A paralegal salary can vary based on many different factors, including location, the particular field of law you work in and what type of firm or company you work for. The latest statistics show a salary range of anywhere between $29,000 and $75,000 a year depending on these various factors. But the latest trend in the field, which is opening up earning potential drastically, is self-employment.
In fact, there are more business opportunities for freelance paralegals than ever before. That’s because more and more law firms and companies are finding it more cost efficient to hire an outside person to do their paralegal work rather than keep a full-time paralegal on the company books. While this cuts down on the opportunities for traditional employment for paralegals, it opens up one very big door for those who want to consider working for themselves.
Before we can consider the benefits of self-employment, we should first consider exactly what it is that a paralegal does. Paralegals are professionals who are not full lawyers but who perform many paperwork-related tasks for lawyers including filing motions and briefs, doing case related research and accompanying lawyers to meetings with clients or to court.
As was previously mentioned, a paralegal salary can vary depending on many factors, not the least of which is the field of law that you work in. Those in entertainment law, healthcare related law and insurance law tend to make the highest salaries. There are also specific industries that tend to pay more including the oil and gas industry, computer manufacturing and electronic retail.
When it comes to business opportunities for paralegals, there are many out there, you just need to know where to look and, if you choose to work on a contract or freelance basis, how to best market your individual strengths so that you stand out from the competition. If you can manage that, the possibilities for employment multiply drastically, as do potential salaries.
You can even parlay your job as a contract paralegal into full-time work or at least into other steps along the legal career path, including as a senior paralegal, corporate paralegal or paralegal supervisor. As with any career, each step you take forward increases your earning potential, increasing your salary scale sometimes by quite a lot.
It is also becoming much more popular to work as an independent paralegal where you have your own company and help your clients with their legal documents. This opportunity is very lucrative and a wonderful chance for you to truly be an entrepreneur.
If you’ve been considering testing the waters of the legal field as a paralegal and weren’t sure which way to go to make the most money, you may want to give serious thought to self-employment. By working for yourself you can almost set your own paralegal salary because you will automatically be opening up your range of employment opportunities drastically.
There are plenty of good money making opportunities in the legal field, so don’t assume that being a paralegal will pigeonhole you and don’t be afraid to go out on your own. You’ll find that it’s much easier to find your niche when you have a much bigger set of employment options open to you. So don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to tie yourself to the traditional employment route…try self-employment and watch your world expand instantly!
The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions.