Declining law school enrollments have had a positive effect on the paralegal field. A new salary survey issued by Robert Half Legal predicts that the demand for non-lawyers with competent skill levels is in higher demand, forcing salaries to increase in 2008.
Executive Director Charles Volkert said some law firms are building up practice areas, while corporate legal departments are addressing growing workloads and regulatory issues.
“The need for professionals with specialized expertise, coupled with a declining supply of law school graduates, has created a competitive hiring environment,” Volkert said. “As a result, many law offices are willing to pay higher salaries for in-demand skill sets.”
He said legal job seekers will see the greatest compensation gains at large firms.
The salary guide forecasts that nationally, paralegals can expect starting salaries to increase an average of 3.4 percent next year. For those with between four and six years’ experience, the report predicts an increase of 4.4 percent and, for paralegals with 12 years or more of experience, 6.1 percent.
Information for the salary guide is obtained from job orders and placements handled nationwide by Robert Half Legal account executives.The salary guide does not report on continuing or ongoing salaries, which may be affected by factors such as seniority, performance, work ethic, training, and other factors.
As a side note, we have frequently read where law firm enrollments often run parallel to the number of popular TV series about lawyers. Lately, besides the long-running Boston series and the original Law & Order franchise, it seems these are far and few between. Perhaps that’s a good thing for paralegals…….