A litigation paralegal is a specialist who is responsible for assisting attorneys throughout the trial process. On the plaintiff side, litigation paralegals conduct initial client interviews and legal research for case preparations. They assist with the preliminary examinations of witnesses and jury selection in the courtroom. Litigation paralegals often assist attorneys with case settlements and help identify issues for appeals. They must also possess excellent skills in verbal and written communication and should have great attention in detail.

Litigation Paralegal Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real litigation paralegal resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Deliver PowerPoint presentations to various legal groups with regard to managing discovery.
  • Manage company non-insure litigation, including but not limit to commercial litigation, labor relations and bankruptcy matters.
  • Assist partners in seminar/teaching preparation by creating PowerPoint presentations and organizing relevant documents.
  • Collaborate with in-house counsel and defense counsel in developing litigation and settlement strategies to resolve litigation in a cost effective manner.
  • Enter contracts and other documents into Sharepoint.
  • Gather, review, and proofread documents for accuracy and consistency.
  • Review files and assemble documents for IRS estate tax return audits.
  • Work with the nursing homes in finding solutions for patients who need to file for Medicaid.
  • Conduct routine legal research using Westlaw; prepare legal research memos and discuss findings with requesting attorney.
  • Help Medicaid patient's families fill out documentation so their love ones can receive the benefits need.
Litigation Paralegal Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Computer skills involves understanding how to operate a computer, as well as computer programs and applications.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Litigation Paralegal Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a litigation paralegal does, you may be wondering, "should I become a litigation paralegal?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, litigation paralegals have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 12% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of litigation paralegal opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 39,000.

A litigation paralegal annual salary averages $50,726, which breaks down to $24.39 an hour. However, litigation paralegals can earn anywhere from upwards of $36,000 to $71,000 a year. This means that the top-earning litigation paralegals make $35,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a litigation paralegal, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a law internship, summer associate, criminal justice lawyer, and legal administrator.

Litigation Paralegal Jobs You Might Like

Litigation Paralegal Resume Examples

Litigation Paralegal Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 8% of Litigation Paralegals are proficient in Law Firm, Trial Preparation, and Medical Records. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Computer skills, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Litigation Paralegals that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Law Firm, 8%

    Provided exceptional legal and administrative support to 8 litigation attorneys at a multifaceted law firm.

  • Trial Preparation, 8%

    Involved in all aspects of litigation support including research, medical record analysis, investigation, document management and trial preparation.

  • Medical Records, 8%

    Performed medical records procurement and analysis; prepared medical chronologies and summaries, drafting documents and scheduling of independent medical examinations.

  • Legal Advice, 8%

    Conducted analysis and research assignments for legal issues related to pending litigation.

  • Civil Litigation, 7%

    Supported attorneys in the entire litigation process handling civil litigation and employment law matters; and handled administration and office management.

  • Legal Documents, 6%

    Coordinated multifaceted office functions which involved court calendar management, filing legal documents for State and Federal and schedule client meetings.

Some of the skills we found on litigation paralegal resumes included "law firm," "trial preparation," and "medical records." We have detailed the most important litigation paralegal responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a litigation paralegal to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that litigation paralegals can use communication skills to "managed master client files, pleadings and communications in imanage and legal key; monitored case docket and deposition calendars. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many litigation paralegal duties rely on computer skills. This example from a litigation paralegal explains why: "paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support." This resume example is just one of many ways litigation paralegals are able to utilize computer skills: "designed office procedures, including all computer networks, and servers, and archiving of client files. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among litigation paralegals is interpersonal skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a litigation paralegal resume: "paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "position had direct client contact which required good communication and interpersonal skills. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "organizational skills" is important to completing litigation paralegal responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way litigation paralegals use this skill: "paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical litigation paralegal tasks: "provided organizational and substantive support to attorneys in the areas of document management, discovery, deposition and trial preparation. "
  • As part of the litigation paralegal description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "research skills." A litigation paralegal resume included this snippet: "paralegals gather facts of the case and research information on relevant laws and regulations to prepare drafts of legal documents for attorneys and help them prepare for a case." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "organized and maintained records and data pertaining to client files, and researched legal precedence. "
  • See the full list of litigation paralegal skills.

    We've found that 57.5% of litigation paralegals have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 5.2% earned their master's degrees before becoming a litigation paralegal. While it's true that most litigation paralegals have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every seven litigation paralegals did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those litigation paralegals who do attend college, typically earn either legal support services degrees or political science degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for litigation paralegals include business degrees or criminal justice degrees.

    When you're ready to become a litigation paralegal, you might wonder which companies hire litigation paralegals. According to our research through litigation paralegal resumes, litigation paralegals are mostly hired by Morgan & Morgan, Robert Half International, and Google. Now is a good time to apply as Morgan & Morgan has 41 litigation paralegals job openings, and there are 32 at Robert Half International and 6 at Google.

