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News: A New Survey Studies Career Trends for Paralegals

A new survey by Abelson Legal Search, assessing job satisfaction, backgrounds, and experiences of more than 1,300 paralegals, has just been published in The Legal Intelligencer.

Below, we have compiled some of the most significant results.

Hours Worked and Overtime Pay

A majority of paralegal respondents to this survey worked more than 40 hours per week, with litigation paralegals working significantly longer hours during trials.

However, fewer than half of the surveyed paralegal respondents were paid overtime.

Compensation and Benefits

40 percent of paralegal respondents made less than $50,000 per year, with only slightly more than a majority receiving bonuses.

According to Joyce Feinstein, a senior legal recruiter for Abelson Legal Search:

"Relatively few paralegals make more than $80,000, and those who reach that level invariably have 20 or more years' experience. Compensation is depressed across the board in both private practice and corporate settings. In the latter setting, however, paralegals sometimes are willing to trade lower compensation for 'better quality of life' factors associated with in-house practice."

Job satisfaction

Only 45.3 percent of paralegal respondents intended to stay in their current jobs. Some possible explanations for this dissatisfaction could be, according to this survey:

  • a shifting of substantive work from the desks of paralegals to those of associates because of the economic downturn,
  • a perceived limited career path and the static nature of the work,
  • a desire for better compensation.

To read the whole survey results, click here.

——Source reference——

Sandra G. Mannix, Survey Illustrates Trends in Paralegal Careers, The Legal Intelligencer, July 9, 2012.