Paralegals and Legal Assistants Occupational Outlook
This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants. This is just the summary – there is much more information available on their website located at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm
Paralegals and legal assistants perform a variety of tasks to support their attorneys.
|Quick Facts: Paralegals and Legal Assistants|
|2010 Median Pay||$46,680 per year
$22.44 per hour
|Entry-Level Education||Associate’s degree|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|Number of Jobs, 2010||256,000|
|Job Outlook, 2010-20||18% (About as fast as average)|
|Employment Change, 2010-20||46,900|
What Paralegals and Legal Assistants Do
Paralegals and legal assistants do a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents.
Paralegals and legal assistants are found in all types of organizations, but most work for law firms, corporate legal departments, or government agencies. They usually work full time, and overtime is sometimes needed to meet important deadlines.
How to Become a Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Most paralegals and legal assistants have an associate’s degree or a certificate in paralegal studies. In some cases, employers may hire college graduates with a bachelor’s degree but no legal experience or education and train them on the job.
The median annual wage of paralegals and legal assistants was $46,680 in May 2010.
Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. This occupation attracts many applicants, and competition for jobs will be strong. Experienced, formally trained paralegals should have the best job prospects.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of paralegals and legal assistants with similar occupations.
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Contacts for More Information
Learn more about paralegals and legal assistants by contacting these additional resources.