Paralegal and Legal Assistant at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Paralegal and Legal Assistant

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Paralegal and Legal Assistant

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Paralegal and Legal Assistant

  Employment
in 2011
Average
Annual Salary
Average
Hourly Pay
Florida 23,240 $46,500 $22
District of Columbia 6,520 $68,850 $33
Delaware 1,340 $51,910 $25

Becoming a Paralegal or Legal Assistant

Typically, paralegal and legal assistant qualifications include an associate degree in paralegal studies. A few schools may also offer a bachelor's or master's program, but these are not as common. Certificate programs may also be available for those who already have a degree in another field. Many employers will then provide on-the-job training once an individual is hired in this position.

Many community colleges across the country offer training programs in paralegal studies, but only about 270 are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). In addition to core topics in the field, students in most paralegal training programs will also complete an internship. Below are a few common courses you might expect to take in a paralegal studies program:

  • Authority, Research, and Writing
  • Business Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law

While not required, some paralegals may seek certification. This usually requires the successful completion of an exam, along with specific education and experience requirements. As they gain experience, individuals in this profession may gain responsibilities and even supervise other employees at law firms or in their company's legal department.