Chapter One

You’re Hired: Types of Companies That Hire Paralegals

According to the United States Department of Labor, seven of ten paralegals work for law firms while the rest work for an array of companies, including:

  • Private law firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Real estate agencies
  • Accounting firms
  • Government agencies
  • Engineering firms
  • Construction companies
  • Title companies
  • Legal aid organizations

  • Indeed, any company that has legal needs is a potential employer for a paralegal, and there are some paralegals who strike out and start their own businesses (which we’ll discuss how to do later in this ebook) while others freelance their paralegal services instead of seeking permanent, full-time work.

    Job Explosion

    Employment opportunities for paralegals are expected to rise by more than 27 percent through 2014 for several reasons. First, more companies are turning to paralegals, rather than lawyers, to cut their costs. Second, as paralegals leave the field for other careers, more job openings will be created. Despite the rise of job openings for paralegals over the next eight years, there is no concern of a shortage of paralegals, meaning that the field will remain competitive.

    According to the American Association for Paralegal Education, there are approximately 120,000 paralegals working in the United States today. The U.S. Department of Labor puts that number at 224,000 jobs.

    Salary Expectations

    What you can expect to earn as a paralegal largely depends on where you work. Of course, other factors are also taken into consideration including education, experience, where you live, and the size and type of your employer.

    The U.S. Department of Labor reported, in 2006, that its latest salary survey, conducted in the spring of 2004, found that the median salary for paralegals in the United States was $39,130.

    Next: Chapter One: Advancement opportunities and reasons to consider a paralegal career

    Previous: Chapter One: Ethical Considerations and what you cannot do as a paralegal

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