Working as a Legal Assistant

A lot of your day as a legal assistant is spent completing tasks, all with the goal of helping a lawyer. You might organize documents or compile the facts of a case, you might even help the lawyer prepare for an upcoming trial.

Whatever the lawyer needs your help with, you're there to get it done. The majority of legal assistants work for law firms or even government agencies, but you can find work as a legal assistant in many industries.

If you want to become a legal assistant, you probably should earn your associate's degree, or at least a certificate in paralegal studies. Employers may even only look for people with a bachelor's degree. Either way, you should expect some on-the-job training. After all, you want to make sure you're collecting the right facts.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a legal assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.36 an hour? That's $48,578 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 12% and produce 39,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Legal Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many legal assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed writing skills, computer skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a legal assistant, we found that a lot of resumes listed 21.4% of legal assistants included legal documents, while 6.4% of resumes included law firm, and 5.6% of resumes included court proceedings. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the legal assistant job title. But what industry to start with? Most legal assistants actually find jobs in the professional and finance industries.

How To Become a Legal Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a legal assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 39.8% of legal assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.3% of legal assistants have master's degrees. Even though most legal assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a legal assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a legal assistant, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on legal assistant resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a legal assistant. In fact, many legal assistant jobs require experience in a role such as legal secretary. Meanwhile, many legal assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as administrative assistant or paralegal.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary$48,578
Job Growth Rate12%

Legal Assistant Jobs

Legal Assistant Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Legal Assistant. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Legal Assistant Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Legal Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Legal Assistant Career Paths

Top Careers Before Legal Assistant

Top Careers After Legal Assistant

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Legal Assistant

Legal Assistants in America make an average salary of $48,578 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $68,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $34,000 per year.
Average Salary
$48,578

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range47k - 78k$61k$60,899
Salary Range43k - 76k$58k$57,806
Salary Range40k - 80k$57k$57,341
Salary Range42k - 67k$54k$53,662
Salary Range41k - 67k$53k$52,908
Salary Range40k - 66k$52k$52,025
$33k
$80k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Legal Assistant
Legal Assistant
Hirelevel
Hirelevel
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$27,13110/30/2020
$27,131
Colorado State
Legal Assistant
Legal Assistant
Colorado State
Colorado State
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$44,65210/29/2020
$44,652
Robert Half
Legal Assistant
Legal Assistant
Robert Half
Robert Half
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$30,00010/29/2020
$30,000
Paralegal-Legal Services
Fort Worth Independent School District
Fort Worth Independent School District
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$64,85810/29/2020
$64,858
Robert Half
Legal Assistant
Legal Assistant
Robert Half
Robert Half
10/28/2020
10/28/2020
$37,56610/28/2020
$37,566
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Legal Assistant Demographics

Gender

female

77.8%

male

18.2%

unknown

4.0%

Ethnicity

White

64.0%

Hispanic or Latino

19.8%

Black or African American

8.8%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.0%

French

8.8%

Russian

3.6%
See More Demographics

Legal Assistant Education

Majors

Law
11.0%

Degrees

Bachelors

39.8%

Associate

21.3%

Certificate

11.1%

Top Colleges for Legal Assistants

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Tuition and fees
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Tuition and fees
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Texas Wesleyan University

Fort Worth, TX

Tuition and fees
$30,300
Enrollment
1,445

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Tuition and fees
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

6. Boston University

Boston, MA

Tuition and fees
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

7. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

8. Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN

Tuition and fees
$41,290
Enrollment
2,077

9. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Tuition and fees
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

10. Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Tuition and fees
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Legal Assistant

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Legal Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.4% of legal assistants listed legal documents on their resume, but soft skills such as writing skills and computer skills are important as well.

  • Legal Documents, 21.4%
  • Law Firm, 6.4%
  • Court Proceedings, 5.6%
  • Trial Preparation, 5.0%
  • Discovery Responses, 4.6%
  • Other Skills, 57.0%
  • See All Legal Assistant Skills

Best States For a Legal Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a legal assistant. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Ohio. Legal assistants make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $59,759. Whereas in West Virginia and Louisiana, they would average $57,204 and $56,991, respectively. While legal assistants would only make an average of $56,351 in Ohio, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Legal Assistant Jobs:
132
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
4.18
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Montana

Total Legal Assistant Jobs:
15
Highest 10% Earn:
$93,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Ohio

Total Legal Assistant Jobs:
119
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
0.81
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

Legal Assistant Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a legal assistant. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless legal assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Legal Assistant Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless legal assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

How Do Legal Assistant Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Legal Assistant? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a Legal Assistant?
Rate how you like work as Legal Assistant. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top Legal Assistant Employers

1. Robert Half International
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$42,552
Legal Assistants Hired: 
520+
2. Brock & Scott Pllc
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$50,491
Legal Assistants Hired: 
231+
3. Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$50,827
Legal Assistants Hired: 
228+
4. Social Security Administration
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$41,741
Legal Assistants Hired: 
157+
5. Davis
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$49,773
Legal Assistants Hired: 
143+
6. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Legal Assistants Hired: 
128+

Legal Assistant Videos

Recently Added Legal Assistant Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020