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.

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Senior Paralegal Responsibilities

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

  • Achieve sole responsibility for administration of all estates and guardianships.
  • Respond to active litigation in collaboration with internal custodians and external counsel, including responding to discovery requests and subpoenas.
  • Handle all corporate matters including annual shareholder documentation and shareholder meetings, prepare contracts and coordinate execution, and provide litigation support
  • Edit and proofread initial drafts, transcribes dictation and perform cite checking, copy assembly/attachments for filing and/or mailing.
  • Draft and prepare legal documents, correspondence, corporate resolutions and UCC's, together with file maintenance and organization.
  • Position entail all secretarial correspondence, dictation, expense reporting, record keeping and the handling of settlement documents and payments.
  • Analyze UCC information and lien priority documentation.
  • Compile and summarize data into PowerPoint presentations for attorney presentation to management.
  • Proofread client paperwork and organize documents for proper processing of case information.
  • Maintain files, including preparing immigration application forms, and affidavits under attorney supervision.
  • Prepare and execute PowerPoint presentations incorporating video clips of deposition testimony for use during trial and arbitration proceedings.
  • Contact USCIS concerning problematic cases, draft correspondence/papers, process mail, and complete other assign miscellaneous tasks.
  • Support treasury group with respect to maintenance of require day-to-day documentation, including secretary's and incumbency certificates.
  • Respond to discovery requests, correspond with outside/inside counsel and maintain an information database and reports relative to office litigation.
  • Draft medical malpractice and product liability summaries of medical records, depositions, discovery document requests, interrogatories and motions.

Senior Paralegal Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a senior paralegal does, you may be wondering, "should I become a senior paralegal?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, senior 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 senior paralegal opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 39,000.

On average, the senior paralegal annual salary is $60,125 per year, which translates to $28.91 an hour. Generally speaking, senior paralegals earn anywhere from $38,000 to $92,000 a year, which means that the top-earning senior paralegals make $51,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a senior 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 legal office assistant, litigation assistant, attorney's assistant, and legal administrator.

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Senior Paralegal Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Senior Paralegals are proficient in Legal Research, Litigation, and Law Firm. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Computer skills, and Interpersonal skills.

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

  • Legal Research, 13%

    Conducted client interviews, document analysis, estate analysis, legal research, document management and execution of estate planning documents.

  • Litigation, 13%

    Worked as Senior Paralegal assisting attorneys in the preparation of pleadings, discovery and related documents in commercial and consumer litigation.

  • Law Firm, 7%

    Teamed with foreign law firms to successfully file and prosecute trademark applications and renew existing registrations.

  • Subpoenas, 5%

    Prepared deposition subpoenas and notice-to-consumer.

  • PowerPoint, 4%

    Prepared and executed PowerPoint presentations incorporating video clips of deposition testimony for use during trial and arbitration proceedings.

  • Lexis, 3%

    Researched Federal, DC, and State Codes, as well as, secondary authority using Lexis/Nexis and West Law.

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"legal research," "litigation," and "law firm" aren't the only skills we found senior paralegals list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of senior paralegal responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a senior paralegal to have. According to a senior paralegal resume, "paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney." Senior paralegals are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "provided general legal support services to attorneys and counsel including legal research and legal and business communications drafting. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform senior paralegal duties is the following: computer skills. According to a senior paralegal resume, "paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support." Check out this example of how senior paralegals use computer skills: "provide litigation support expertise and advice to attorneys and paralegal staff regarding the use of automated computer support. "
  • Senior paralegals are also known for interpersonal skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a senior paralegal resume: "paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "secured interpersonal relationships with other firms/counsels to guarantee documents are executed prior to confirmed foreclosure sale dates. "
  • A senior paralegal responsibilities sometimes require "organizational skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time" This resume example shows how this skill is used by senior paralegals: "maintained status reports, organizational illustration charts utilizing powerpoint and excel. "
  • Another common skill for a senior paralegal to be able to utilize is "research skills." 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. A senior paralegal demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "prepared dossiers in relation to litigation matters, including research and document discovery. "
  • See the full list of senior paralegal skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a senior paralegal. We found that 55.0% of senior paralegals have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 7.3% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most senior paralegals have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every seven senior paralegals were not college graduates.

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

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a senior paralegal. We've found that most senior paralegal resumes include experience from The Walt Disney Company, Pacific Architects and Engineers, and Nonprofit Finance Fund. Of recent, The Walt Disney Company had 28 positions open for senior paralegals. Meanwhile, there are 16 job openings at Pacific Architects and Engineers and 10 at Nonprofit Finance Fund.

