What does a Paralegal do?
In the majority of jurisdictions, a paralegal acts as a legal assistant to a qualified lawyer or legal professional. As the assistant, the paralegal is responsible for a wide range of tasks within a legal spectrum outside of the practice of law, the delivery of legal advice, and the representation of clientele. A Paralegal will work in tandem with attorneys, to provide the most comprehensive service to their respective clientele.
The basic paralegal responsibilities entail a variety of duties that are commonly linked to the day to day responsibilities of an attorney or legal professional; a paralegal provide their respective attorney or legal professional with basic duties to streamline an attorney’s work. Paralegals may assist research and participate in legal processes and procedures; however, they are not permitted to provide any sort of legal advice.
Typically, a paralegal may provide the following duties: provide case work and legal research for their respective law firm or legal professional, interview potential clients to gauge which legal endeavors are worth pursuing, conduct thorough reviews of case studies and legal precedents for their respective legal professionals, accessing law libraries to reveal pertinent legal matters, organize a lawyer’s schedule to streamline their business and provide information to clients regarding their respective case .
In a more specific sense, a paralegal is responsible for the collection, arrangement, and organization of legal forms and documents with regard to a court case; a paralegal may be required to fulfill a variety of paper work, claims, forms, text, and statutes with regard to any of all claims or defenses. Furthermore, a paralegal can authenticate the necessary documentation required, as well as the processing of the satisfied forms for their respected lawyer, legal professional or law firm.
The majority of paralegals–approximately 70%–work in law firms. A paralegal, in any setting, will perform many duties at a much lower salary then the attorneys they work for. That being said, paralegal salaries are still relatively high; paralegal salaries are especially high considering there are no official requirements to assume the role.
Paralegal salaries will differentiate based on the location of the law firm as well as the particular law office in which the paralegal works. In most instances, paralegal salaries are higher in more concentrated areas, such as New York or California, when compared to those paralegal salaries in less-densely populated areas such as the Great Plains or Deep South.
Furthermore, paralegal salaries will vary by industry; for example, a paralegal working for a state government will obtain a different paralegal salary than an individual working for a private law firm. The below table will list the average paralegal salaries for various industries; additionally the below table will provide a range for the highest and lowest paralegal salaries:
Lowest Paralegal Salaries= $27,450-$31,500 per year
Average Paralegal Salaries=$43,040-$45,500 per year
Highest Paralegal Salaries=$67,540-$75,000 per year
Paralegal Salaries for individuals who work for the Federal Government: $56,080 per year
Paralegal Salaries for individuals who work for a Local Government: $42,170 per year
Paralegal Salaries who work for Local Services Industry: $41,460 per year
Paralegal Salaries who work for a State Government: $38,020 per year