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Is there a bright future for Paralegals?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with their 2020 Occupational Outlook for Paralegals and Legal Assistants.

Bottom line – it’s not a bad time to be in, or to be getting into, a paralegal or legal assistant position*.

Consider these findings:

o Median annual pay is $51,750, compared with $39,800 for all occupations in the US.

o 80% of paralegals and legal assistants earn between $32-82,000.

o The federal government, finance, and insurance sectors pay the most, with a median income above $84,000 per year.

o Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow by 10% over the next 10 years, much faster than the 4% for all occupations in the US economy.

States with the most paralegals are CA, FL, NY, TX, and IL. The highest pay for paralegals and legal assistants is in DC, CO, CA, MA, and WA.

Bottom line – it’s not a bad time to be in, or to be getting into, a paralegal or legal assistant position.

If you’d like to “just get away,” consider these top-paying non-metropolitan areas for paralegals and legal assistants:

o Alaska

o Northwest Colorado

o Central New Hampshire

o North Coast of California

o Hawaii/Kauai

Or, the non-metropolitan places where there are the most jobs:

● Kansas

● North Carolina Piedmont area

● Central Kentucky

● Southwest Montana

● Southeast coastal North Carolina

The life of the paralegal is not all rosy, of course; here are a few cautions:

o Stress – The American Bar Association has recently discussed stress as a significant issue for paralegals. Unfortunately, stress among paralegal staff is not as well addressed as attorney stress. Good tools, such as a cloud-based matter management system, can significantly reduce stress among paralegals, especially those expected to bill by the hour.

o Limited ceiling – you very likely never will be the boss of a law firm if you do not have a law degree.

o Respect – routine tasks like repetitive data entry, invoice preparation, entering client and billing information, filing, and document management often fall upon paralegals. A cloud-based document management system can virtually eliminate these repetitive tasks and increase the time you have for higher profile matters.

If you are considering an exit strategy, the US Department of Labor has identified related positions that do not require a JD degree that offer greater compensation, including claims adjusting, mediating and conciliation services.

In the meantime, you can build both your expertise and job satisfaction by becoming proficient in a cutting edge technology, and/or gaining a new certification. Whichever direction you’re headed, the future looks bright for the paralegal profession.

By Aline Martin O’Brien!

Aline Martin-O’Brien has a Masters in Theory and Practice of Procedural Law from the University of Paris: Panthéon–Sorbonne. After practicing as an attorney for many years, she now lives and writes in Florida for Smokeball.

Chere Estrin is the CEO  of Estrin Legal Staffing and MediSums, medical records summarizing.

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Estrin Legal Staffing
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Linda Gutierrez
Linda Gutierrez
April 20, 2022.
I had the pleasure of working with Madeline and Brett they were quick to respond and get me situated with an amazing opportunity.
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Brittany Toth
March 31, 2022.
I really enjoy working with this company. I’ve been working directly with Brett and he’s awesome. Super responsive and works hard to find something for you. He also doesn’t give up on you so if something ends up not working out he’ll get right back to trying to find you something. I’ve really felt supported every step of the way and recommend Estrin Legal Staffing 100%.
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Audrey P.
March 30, 2022.
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Rana Hill
March 21, 2022.
I can't say enough good things about this staffing company, and in particular Madeline Weissman. She was more thorough and organized than any other recruiter I have worked with in the past. She spelled out everything to be successful during the interview process to make it super easy to be a successful candidate. Do not hesitate to reach out to them (specifically to Madeline!) or to apply for any openings Estrin posts. Thank you Madeline for being so on top of everything!!
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Laurie Gondreau
March 19, 2022.
Madeline Weissman was an excellent recruiter for me and worked diligently, quickly and effectively to hook me up with a great law firm. I'm overjoyed to have found her and grateful for the hard work and help she provided to me.
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Anush M.
March 18, 2022.
Estrin Legal Staffing is the best in the business - they are professional, provide necessary guidance, encouragement and invaluable advice. Their candidate and employer match up is top notch and delivers successful results. Maggie was a pleasure to work with - amazing personality, super responsive and diligent.
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Esmeralda Weinstein
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March 8, 2022.
I worked with Madeline and she was amazing! She’s about business and I love that. She helped me get an interview where I wanted to work for. She is fast at responding and let’s you know every update she has on her end until we know if we got the position or not. Thank you so much!!
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Selene Vega
March 7, 2022.
Maddie is awesome! She is so supportive and professional. I am so HAPPY to be working with her. I know I am in good hands with Maddie on my side. I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for her and Estrin Legal Staffing.
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Ashley Williams
March 7, 2022.
Stacey is the absolute best! She is very diligent and hardworking & strives for the best results & I appreciate everything she’s done to help me in my career! 🤎🤎
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