of employer.
If the opportunity arises, and you are in a position to further your career, there are a few things to add to your consideration besides salary. You should choose a field of law of particular interest to you; an area where you feel challenged, capable, and intrigued. Opportunity to advance is another area for careful attention, both in reference to advancement of responsibility and an increase in salary.