Paralegals play an important role in the success of a law office, as they assist lawyers with documentation, administrative services and other related work. However, a paralegal can earn substantially more, depending on the field they specialize in.
Lawyers specialize in various areas as they choose a career; the same is true for paralegals. A paralegal can choose immigration, intellectual property, employee benefits, real estate or other aspects of the law. The higher the education you finish an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, the likelier you will get a higher salary. A paralegal certificate is an alternative presented to individuals who want to get a step closer to becoming a lawyer.
What is the best career path once you start your career as a paralegal?
After you carefully choose an online paralegal program, the first stop for many paralegals is interning or working as an associate in a law firm.
The average salary for a paralegal is approximately $48,000 and can balloon up to more than $70,000 depending on the state you work in. The best places to work as a paralegal are in San Francisco, San Jose and Washington, D.C. Your experience in the industry will also factor in the pay you get.
Corporate law tends to pay more than other fields in the industry, the same rings true for paralegals. Firms that specialize in this area have a median salary of approximately $60,000 for a paralegal. For this job you collate and analyze data, prepare legal documents, and investigate facts and cases.
Intellectual property rights are a major problem in today’s interconnected world. A company may not know it, but a foreign firm may get information about products or services through online fraud or violation of rights. Working as a paralegal for a big IT company like Microsoft can get you a salary of more than $70,000 a year.
Whether it’s providing insurance or working out the finances of brokering a merger, work in the legal department is important. Work at a consulting firm is lucrative, if you have the credentials and experience to get hired. The pay is around the same level as working for a corporate law firm.
Depending on your work ethic, experience and certifications, you will get the pay you want. A career as a paralegal is not a dead end job; in fact, it is financially rewarding.