Paralegals and Legal Assistants

What do they do?

Assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

Also known as:

Certified Paralegal, Corporate Law Assistant, Corporate Paralegal, Immigration Paralegal, Law Associate, Legal Analyst, Legal Assistant, Litigation Paralegal, Paralegal, Paralegal Assistant, Paralegal Specialist, Real Estate Paralegal, Research Assistant

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Paralegals and Legal Assistants in United States

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Paralegals and Legal Assistants is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For All United States:

  • 14.6%

    Percent Change

    Select a state to see its job growth rate ranking
  • 34,700

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Select a state to see its net job growth ranking

Select Type of Degree:

Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Paralegals and Legal Assistants:

Indicates your preferred majors

★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, All, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (3.1%)
  • Master's degree (5.8%)
  • Bachelor's degree (34.3%)
  • Associate's degree (19.8%)
  • Some college, no degree (24.2%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (11.8%)
  • Less than high school diploma (1%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Maintain the order of legal documents.
  • Prepare legal documents.
  • Research relevant legal materials to aid decision making.
  • Meet with individuals involved in legal processes to provide information and clarify issues.
  • Confer with court staff to clarify information.
  • Evaluate information related to legal matters in public or personal records.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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