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Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Career Overview

Paralegals and legal assistants perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents.

Education

Most paralegals and legal assistants have at least 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 specialized education and train them on the job.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
Median:
High End:
$31,400 /yr
$50,940 /yr
$82,050 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Computer Science
  • Business
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Writing
  • Communication
Work Environment

Paralegals and legal assistants are found in all types of organizations, but most work for law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies. They usually work full time, and some may have to work more than 40 hours a week to meet deadlines.

Future Outlook

Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects.

Schools
References
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada