What does a Paralegal do?

Paralegals perform various duties and tasks that directly support lawyers or legal teams, including creating, maintaining, and organizing their files, conducting relevant research, and drafting documents. Paralegals help lawyers and legal teams to prepare for their presentations. They are called upon to do investigation and fact-finding, and to research the relevant laws, regulations, and articles that pertain to their cases.

Paralegals gather evidence and arrange legal documents for review and case preparation. They write and summarize reports, and draft correspondence and legal documents including contracts. They also gather affidavits and formal statements that might be used as evidence in court. Paralegals handle exhibits, take notes, and are responsible for the review of trial transcripts, interviews, and depositions. They also arrange meetings with relevant parties including clients and witnesses, lawyers, outside vendors. Paralegals keep track of and file legal documents including exhibits, briefs, and appeals with the court or with opposing counsel. Paralegals need a high school diploma or equivalent and training and certification as a paralegal.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Paralegal Salaries

Average Base Pay

$51,166 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$35K
Median: $51K
$75K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Paralegal Career Path

Learn how to become a Paralegal, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Paralegal
$51,166/yr
L3
L4
Lead Paralegal
$64,764/yr
See Career Path

Paralegal Insights

Read what Paralegal professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
The Mortgage Law FirmThe Mortgage Law Firm
Judicial Foreclosure Paralegal
Jan 22, 2020

“workers and all the Attorney's i have worked with was good at helping and great to work with”

Daspit Law FirmDaspit Law Firm
Litigation Paralegal
Oct 22, 2020

“DLF gave me the opportunity to learn and grow into the knowledgeable and experienced paralegal I am today.”

KforceKforce
Immigration Specialist
Feb 8, 2021

“During my time there I was working with very exceptional people and it was great.”

Hamilton, Miller & BirthiselHamilton, Miller & Birthisel
Paralegal
Oct 22, 2020

“The people working at HM&B are all great people and I am blessed to call most my friends.”

Cantor Law GroupCantor Law Group
Paralegal
Aug 22, 2019

“The drama is minimal and it is just a fun group of people work with.”

Hugh JamesHugh James
Paralegal
Oct 27, 2020

“The department I was in was full of great people and was welcoming from day one.”

Paralaw (UK)Paralaw (UK)
Paralegal
Feb 17, 2021

“Great opportunity to start your legal career and gain legal work experience as a paralegal drafting and negotiating contracts.”

Brooklyn Legal Services CorpBrooklyn Legal Services Corp
Intake Paralegal
Feb 22, 2021

“Gives good insight into legal work and you’re able to work with some great people.”

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Paralegal Interviews

Related Careers

Legal Analyst
$66,411
13% skills overlap
Law Clerk
$70,531
38% skills overlap
Legal Assistant
$44,552
38% skills overlap
Legal Secretary
$58,291
50% skills overlap

Paralegal Jobs

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a paralegal

When working as a paralegal, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Paralegal Certificate, Microsoft Office Suite, Filing, Outlook, and Excellent Communication.

The most similar professions to paralegal are:
  • Legal Analyst
  • Law Clerk
  • Legal Assistant
  • Legal Secretary

The most common qualifications to become a paralegal include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.