Average Paralegal Salary for Entry Level Paralegal Positions
A paralegal is an individual who has undergone training sessions about paralegal studies and has attained certification to work in paralegal field. Paralegals work hand in hand with the lawyers to be able to ensure that various activities in a law firm run efficiently. They work in legal firms, government organizations,and corporate legal fields among other organizations. Although they are not lawyers, they have been imparted with all the necessary skills needed for the profession. For individuals having interest in paralegal as a career, general knowledge about what the profession entails and the paralegal salary is of great impossible. It will enable you to make sound decisions.
Paralegals work with the lawyers in ensuring that quality services are delivered in law firms. However, one does not necessarily have to be an aspiring lawyer in order to be a paralegal. Therefore, anyone having interest in legal matters can undertake aparalegal course without any complications so long as they have interest in the paralegal field. Paralegal profession can be compared to the doctor-nurse situation in hospitals. The nurses act as assistants to the doctor in the same way that paralegals act as assistants to the lawyers.
The roles of paralegals are to organize documents, create reports and draft documents, conduct legal research and interviews among other tasks. The type of work carried out by paralegals varies depending on the organization they are working for and their positions in these firms. The paralegal salary is also subject to variation. For instance, individuals working in a small firm will have different salary as compared to individuals working in the large firms. Normally, paralegal jobs are on fulltime basis; however at times there is overtime working in order to meet deadlines
Paralegals, also called legal assistants, play key role in the judicial systems and at times almost similar activities with the lawyers. Some of the important issues in paralegal field are discussed below such as paralegal salary.
Entry Level Paralegal Salary
A research carried out by Payscale .com on paralegal salary shows that as of January 2014, paralegals with less than one year experience earned between$25,367 and $45,249. The initial salary varies depending on the location, employer and legal specialization.
Factors Affecting Initial Paralegal Salary
Location is a major determinant of the paralegal salary. Paralegals working in larger cities receive greater starting salaries as compared to paralegals working in smaller towns. According to the BLS as of May 2012, the entry paralegal salary was way higher than the national average initial salary in the metropolitan areas such as Pennsylvania, New York, California and The District Of Columbia.
The type of business being carried out by a paralegal also determines the paralegal salary received. Paralegals working in legal firms or corporate legal departments earn differently compared to paralegals who work in the public sector for the federal state government departments. Paralegal salary for individuals working in grant making and giving services, securities and contracts intermediation and brokerage and software publishers is very high according to a report as of May 2012 by BLS. Their salaries range from$69,720-$82,090 annually.
The area of paralegal specialization may also affect the paralegal salary offered. The various fields of specialization include family law, personal injury, estate law or litigation. Some fields have better starting salaries than others. For instance, an entry level corporate paralegal with one to four years of experience received about $35,353-$66,187 while litigation paralegals with similar experience received about $30,201-$59,598 annually. This according to a research carried out by payscale.com as of January 2014.
Paralegal programs and courses chosen could also affect your starting paralegal salary. The paralegal program and courses taken should therefore be wisely chosen to give one an upper hand in terms of salary. The courses undertaken should involve subjects such as:
• Interviewing techniques
• Ethics of law
• Business law
• Family law
• Legal writing
• Criminal law
• Bankruptcy law
To improve the chances of being employed and having a better salary, you should seek certification from various professionalorganizations. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) is responsible for offering certification to entry level paralegals. The Certified Paralegal offers certification to certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree holders. For you to qualify the certification tests carried out by the paralegal bodies, you ought to have working experience in a legal or law working environment.