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Definition of Paralegal

Paralegals assist personal injury lawyers by performing a wide range of legal work which can include conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, working with clients, and managing personal injury cases. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to a client unless permitted by law.

Paralegals can also work in private law firms, banks, corporations, insurance agencies, legal clinics, courts, government agencies, accounting and engineering firms, title companies, construction companies, and legal aid offices. The work a paralegal will do in these occupations varies but can include interviewing witnesses, analyzing legal documents, investigating facts, drafting pleadings and creating legal memoranda and briefs.

Most paralegals have a bachelor's degree and paralegal training. The average salary for a paralegal nationwide is $41,742. Of those paralegals just starting their paralegal career, 28% begin with a salary greater than $32,000. In addition to a salary, 65% of paralegals receive an annual bonus, which averages $2,468.

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