CareerGPS

Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
1,469 1,627 158 10.75% 32 157 188 $26.43 $54,967 Associate's degree
Description: Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Prepare legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, and real estate closing statements.
  • Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions, and legal articles, codes, and documents.
  • Prepare affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.
  • Prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits.
  • Meet with clients and other professionals to discuss details of case.
  • File pleadings with court clerk.

Knowledge

91%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
88%
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
78%
Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
59%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
52%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

75%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
69%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
65%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
65%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
56%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
53%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
50%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
50%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
50%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
50%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
50%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Abilities

81%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
81%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
81%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
75%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
65%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
65%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
62%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
62%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
60%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
60%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
60%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
56%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
53%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Work Activities

88%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
88%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
86%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
85%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
82%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
80%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
80%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
75%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
75%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
73%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
73%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
63%
Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
63%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
62%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
58%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
55%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
54%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Styles

Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Work Values

Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.