1. Harvard University
Cambridge, MA • Private
Litigation paralegals are the backbone of the trial team. They manage all of the details throughout every phase of the trial, from investigations to pleadings and discovery. The litigation paralegal works closely with attorneys in depositions, witness preparation and research. The paralegal is typically the one who prepares and handles all exhibits.
Litigation paralegals research and analyze law sources such as statutes, recorded judicial decisions, legal articles, treaties, constitutions and legal codes to prepare legal documents such as briefs, pleadings or appeals for use by the attorney. They draft routine legal documents for review and use by attorneys, compile and prepare draft discovery responses, and review and analyze reports, responses and records produced by opening counsel.
Some skills that are necessary to have include excellent verbal and written communication skills, high attention to detail, resourceful research and analytical skills, ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects and tasks, and proficiency in Microsoft Office. The reported average annual salary for an litigation paralegal is approximately $55,340, with job growth in the U.S expected to increase 12% by 2028.
There are certain skills that many litigation paralegals 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 communication skills, computer skills and interpersonal skills.
If you're interested in becoming a litigation paralegal, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 57.5% of litigation paralegals have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.2% of litigation paralegals have master's degrees. Even though most litigation paralegals have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, a litigation paralegal can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as paralegal/office manager, progress to a title such as office manager and then eventually end up with the title business development manager.
What Am I Worth?
The role of a litigation paralegal includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general litigation paralegal responsibilities:
There are several types of litigation paralegal, including:
A paralegal is in charge of substantive legal work. Typically, they serve lawyers who are so busy building a case that they need help sorting out all of the legal work. That's where you come in.
Paralegals take pride in their responsibilities by administering their knowledge of the law and legal procedures. It can be a great thing to have a paralegal on the case because the law will determine what direction a lawyer may swing a case.
While you definitely need a working knowledge of what the law is, you really only need to obtain an associate's degree for this line of work. Sure, you could probably spend your entire life going through and memorizing every single law out there, but laws change all the time so chances are you're going to have to look it up anyway.
Imagine this. You grab a cup of coffee and head to the court. With enough coffee flowing through your veins, you're now ready to chat with the judge about legal questions, granting orders and even the construction of documents. Who are you? You're a law clerk and this is just the beginning of your day.
The rest of your day may be spent going through complaints, looking at petitions or motions, and even reading through pleadings so you can help develop a case. Then, you need to type up some judicial opinions, decisions, or citations. There's lots of work to do as a law clerk, so you need to be organized so you don't waste a single minute.
As a law clerk, you'll probably spend a lot of time with judges. You're there to provide assistance on legal determinations while also writing up research-based opinions that are relevant to the court. The best part of becoming a law clerk is that you don't have to wait very long to become one. You could be a student by day and a law clerk by night. Unless you have night classes, in which case it might be switched.
A legal clerk is a member of a law firm who works on different administrative activities on a daily basis. Legal clerks primarily conduct research on legal cases related to the ones that the firm is currently handling. They also prepare memoranda, drafts of legal documents, case materials, and office orders.
They may also do proofreading and editing of legal documents before publishing. In addition, they may be assigned to communicate with clients, provide updates on cases, and communicate the schedule of hearings. When assigned to assist in specific cases, legal clerks are expected to be familiar with the procedure of handling that particular type of case. They should also provide administrative support throughout the proceedings.
To become a legal clerk, an individual must have a bachelor's degree, pass the LSAT, go to law school, and obtain a law degree. They may choose to further specialize in a specific topic or to get a graduate degree in law. Given the administrative nature of the work, legal clerks are usually fresh law school graduates who are new at a law firm.
Mouse over a state to see the number of active litigation paralegal jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where litigation paralegals earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.
|Rank||State||Number of Jobs||Average Salary|
Cambridge, MA • Private
Philadelphia, PA • Private
Washington, DC • Private
Fort Worth, TX • Private
Evanston, IL • Private
Berkeley, CA • Private
Los Angeles, CA • Private
La Verne, CA • Private
Cincinnati, OH • Private
Saint Paul, MN • Private
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, 21.9% of litigation paralegals listed litigation on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and computer skills are important as well.
Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Litigation Paralegal templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Litigation Paralegal resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.
After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:
1. Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases
This course offers an introduction to the U.S. Constitution and landmark Supreme Court cases interpreting it. It explores the Constitution’s origins, its amendment over the years, and methods of constitutional interpretation. Topics include the nature and structure of the federal government, the powers of the federal government, and individual rights...
2. U.S. Health Law Fundamentals
This course explores how statutes, regulations, common law, and market forces help or hinder three major goals of policy makers: increasing access, reducing cost, and improving quality. We will examine the Supreme Court’s rulings on the ACA and other legal aspects of modern health care reform. Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to describe the laws, regulations, common law and market forces that shape our health care system and identify areas where ideas and innovation...
3. Effective Legal Office Administration
Effective Legal Office Administration...
Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a litigation paralegal. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Oregon, and New York. Litigation paralegals make the most in California with an average salary of $71,342. Whereas in Washington and Oregon, they would average $70,804 and $68,558, respectively. While litigation paralegals would only make an average of $66,784 in New York, 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.
3. District of Columbia
We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ litigation paralegals and discovered their number of litigation paralegal opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Robert Half was the best, especially with an average salary of $54,657. Morgan & Morgan follows up with an average salary of $45,798, and then comes The Weitz Company with an average of $57,984. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a litigation paralegal. The employers include McGuireWoods, Equitable Holdings, and Farmers Insurance
|Rank||Company||Average Salary||Hourly Rate||Job Openings|
|2||Kent Daniels & Associates||$79,354||$38.15||21|
|3||Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker Llp||$76,562||$36.81||26|
|4||McCarter & English||$74,455||$35.80||20|
|7||Liberty Mutual Insurance||$66,667||$32.05||21|
|9||Latham & Watkins||$65,604||$31.54||25|