Paralegal Jobs

There is a growing demand for paralegals in the U.S., and there are job openings for this profession in all parts of the country. The rate of pay for employment as a paralegal varies greatly, depending on the area of the country, the city, and the field in which the paralegal works. Those who work in a corporate business law firm can earn $90,000 to $100,000 annually, while a beginning paralegal who is just out of school may earn $25,000. Most paralegals earn between $36,000 and $59,000.

Many paralegals are employed by private law firms, and many are also employed by the federal government. Government employees often receive the highest annual pay and the excellent benefits that federal employees receive. The benefits include very good medical insurance with dental and vision coverage, generous vacation packages, and personal leave time, a retirement plan, reimbursement for continuing education, and job security. Other types of industries who employee many paralegals are large corporations, insurance companies, and private law offices. The benefits and salary of corporations is greater than that of the federal government in many cases.

Paralegal JobsThe qualifications needed to acquire a position as a paralegal involve some type of certificate or degree that has prepared the candidate for the job. Some employers may train paralegals, but most have completed their Associate’s Degree at a community college or at a university. Others have earned their Bachelor’s Degree, while certificate programs general train those who already have a college degree. Some colleges and business schools have job placement services in which jobs are advertised at the school, and graduates from these institutions are often given first preference in hiring for these beginner positions.

Paralegal jobs can be found on any website that advertises job openings on a national or regional basis. It is not usually necessary to use an agency that requires a job applicant to pay for job placement simply because there are far more paralegal job openings than there are qualified paralegals to fill them. The paralegal field is growing at a faster than average rate than other jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Paralegal jobs in large cities, such as New York City, are often categorized according to the specialty field of the law firm. These include litigation, appellate, corporate, product liability, trust and estate, immigration, private equity, taxes, intellectual property and trademark, bankruptcy, real estate, business, and more. Without experience, the paralegal just graduating with an Associate’s Degree or other type of education usually needs to take a beginning position. Pay for these positions can be very low, and small businesses sometimes offer limited benefits.

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Experience in one of the particular law specialties is a qualification that lawyers look for in paralegals. With four or five years of experience, the paralegal has a good chance of moving into a better position and earning more money.

Elite law firms often require paralegals to have graduated from a top school in the country, and they expect more leadership from these employees. In New York City, an entry level college graduate can begin earning $40,000 with paid overtime, bonuses, a matched 401K, all benefits paid by the firm, generous paid time off, transportation, and the use of the Partner’s amenities on their floor. College graduates with high GPAs from top colleges are given first preference for positions in these firms. In smaller cities, paralegals may have the same benefits, but an Associate’s Degree may be sufficient.

All paralegals are expected to be able to work independently, to be organized, and to have strong research and analytical skills. They also need to have excellent writing skills and to be proficient in all computer programs that are used by the law firm. These normally include MS office, including Adobe Professional, Excel, and others.