Careers and Employment Outlook

Careers and Employment Outlook

Graduates of the Paralegal Studies Program at Del Mar College gain valuable skills attractive to employers of paralegals in both the public and private sectors. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to successfully perform a variety of tasks effectively and ethically while delivering legal services under the supervision of an attorney and to contribute to the advancement of the profession.

Employment change: Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As law firms try to increase the efficiency of legal services and reduce their costs, they are expected to hire more paralegals and legal assistants. In these cases, paralegals and legal assistants can take on a "hybrid" role within the firm, performing not only traditional paralegal duties but also some of the tasks previously assigned to legal secretaries or other legal support workers.

Although law firms will continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, many large corporations are increasing their in-house legal departments to cut costs. For many companies, the high cost of outside counsel makes it more economical to have an in-house legal department. This will lead to an increase in the demand for legal workers in a variety of settings, such as finance and insurance firms, consulting firms, and healthcare providers.

Job prospects: This occupation attracts many applicants, and competition for jobs will be strong. Experienced, formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects. In addition, many firms will prefer paralegals with experience and specialization in high-demand practice areas.

Pay: The median annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $48,810 in May 2015. In May 2015, the median annual wages for paralegals and legal assistants in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government: $63,720
Finance and insurance: $58,940
Local government (excluding education and hospitals): $48,300
Legal services: $46,790
State government (excluding education and hospitals): $45,810

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm (visited July 26, 2016).

Page last updated June 6, 2018.

Contact Information

Business Administration
101 Baldwin Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78404-3897
(361) 698-1372