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Working As A Senior Paralegal

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $65,130

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Paralegal Do

A Senior Paralegal helps attorneys acquire the information needed for legal research, document preparation, and for other assignments delegated to them. They are usually specialized in certain areas of law, such as tax law.

How To Become A Senior Paralegal

Most paralegals and legal assistants have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies.

Education

There are several paths a person can take to become a paralegal. Candidates can enroll in a community college paralegal program to earn an associate’s degree. However, many employers prefer, or even require, applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

Because only a small number of schools offer bachelor’s and master's degrees in paralegal studies, applicants typically have a bachelor’s degree in another subject and earn a certificate in paralegal studies.

Associate’s and bachelor's degree programs in paralegal studies usually offer paralegal training courses in legal research, legal writing, and the legal applications of computers, along with courses in other academic subjects, such as corporate law and international law. Most certificate programs provide intensive paralegal training for people who already hold college degrees.

Employers sometimes hire college graduates with no legal experience or legal education and train them on the job. In these cases, the new employee may have experience in a technical field that is useful to law firms, such tax preparation, nursing, or criminal justice.

Other Experience

In many cases, employers prefer candidates who have at least 1 year of experience in a law firm or other office setting. In addition, a technical understanding of a specific legal specialty can be helpful. For example, a personal-injury law firm may desire a paralegal with a background in nursing or health administration.

Work experience in a law firm or other office setting is particularly important for people who do not have formal paralegal training.

Many paralegal training programs offer an internship, in which students gain practical experience by working for several months in a private law firm, the office of a public defender or attorney general, a corporate legal department, a legal aid organization, or a government agency. Internship experience helps students improve their technical skills and can enhance their employment prospects.

Certifications

Although not required, some employers may prefer to hire applicants who have completed a paralegal certification program. Many national and local paralegal organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications to students able to pass an exam. Other organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications for paralegals who meet certain experience and education criteria. For more information about paralegal certifications, see the More Info section.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney.

Computer skills. Paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support. They also use computer programs for organizing and maintaining important documents.

Interpersonal skills. Paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships. They must make clients feel comfortable sharing personal information related to their cases.

Organizational skills. Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time. They must adapt quickly to changing deadlines.

Research skills. Paralegals need good research and investigative skills to conduct legal research.

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Senior Paralegal jobs

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Senior Paralegal Career Paths

Senior Paralegal
Senior Analyst Operations Manager Property Manager
Asset Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Project Coordinator Operations Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Specialist Attorney Compliance Officer
Chief Compliance Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Vice President
Chief Finance Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Managing Partner
Co-Owner/Partner
8 Yearsyrs
Compliance Analyst Compliance Specialist
Compliance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
General Counsel Contract Attorney Attorney
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Paralegal/Office Manager Attorney Assistant Vice President
Executive Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Compliance Analyst Business Analyst Finance Manager
Finance Director
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Supervisor
Labour Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Accounting Manager Chief Finance Officer
Managing Member
8 Yearsyrs
Contracts Manager Program Manager General Manager
Managing Partner
9 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Project Manager General Manager
Owner/Operator
6 Yearsyrs
General Counsel Chief Executive Officer Property Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Associate Attorney Assistant Vice President Risk Manager
Risk Management Director
7 Yearsyrs
Associate Attorney Partner
Senior Partner
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Vice President
Senior Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Contract Attorney Assistant Project Manager General Superintendent
Special Projects Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Paralegal/Office Manager Office Manager Branch Manager
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Contracts Manager Project Manager General Manager
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Senior Paralegal Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    75.6%
  • Male

    22.2%
  • Unknown

    2.3%

Ethnicity

  • White

    80.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    10.1%
  • Asian

    6.8%
  • Unknown

    1.7%
  • Black or African American

    0.6%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    47.6%
  • French

    12.1%
  • Russian

    5.6%
  • Korean

    4.0%
  • Chinese

    4.0%
  • Mandarin

    3.2%
  • Italian

    3.2%
  • Portuguese

    3.2%
  • Polish

    3.2%
  • German

    2.4%
  • Hindi

    1.6%
  • Ukrainian

    1.6%
  • Armenian

    1.6%
  • Japanese

    1.6%
  • Swedish

    0.8%
  • Vietnamese

    0.8%
  • Marathi

    0.8%
  • Dutch

    0.8%
  • Danish

    0.8%
  • Bulgarian

    0.8%
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Senior Paralegal

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Senior Paralegal Education

Senior Paralegal

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Real Senior Paralegal Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Paralegal/40 ACT Allianz Asset Management of America L.P New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $105,500
Senior Paralegal/40 ACT Allianz Global Investors of America, LLC New York, NY Oct 03, 2012 $105,500
Senior Paralegal/40 ACT Allianz Global Investors of America, L.P. New York, NY Apr 24, 2012 $102,000
Senior Paralegal Directv, Inc. El Segundo, CA Sep 30, 2011 $100,880
Senior Paralegal Morrison & Foerster LLP New York, NY Apr 01, 2013 $100,000 -
$110,000
Senior Paralegal The Walt Disney Company Burbank, CA Jul 16, 2009 $82,160
Senior Paralegal The Law Office of Isabel M. Hidrobo, P.C. New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $80,000
Senior Paralegal Morrison & Foerster LLP New York, NY Dec 27, 2011 $80,000 -
$90,000
Senior Paralegal Morrison & Foerster LLP New York, NY Apr 15, 2012 $80,000 -
$90,000
Senior Paralegal Morrison & Foerster LLP New York, NY Mar 30, 2011 $75,000 -
$85,000
Senior Paralegal Morrison & Foerster LLP New York, NY May 01, 2011 $75,000 -
$85,000
Senior Paralegal Law Offices of Anthony B. Choi Los Angeles, CA Feb 16, 2011 $70,658
Senior Paralegal Lee & Kent Corporation Los Angeles, CA Aug 30, 2012 $59,730
Senior Paralegal Boris B. Maiden Attorney at Law Brookline, MA Oct 01, 2012 $43,117
Senior Paralegal Assadi & Milstein, LLP New York, NY Sep 20, 2014 $42,500
Senior Paralegal Assadi & Milstein, LLP New York, NY Sep 27, 2014 $42,500

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Top Skills for A Senior Paralegal

TrialPreparationCounselLegalResearchEnsureComplianceDiscoveryResponsesParalegalSupportLegalDocumentsRealEstateComplaintsPersonalInjuryIntellectualPropertyMedicalRecordsRegulatoryBankruptcyDueDiligenceDocumentProductionLawFirmLegalDepartmentLexisNexisLitigationSupport

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Top Senior Paralegal Skills

  1. Trial Preparation
  2. Counsel
  3. Legal Research
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist with trial preparation for other practice areas within the firm including intellectual property, antitrust, and white collar.
  • Coordinate legal counsels, consultants and builders in preparing homeowner's association documentation.
  • Conduct legal research and review marketing materials to determine Company's compliance with automotive federal, state laws and safety regulations.
  • Reviewed both printed and electronic materials to ensure compliance with advertising laws and proper trademark and copyright usage.
  • Conduct internal investigations, including identifying and interviewing fact witnesses, obtaining information for discovery responses, etc.

Top Senior Paralegal Employers

Senior Paralegal Videos

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