Paralegals are one of the least happy careers in the United States.
At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, paralegals rate their career happiness 2.7 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 11% of careers.
To put this into perspective, we compared how happy paralegals are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:
Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers
|Judicial law clerk||3.0||$51k|
So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:
- Salary: Are paralegals happy with their salary?
- Meaning: Do paralegals find their jobs meaningful?
- Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as paralegals?
- Work environment: How enjoyable are paralegal’s work environments?
- Skills utilization: Are paralegals making the best use of their abilities?
Are paralegals happy with their salary?
Paralegals rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.9/5. Paralegals tend to be quite unhappy with their salary, with very few reporting satisfaction with their pay.
We asked paralegals how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:
2.9 out of 5 stars
10% of paralegals rated their compensation 5 stars
24% of paralegals rated their compensation 4 stars
25% of paralegals rated their compensation 3 stars
24% of paralegals rated their compensation 2 stars
17% of paralegals rated their compensation 1 stars
Do paralegals find their jobs meaningful?
On average, paralegals rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.5/5. The majority of paralegals struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.
We asked paralegals how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:
2.5 out of 5 stars
9% of paralegals rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars
14% of paralegals rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars
22% of paralegals rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars
27% of paralegals rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars
28% of paralegals rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars
How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as paralegals?
Paralegals rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.5/5. The majority of paralegals find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.
We asked paralegals how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:
3.5 out of 5 stars
23% of paralegals rated their career fit 5 stars
33% of paralegals rated their career fit 4 stars
27% of paralegals rated their career fit 3 stars
12% of paralegals rated their career fit 2 stars
6% of paralegals rated their career fit 1 stars
How enjoyable is a paralegal’s work environment?
As a whole, paralegals rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.2/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.
We asked paralegals how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:
3.2 out of 5 stars
15% of paralegals rated their work environment 5 stars
29% of paralegals rated their work environment 4 stars
28% of paralegals rated their work environment 3 stars
19% of paralegals rated their work environment 2 stars
10% of paralegals rated their work environment 1 stars
Are paralegals making the best use of their abilities?
Former paralegals on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.8/5. Paralegals tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.
We asked paralegals how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:
2.8 out of 5 stars
12% of paralegals rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars
20% of paralegals rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars
26% of paralegals rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars
25% of paralegals rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars
18% of paralegals rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars
Is paralegal a good career for introverts? ›
Paralegals help lawyers prepare for cases. They do a lot of research and gather information from various sources. Despite the fact that they do have to interact with lawyers, these jobs are well-suited for introverts because they require a lot of independent work.How stressful is being a paralegal? ›
Being a paralegal is stressful, and paralegal burnout is real. Paralegals work notoriously long hours, and their tasks include everything from office management to doing case research and preparing and editing legal contracts and documents. Paralegal's tasks have a direct impact on the outcomes of matters and cases.What kind of personality do you need to be a paralegal? ›
An indispensable paralegal has an ability to multitask, a strong attention to detail, a willingness to learn, an expertise in organization, and psychic abilities.What type of paralegal is most in demand? ›
- Contract law.
- Corporate law.
- Healthcare law.
- Intellectual Property (IP) law.
- Real estate law.
- Paralegal Manager. $104,775. ...
- Legal Project Manager. $87,375. ...
- Intellectual Property Paralegal. $86,800. ...
- Nurse Paralegal. $82,687. ...
- Employment and Labor Law Paralegal. $80,685. ...
- Government Paralegal. $78,478. ...
- Senior Paralegal. $69,995. ...
- Corporate Paralegal. $66,134.
It truly is a prestigious and significant profession. Simply put, paralegals help people. They help their employers be more efficient in their jobs, they can increase a firm's revenue and productivity, and they also help the clients.What does a day in the life of a paralegal look like? ›
On any given day, the “routine” may consist of interviewing witnesses, reviewing thousands of documents or assisting an attorney in the courtroom. This means that the paralegal must be prepared for unpredictable events and be capable of considerable time management and prioritization skills.Is being a paralegal rewarding? ›
Part of a paralegal's duties may be to represent the law firm to their clients. They have to be patient, understanding, courteous and comforting. These elements of the paralegal profession can be extremely rewarding, leading to enhanced job satisfaction.What is the nickname for a paralegal? ›
Paralegals are often referred to as a “wizard” or “magician.” Honestly, many paralegals live up to those nicknames, because they work tirelessly to make a difference in the legal field.What can I do after paralegal? ›
- Legal Staffing Recruiter.
