Salary Guide: Paralegals

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Paralegals and Legal Assistants assist lawyers in legal proceedings. Duties include research, the preparation of legal documents, and fact investigation. Nationwide there are nearly 250,000 Paralegals and Legal Assistants who earn an average salary of $49,640.

More than 1,000 schools offer paralegal programs but only 260 of these programs are approved by the American Bar Association.

Paralegals can come about in four main ways: Community colleges paralegal programs, certificate programs, bachelor’s degree programs, and on-the-job training. More than 1,000 schools offer paralegal programs but only 260 of these programs are approved by the American Bar Association. While this approval (and certification in general) is not typically required, it often leads to more jobs and higher pay.

Explore Paralegal programs in your area or online.

Salaries by State (mean annual wage)

Alabama: $45,020
Alaska: $50,890
Arizona: $47,780
Arkansas: $35,240
California: $59,790
Colorado: $48,500
Connecticut: $51,150
Delaware: $51,210
District of Columbia: $65,740
Florida: $46,180
Georgia: $48,910
Hawaii: $51,540
Idaho: $39,540
Illinois: $52,700
Indiana: $40,300
Iowa: $42,400
Kansas: $43,490
Kentucky: $41,240
Louisiana: $44,570
Maine: $42,720
Maryland: $50,930
Massachusetts: $50,290
Michigan: $49,510
Minnesota: $51,450
Mississippi: $38,190
Missouri: $45,480
Montana: $38,060
Nebraska: $41,190
Nevada: $51,580
New Hampshire: $44,590
New Jersey: $52,870
New Mexico: $39,430
New York: $56,920
North Carolina: $41,650
North Dakota: $40,950
Ohio: $44,570
Oklahoma: $41,200
Oregon: $50,730
Pennsylvania: $50,260
Rhode Island: $49,980
South Carolina: $42,820
South Dakota: $37,770
Tennessee: $39,350
Texas: $47,980
Utah: $40,450
Vermont: $42,580
Virginia: $49,900
Washington: $49,710
West Virginia: $36,230
Wisconsin: $42,420
Wyoming: $36,220

Salaries for the Top 20 Metro Areas (mean annual wage)

1. New York City: $60,540
2. Los Angeles: $60,860
3. Chicago: $53,740
4. Dallas – Forth Worth: $52,530
5. Philadelphia: $54,900
6. Houston: $49,480
7. Washington DC: $63,890
8. Miami: $49,310
9. Atlanta: $49,510
10. Boston: $50,280
11. San Francisco: $64,230
12. Detroit: $50,360
13. Riverside: $62,340
14. Phoenix: $48,950
15. Seattle: $52,770
16. Minneapolis: $54,130
17. San Diego: $57,960
18. St. Louis: $43,980
19. Tampa: $48,920
20. Baltimore: $51,060

  • All statistics calculated by the US Department of Labor, May 2010.
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