Why is New York a great location for Legal Assistants?
From the vast number of job opportunities and higher salaries, to all the amazing sites and activities that NYC has to offer, a career move is definitely something worth considering.
There are so many reasons you could want to be a Legal Assistant in NYC, we can’t possibly list them all here.
To become a Legal Assistant or Paralegal in New York, you should familiarize yourself with all the different aspects you will need to consider. Currently, there is no certification requirement for Legal Assistants or Paralegals in NYC.
However, in order to have the easiest time in securing a job, and to make the most money, you will be much better off if you have an associate’s degree in paralegal or received a bachelor’s degree and paralegal certificate.
Employment Opportunities in NYC
Legal Assistants and Paralegals are in high demand in New York.
In a city as big as NYC, there are opportunities to work as a Legal Assistant in just about any industry you can imagine. So many companies are headquartered in NYC, and their corporate offices often have legal departments.
Banks, insurance companies, international law firms, the ACLU, government offices, legal aid, television corporations, the pharmaceutical industry, and major department stores, are all employers currently hiring Legal Assistants.
To search for open Legal Assistant and Paralegal positions, use our job search tool to find available jobs in the NYC area.
How Much Do NYC Legal Assistants Make?
The median wage for NYC Legal Assistants is $54,590, with a starting wage of about $39,750. Experienced Paralegals can expect to earn upward of $65,000.
For New York State as a whole, the median wage is $52,000, with a range of $36,310-$63,290.
These figures are quite a bit higher than the US national average, where the starting wage is about $29,000.
What is the Job Outlook for NYC Legal Assistants?
As of 2013, there were over 15,000 Legal Assistants or Paralegals working in NYC, according to the New York State Department of Labor.
Within New York State, employment is expected to increase 17.2% for Legal Assistant and Paralegal jobs between 2010 and 2020. This is identified as a “very favorable” increase.
What Does it Take to Be a Legal Assistant in NYC?
You must be ambitious, driven, and goal-oriented. Be self-motivated, dependable, and willing to work long hours. Review the 10 qualities of a great Legal Assistant.
In a city as vast a New York City, you have to develop the right attitude for success. Law offices are full of competitive people, especially in NYC. You don’t have to be cutthroat, and certainly not unethical, but you must have or quickly develop a thick skin.
It can be easy to feel alone, even in a city surrounded by millions of people. It is a good idea to join organizations and associations to find people you have things in common with. Luckily, it is easier than ever to maintain contact with friends and family around the world.
What Legal Assistants Should Know About New York
There are several factors to consider before making the move to NYC.
Although you are likely to find higher Paralegal salaries than in other locations, the cost of living is also higher. You will find much higher rent costs for much less space. Most young professionals live with at least one other roommate. However, since you will most likely be walking or riding the subway like everyone else, you save on transportation costs.
They don’t call it the city that never sleeps for nothing. You might quickly find yourself feeling like part of the rat race. Many law firms and corporations expect not only their attorneys, but also their Legal Assistants, to work long -grueling even- hours.
If you are at a point in your life where you have ambitious career goals you want to pursue, NYC is THE place to be. No other city can offer you the unique experience that New York makes available to you.
Paralegal Organizations to Join in NYC
Membership in the New York City Paralegal Association, Inc. (NYCPA) provides you with an opportunity to network with other Legal Assistants. As a member, you have the opportunity to attend legal education classes, and will be among the first to know about new job openings.
Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (ESAPA) is a good resource for networking and staying up-to-date on the latest legal news that effects Legal Assistants and Paralegals in NYC.