    If you're interested in companies where litigation paralegals make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Google, Sidley Austin, and Mayer Brown. We found that at Google, the average litigation paralegal salary is $88,784. Whereas at Sidley Austin, litigation paralegals earn roughly $83,202. And at Mayer Brown, they make an average salary of $77,819.

    View more details on litigation paralegal salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious litigation paralegals are:

      What Law Internships Do

      A law internship is a program that is designed for law students to give them valuable insight into the professional lives of attorneys and judges. Law interns need to understand and observe what being a lawyer involves. They are required to conduct research and present it to their superiors for case preparations. They must assist their senior lawyers in organizing all of their legal paperwork that includes case files, evidence records, and legal documents. Law interns are also required to be present in the courtroom to assist lawyers and experience actual courtroom proceedings.

      We looked at the average litigation paralegal annual salary and compared it with the average of a law internship. Generally speaking, law interns receive $15,912 lower pay than litigation paralegals per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between litigation paralegals and law interns are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like law firm, trial preparation, and medical records.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A litigation paralegal responsibility is more likely to require skills like "affidavits," "document production," "litigation support," and "document management." Whereas a law internship requires skills like "legal memos," "criminal cases," "legal intern," and "intellectual property." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      On average, law interns reach similar levels of education than litigation paralegals. Law interns are 3.0% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 36.6% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Summer Associate?

      Summer associates are law students hired seasonally by law firms. The aim is for future lawyers to be exposed to the practical aspects of a firm. Typically, this program lasts for nine weeks, beginning in May and running through July. Summer associates are expected to be friendly and kind to people, preserve company reputation, support other associates, and perform legal tasks appropriately.

      Next up, we have the summer associate profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a litigation paralegal annual salary. In fact, summer associates salary difference is $15,170 lower than the salary of litigation paralegals per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Litigation paralegals and summer associates both include similar skills like "law firm," "trial preparation," and "medical records" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, litigation paralegal responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "affidavits," "document production," "litigation support," and "document management." Meanwhile, a summer associate might be skilled in areas such as "financial models," "due diligence," "legal memos," and "private equity." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, summer associates earn a lower salary than litigation paralegals. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, summer associates earn the most pay in the professional industry with an average salary of $101,738. Whereas, litigation paralegals have higher paychecks in the professional industry where they earn an average of $56,501.

      In general, summer associates study at higher levels of education than litigation paralegals. They're 14.7% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 36.6% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Criminal Justice Lawyer Compares

      A criminal justice lawyer is responsible for representing clients in court with criminal charges and defends them according to legal requirements and procedures. Criminal justice lawyers analyze the case by undergoing in-depth research and investigation that would support settlement claims. They reference laws and state regulations to identify the clients' options for case resolution. A criminal justice lawyer must have extensive knowledge of the legal industry, as well as possessing excellent critical-thinking skills to strategize appeals and negotiate pleas on trials.

      Let's now take a look at the criminal justice lawyer profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than litigation paralegals with a $11,189 difference per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several litigation paralegals and criminal justice lawyers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "legal advice," "legal documents," and "subpoenas," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from litigation paralegals resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "law firm," "trial preparation," "medical records," and "civil litigation." But a criminal justice lawyer might have skills like "online," "semester," "public safety," and "procedures."

      Interestingly enough, criminal justice lawyers earn the most pay in the education industry, where they command an average salary of $47,444. As mentioned previously, litigation paralegals highest annual salary comes from the professional industry with an average salary of $56,501.

      Criminal justice lawyers typically study at higher levels compared with litigation paralegals. For example, they're 9.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 3.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Legal Administrator

      The job of legal administrative assistants is to provide support to lawyers and paralegals. They typically perform legal research, manage schedules, and draft legal-related documents. Other duties include interpreting laws, regulations, and rulings in legal documents, obtaining information from other agencies or organizations, and preparing management and legal reports. In addition, legal administrative assistants are responsible for updating and maintaining databases and ensuring to provide effective administrative assistance. They are also expected to schedule client meetings and court hearings.

      Now, we'll look at legal administrators, who generally average a lower pay when compared to litigation paralegals annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $8,517 per year.

      While both litigation paralegals and legal administrators complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like law firm, trial preparation, and medical records, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a litigation paralegal might have more use for skills like "discovery responses," "document review," "affidavits," and "document production." Meanwhile, some legal administrators might include skills like "veterans," "office procedures," "data entry," and "privacy" on their resume.

      The average resume of legal administrators showed that they earn higher levels of education to litigation paralegals. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 7.2% more. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.9%.