Career Insight: How Much Does A Paralegal Make?

UTSA Professional and Continuing Education

What is a Paralegal?

Paralegals, also called legal assistants, perform many tasks under attorney supervision, such as legal research, document drafting, fact investigation, case management, and preparation for trial. Paralegals’ specific duties often vary depending on the area of law in which they work.1

  • Family Law: The paralegal's role in a family law practice, including the substantive law and procedures relating to divorce, community property, conservatorship, and child support.

  • Criminal Law: The paralegal's role in the criminal justice system with emphasis on legal research and drafting projects. Includes criminal law discovery lab and career skills workshops.

  • Corporate Law: Corporate paralegal's often help lawyers prepare employee contracts, shareholder agreements, stock-option plans, and companies’ annual financial reports. Corporate paralegals may monitor and review government regulations to ensure that the corporation is aware of new legal requirements.

How Much Do Paralegals Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average national wage for paralegals and legal assistants to be just over $56,000, with Texas having the third highest employment level1. In Texas, Paralegal and Legal Assistant positions are expected to grow at a rate of 26% between 2018-20283, almost seven-times faster than the average growth rate of 4% for all occupations nation-wide. According to U.S. News and World Report, Paralegal is ranked as the 53rd best job in the 2021 100 Best Jobs rankings2. The rankings consider annual salary, career advancement, work-life balance, and career demand to determine rank.

How Do You Become a Paralegal?

Certification is not mandatory to become a paralegal in Texas, however, the State Bar of Texas recommends that attorneys hire paralegals with an educational background. Certification will give you a substantial advantage when applying to paralegal jobs.

The UTSA Paralegal Certificate Program is designed and taught by local, practicing attorneys to prepare participants to be knowledgeable, ethical, and effective while emphasizing legal areas where paralegals are most in demand. The program is comprised of three phases/semesters: Paralegal 1, Paralegal 2, and Paralegal 3. The program builds skills from the ground up at an accelerated rate (approximately 14 weeks long per phase). The entire program can be completed in 11 months.


  • 1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020, BLS
  • 2 U.S. News and World Report, 2021, U.S. News and World Report
  • 3 State Employment Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), 2021, SEPMP
Professional and Continuing Education Staff

As a continuing education incubator, Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) delivers skills-focused, innovative programming that satisfies the fluid learning demands of life-long learners. The values of Innovation, Accessibility and Excellence are realized through a dedicated team of specialists with a combined 30 years of continuing education experience.