    Since salary is important to some senior paralegals, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Amazon, Workday, and Visa. If you were to take a closer look at Amazon, you'd find that the average senior paralegal salary is $95,761. Then at Workday, senior paralegals receive an average salary of $95,638, while the salary at Visa is $94,578.

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

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a senior paralegal include Fragomen, Law Office, and Pauls. These three companies were found to hire the most senior paralegals from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    For the most part, senior paralegals make their living in the professional and media industries. Senior paralegals tend to make the most in the finance industry with an average salary of $69,879. The senior paralegal annual salary in the professional and manufacturing industries generally make $66,980 and $63,938 respectively. Additionally, senior paralegals who work in the finance industry make 71.4% more than senior paralegals in the hospitality Industry.

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

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    What Legal Office Assistants Do

    A Legal Office Assistants serves as the apprentice of lawyers. They are responsible for doing daily clerical works inside a law office. They gather relevant information like pieces of evidence and organizes all the needed data. They also prepare subpoenas and summonses, review legal documents, and take down notes in a courtroom. Unlike the Lawyers, this career handles a more significant caseload. They must also have good communication skills with clients regarding their cases.

    In this section, we compare the average senior paralegal annual salary with that of a legal office assistant. Typically, legal office assistants earn a $25,992 lower salary than senior paralegals earn annually.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between senior paralegals and legal office assistants are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like legal research, litigation, and law firm.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A senior paralegal responsibility is more likely to require skills like "lexis," "intellectual property," "excellent organizational," and "due diligence." Whereas a legal office assistant requires skills like "data entry," "office equipment," "word processing," and "scheduling appointments." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Legal office assistants receive the highest salaries in the non profits industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $41,921. But senior paralegals are paid more in the finance industry with an average salary of $69,879.

    The education levels that legal office assistants earn is a bit different than that of senior paralegals. In particular, legal office assistants are 1.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a senior paralegal. Additionally, they're 3.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Litigation Assistant?

    Litigation assistants are professionals who provide administrative support as well as perform tasks such as filing legal documents, communicating with clients, and conducting legal research for law firms or legal departments. These assistants are required to draft and prepare a variety of court and legal documents that include expert witness designations, motions for preference, and complaints. They must receive many phone calls from clients they are handling as well as examining information about the cases they are working on. Litigation assistants must also work closely with bookkeepers to ensure that all invoices are paid.

    Next up, we have the litigation assistant profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a senior paralegal annual salary. In fact, litigation assistants salary difference is $6,242 lower than the salary of senior paralegals per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Senior paralegals and litigation assistants both include similar skills like "legal research," "litigation," and "law firm" on their resumes.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that senior paralegal responsibilities requires skills like "lexis," "intellectual property," "excellent organizational," and "legal issues." But a litigation assistant might use skills, such as, "phone calls," "proofreading," "defense counsel," and "office equipment."

    Litigation assistants may earn a lower salary than senior paralegals, but litigation assistants earn the most pay in the construction industry with an average salary of $63,516. On the other side of things, senior paralegals receive higher paychecks in the finance industry where they earn an average of $69,879.

    In general, litigation assistants study at similar levels of education than senior paralegals. They're 2.4% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 3.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How an Attorney's Assistant Compares

    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.

    The third profession we take a look at is attorney's assistant. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than senior paralegals. In fact, they make a $7,270 lower salary per year.

    Using senior paralegals and attorney's assistants resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "legal research," "litigation," and "law firm," but the other skills required are very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from senior paralegals resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "lexis," "intellectual property," "excellent organizational," and "due diligence." But a attorney's assistant might have skills like "pleadings," "expense reports," "schedule appointments," and "conference calls."

    When it comes to education, attorney's assistants tend to earn similar education levels than senior paralegals. In fact, they're 0.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 6.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Legal Administrator

    Legal administrators tend to earn a lower pay than senior paralegals by about $12,927 per year.

    According to resumes from both senior paralegals and legal administrators, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "legal research," "litigation," and "law firm. "

    Each job requires different skills like "lexis," "intellectual property," "excellent organizational," and "paralegal support," which might show up on a senior paralegal resume. Whereas legal administrator might include skills like "veterans," "data entry," "in-house counsel," and "life insurance."

    In general, legal administrators make a higher salary in the government industry with an average of $54,616. The highest senior paralegal annual salary stems from the finance industry.

    Legal administrators reach similar levels of education when compared to senior paralegals. The difference is that they're 1.8% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.