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About Paralegals

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 17 percent between 2012 and 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Review this area and the links below to learn more about the paralegal profession and NALA's role in leading the field.

Click here to read about the Paralegal Profession in the
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15

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A legal assistant or paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. (Adopted by the ABA in 1997) 

What do paralegals do? What are their typical duties and responsibilities across the various specialty practice areas. Check out this article:  Typical Paralegal Duties  published in the 2009 Career Chronicle edition of Facts & Findings!

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CLE Gift for NALA Active Members!

Active members of NALA - new and renewals - are receiving an $80 gift certificate from NALA to apply toward any NALA educational program or Facts & Findings subscription ...

Need a product or service for your office?

The NALA Vendor Directory is a terrific place to start. This is a list of legal vendors offering a great range of help including deposition services, document services, and investigations. Click the link below...

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2015 National Utilization/Compensation Survey

Approximately every 2 years, NALA has conducted a national survey of paralegals. Paralegals invited to participate include members of NALA, non-members, and members of NALA affiliated associations. With many years of reports, this "look" at the paralegal profession has produced some interesting and valuable data.

The findings are divided into 4 sections: participant background; employers and practice areas; billing rates; and compensation levels.

2015 Participants

The data is based on analysis of the responses to the National Utilization and Compensation Survey which was collected by a web based survey from mid November 2014 - mid January 2015.  There were 1069 responses received and utilized for this report.  5% of the population are males; 94% are females.  The average age of survey participants is 48.  64% of the participants are members of NALA; 68% have received the Certified Paralegal credential.

A summary of the findings of the 2015 survey will appear in the January/February 2015 issue of Facts & FindingsClick here to downloadClick this image to download an article that summarizes the survey findings. the article.

Respondents are from a diverse geographical area.  Forty-seven states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia are represented by the population. Among the regions of the United States, the Southeast region was represented by 37% of the respondents; Southwest region was represented by 22%; Plains States was represented by 14%; Far West was represented by 11%; Great Lakes was represented by 8%;  Rocky Mountain states were represented by 4%; and New England/Mid East was represented by 4%  of the respondents.  The average population of the cities represented is 584,865.

The respondents have about 20 years of legal experience; 10 years with the same employer.  Most (61%) of respondents work for a private law firm, and, of those, 70% work in firms  of 1-15 attorneys; 16% of the respondents work for corporations.  With reference to educational backgrounds, 48% of respondents have a bachelor’s degree; 30% have an associate’s degree. 

Previous surveys have asked about duties and responsibilities of paralegals. A Job Analysis study of paralegals was conducted by NALA and results released in May 2012. Click this link to review this report for detailed information about on-the-job duties and responsibilities of paralegals, and skills needed for their work. In addition, the NALA Professional Development Committee published a compilation of job descriptions in a former Career Chronicle. If you are looking for job descriptions, this is a great start. Click this link to download this article.

The 2015 National Utilization and Compensation Survey presents information concerning the work environment, duties and responsibilities, billing rates and compensation levels of paralegals. The survey analysis includes a review of current findings in comparison with findings of previous surveys.  Economic data is presented in terms of such factors as size of city, size of firm, educational backgrounds, years of experience, and specialty area of practice.

Please click on any of the following sections for reports of the survey findings.  The files are in pdf format. These reports are lengthy - we appreciate your patience in waiting for the download.