- Professional Development and Training Manager.
- Pro Bono Program Coordinator.
- Project Manager for legal support vendor.
- Legislative Affairs Director for a county government agency.
- Business Development/Sales for legal support vendor.
Can paralegals make six figures? ›
Can paralegals make six figures? Sure. If you're certified by either NALA, NFPA, or another certifying organization, have years of experience and have become a subject matter expert in your field. Many larger law firms have tiers for paralegals and they advance through the ranks as do attorneys.How fast should a paralegal type? ›
Good typing speeds are relative to job descriptions. For example, data entry positions usually require 60-80 words per minute. Medical transcriptionists, paralegals and executive secretaries should be able to type 70-100 wpm.Why are people interested in paralegals? ›
Opportunity for Growth – Paralegals can advance within the law firm as well as their career. Many paralegals advance to supervisor or management positions. Helping Others – Being a paralegal gives you the opportunity to help others, many of them suffering through a difficult experience in their lives.How hard is it to get a paralegal role? ›
Finding and securing a paralegal role can be hard, but there are still ways you can make your application stand out. Applying to a wide variety of roles, networking, and gaining legal experience will definitely improve your chances.What is the future of paralegals? ›
Projections Central reports 12% national employment growth for paralegals and legal assistants nationwide from 2018 to 2028, which is slightly above the average growth projected for all occupations combined.2 California paralegal jobs are expected to grow at a slightly faster rate, at almost 14% during the same time ...What state pays paralegals the most? ›
Best-Paying States for Paralegals
The states and districts that pay Paralegals the highest mean salary are District of Columbia ($83,420), Washington ($71,900), California ($70,290), Massachusetts ($66,820), and New Jersey ($65,950). How Much Do Paralegals Make in Your City?
Paralegals work in a variety of settings, but they're most commonly employed by law firms, government agencies and legal departments at corporations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14.1% employment growth for paralegals between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 49,900 jobs should open up.What is the beginning salary for most paralegals? ›
|Zinda Law Group Entry Level Paralegal salaries - 6 salaries reported||$20/hr|
|Michael & Associates (CA) Entry Level Paralegal salaries - 2 salaries reported||$20/hr|
|McGuireWoods Entry Level Paralegal salaries - 2 salaries reported||$49,534/yr|
Where Can a Paralegal Work?
- Law Firms. Let's start with the obvious one: Most Paralegals work in private law firms. ...
- Courts. ...
- Government. ...
- Corporations. ...
- Real Estate. ...
Private law firms are the largest employers of paralegals. Businesses, corporations, and the government are also large employers of paralegals. Paralegals work in a variety of legal practice areas, ranging from litigation and trial practice to tax, real estate transactions, and estate planning.
What is a competitive paralegal salary? ›
The average salary for Paralegal is £29,073 per year in the London. The average additional cash compensation for a Paralegal in the London is £1,501, with a range from £442 - £5,104. Salaries estimates are based on 2020 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Paralegal employees in the London.Do paralegals get promoted? ›
Career advancement and development look different for each Paralegal. For you, advancement might occur within your current law office. For others, advancement may be transitioning into a postsecondary educator position, attending law school to become an attorney, or joining a governmental agency.Are paralegals in high demand? ›
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that paralegal jobs will grow by 12 percent between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than most jobs. The demand for paralegals is high, especially in urban centers and metropolitan areas.What is the best career path for introverts? ›
Introverts thrive in professions that offer them plenty of space and independence. Most introverts perform better in workplaces with fewer external distractions. Good jobs for introverts include accounting, engineering, and technical writing.What careers are good for an introvert? ›
- Accountant. ...
- Freelance Writer. ...
- Medical Professional. ...
- Data Analyst or Data Scientist. ...
- Travel photographer. ...
- Civil-service professional. ...
- IT consultant/manager. ...
What Is the Best Major for Introverts? The best majors for introverts include veterinary medicine, software engineering, and chemistry because they require limited interaction with people and offer high-paying salaries and excellent job outlooks.