The “S” word in the Paralegal Profession

It’s not all about the money, right? But it helps. Paralegals assume a variety of roles in the workplace, and many do the jobs of three or more people. In this article, we take a look at paralegal salaries by state in 2019, and the influential factors behind the figures. It is interesting how your geographic location can make a substantial difference concerning your salary. The national average annual salary for a professional paralegal is $50,940.00

The good news is that the paralegal profession is projected to skyrocket 15% by 2026.  The statistics provided by the United States Bureau of Labor show the paralegal and legal assistant jobs are going to be in high demand simply because the legal field is highly dependent on paralegal and legal assistant support. The demand, however, can vary from state to state depending on the market and population growth. The below data has been calculated by salary expectations and the statistics from the most recent survey from the Bureau of Labor.

Top 5 States with the Highest Paralegal Salaries

top 5 highest paralegal salary paying states
Paralegal salaries for all states are presented at the end of this article.

“Still Revolutionary, Full of Surprises”

For such a small state, Connecticut has the highest average salary across the United States. The average salary for a paralegal in Connecticut is $62,760.00. The market is rich in this State because it is packed with large companies such as Charter Communications, Cigna, Hartford Insurance Company. Large companies need legal support for various tasks related to underwriting, compliance, and pending litigation. There are almost five thousand employed paralegals in the state.

“Dream Big, Eureka! The Golden State”

California is the land of opportunity, and you just may find a gold nugget if you are looking for a job as a paralegal or legal assistant in this state. The average salary is $61,240 statewide. The legal field has grown substantially over the last few years and looks as though it has no intention of stopping.

Los Angeles is forever in demand for attorneys to assist future starlets and provide for the sophisticated real estate market. Disney Land, where dreams come true, is also in California and employs many paralegals. Currently, there are over thirty thousand legal professionals employed statewide. So put on your shades, California’s future seems bright!

“The State, Say WA! Experience Washington, The Evergreen State”

Washington is the state to keep an eye on if you’re looking to secure a healthy salary. The average salary for a paralegal in this state is $60,940.00. This appears to just be the beginning for Washington as large companies like Starbucks, Amazon, Boeing are constantly in need of legal professionals. Washington has massive potential for growth and looks to provide a sense of real job security. Another bonus is that Washington does not deduct personal income tax. That leaves room for a caramel macchiato from Starbucks!

“It’s All Here, Make It Yours; The Spirit of America”

Massachusetts holds some of the most prestigious and affluent firms in the nation. The average salary for paralegals in this state is $60,320.00. This state currently employees nearly eight thousand paralegals. Large corporations are also affiliated with Boston putting in-house counsel in demand. Massachusetts also has a rich history and many people who visit end up falling in love with its beautiful beaches and cozy charm. This state is ideal for a paralegal looking to grow his or her career while enjoying the Bay State.

“Find Your Alaska, Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach, The Last Frontier”

Alaska is known as the last frontier, but it can easily become the new frontier for aspiring paralegals to venture to and become part of this state’s booming market. The average salary for a paralegal in this state is $59,140.00. Alaska has plenty of remote areas, and there are only a little over five hundred paralegals currently employed in the state. The state has large law firms that are always in need of legal support, and Alaska is a prime location that can offer you peace of mind, beauty, and independence. It may seem scary because of the cold and unknown, but you may be surprised, there is plenty of room for growth in Alaska to boost your education and explore the land unknown. (link in here or in Mass. )?

Factors that Determine Salary in any Location

Education & Specialization

Paralegals usually hold an associate degree or certificate, while others hold a baccalaureate or master’s degree. However, attorneys like to hire paralegals that specialize in a particular area of the law such as criminal law, bankruptcy, personal injury, and immigration law. Over the past decade, the demand for a bilingual paralegal or legal assistant has been on the rise and will almost always guarantee a boost in salary.

IT and software skills are also valuable. A paralegal or legal assistant that is familiar with the latest software can help implement electronic discovery. E-Discovery is the process of procuring information from electronic sources such as emails, databases, and websites.


As with any profession, the more experience you have under your belt, the more earning potential you have. For example, an entry-level paralegal can expect to start on an hourly basis. Many paralegals get their foot in the door at law firms by first working as a receptionist or assistant.

Once a paralegal moves out of that entry-level role, he or she is likely to be placed on salary. Paralegals with roughly four to six years of experience earn an average of $46,750.00-78,750.00. This again varies on if you are employed in a smaller law firm with only two attorneys or a large corporate setting with hundreds of attorneys.

Typically, smaller firms are not able to pay as much as the larger firms, typically smaller firms are only able to pay below the average. Paralegals in a senior role where he or she supervises other paralegals earn an average salary of about $53,000 to $101,500 annually.

In closing, several factors can influence a paralegal’s salary. While the geographic location is one, education, specialties, and other economic factors should be considered. The state with the highest average certainly predisposes you to success in that state, but it is not automatic. Other expectations must be met to earn a high salary. Paralegals work hard across the nation to earn their salaries and are very deserving.

Now let’s take a look at all the paralegal salaries by state, for 2019.

paralegal salaries by state in 2019 showing highest salaries first

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