Paralegal Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Paralegal Do?

Paralegals provide support in a variety of legal matters, including but not limited to research, document drafting, and client communications, under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Attorneys hire paralegals to prepare cases for trial. They perform legal research, compile pleadings, draft legal documents, and maintain case files.

These professionals often work for law firms, government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations. In addition, they communicate with clients, witnesses, and opposing counsel to gather information and support the attorney’s case. It is crucial for a paralegal to possess a thorough knowledge of legal terminology and procedures, as well as strong organizational, communication, and analytical abilities.

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National Average Salary

Paralegal salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Paralegal is:


Paralegal Job Descriptions

Crafting the perfect job description may be the key to finding an exceptional paralegal. To help you with your recruiting search, our team has put together some examples from past openings.

Example 1

Paralegals work for law firms where they support attorneys in collecting, organizing, and preparing documents and files for court cases. They also prepare wills, contracts, briefs, appeals, and other documents for clients. Successful paralegals have strong research skills and excellent communication abilities. Paralegals ensure that our organization remains the best in the legal world. If your experience includes fact-checking information and preparing and organizing various legal documents, you might be the ideal candidate for this role. Please apply for this position at [Your Company Name] if you are an experienced paralegal ready to grow with a company.  

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Draft legal documents, motions, and pleadings
  • Assist in trial preparations
  • Organize and manage files
  • File documents with courts
  • Help in the discovery phase

Education and experience

This position requires an associate degree in law or a related field; a bachelor’s degree is preferred but not necessary.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Knowledge of the law and law firm processes
  • Highly organized
  • Smoothly manage multiple tasks and projects concurrently
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Keen attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • Excellent secretarial and organizational skills
  • Ability to juggle multiple activities and work under pressure
  • 7 years of paralegal experience, preferably at a law firm

Example 2

If you possess the ability to think critically while providing research and administrative support, you might thrive in this Paralegal position. This immediate Paralegal position is for candidates with a passion for the legal field. Candidates looking for short-term contract/temporary employment in the (City, State) area should contact us for more information. Motivated candidates who exercise focus, good computer skills, and organizational qualities will do well in this role.


  • Support attorney through all stages of project work
  • Research and analysis of complex legal documents
  • Database management of all relevant documents
  • Ability to prioritize, organize and handle a heavy workload


  • Ability to take ownership of projects, writing and negotiating, planning, and organizing
  • Being savvy with word processing and spreadsheets is favorable
  • Exceptional communication skills that provide the ability to interact with all levels of the organization with a high customer service orientation
  • Attention to detail and accuracy, confidentiality
  • Critical thinking, problem solving, ability to work independently
  • 3+ years of relevant experience
  • Schedule Depositions experience preferred
  • Insurance Defense Firm experience desired
  • Deep understanding of litigation
  • Defense litigation experience required
  • Proven knowledge of e-Filing
  • Draft Legal Documents experience

This opportunity will help build your case management skills, develop client relationships, and provide training to support staff. In addition, the organization can offer you compensation on a competitive level. We are here to help you grow your paralegal career. Contact us today to get started!

Example 3

We’re looking for an organized, detail-oriented, and experienced paralegal to play an important role on our legal team. You’ll draft legal documents such as affidavits, prepare briefs, conduct legal research for trial preparation, and keep case files and other important information neatly organized and easily accessible. If you’re interested in advancing your paralegal career with opportunities for growth, we want to hear from you.


  • Gather information about legal issues from the client in interviews
  • Prepare legal documents, correspondence, and pleadings such as complaints, interrogatories, subpoenas, deposition notices, pretrial orders, legal briefs, and affidavits, under the supervision of a lawyer
  • Work with lawyers to prepare for trial by conducting research on legal articles, preparing and organizing exhibits, organizing and coordinating witnesses, filing motions, and assisting with client meetings
  • Arrange law office activity such as drafting subpoenas and coordinating with process servers
  • Perform administrative duties such as answering phone calls and keeping our case filing system organized so all documents are readily accessible


  • Must have strong interpersonal skills and talent for writing and grammar
  • ABA-approved paralegal certificate program such as an Associate’s degree or proprietary school program in paralegal studies, Bachelor’s degree desired
  • 3 years of experience in legal services under an attorney or lawyer in a law firm setting
  • Strong preference for candidates who have completed a paralegal professional certification or have an advanced paralegal education
  • Must have great time-management skills, and organizational skills

Example 4


  • Assist attorney with full caseload
  • Prepare assessments of insurance claims
  • Engage in client contact and communication.
  • Calendaring/Scheduling.
  • Review, organize, and maintain case materials.
  • Draft pleadings, subpoenas, discovery and correspondence
  • Assist in deposition preparation
  • Assist in trial preparation
  • Provide assistance for trials
  • Experience and knowledge of the State and Federal Court system and filings

Skills & experience

  • Litigation Experience (First Party Insurance Preferred but not Required)
  • Must be self-sufficient
  • Self-motivated and able to multitask
  • Ability to work effectively with clients
  • Detail orientated and committed to professionalism
  • Team oriented and takes a proactive approach to handling matters
  • Clear, concise oral and written communication skills
  • Stable work history and verifiable references

Education & training

  • High School Diploma
  • Associate degree or Certificate in Paralegal Studies (preferred)


  • Prior law office experience
  • 2 years First Party Insurance Claims (Plaintiff or Defense) Preferred

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Certified Paralegal (CP). The National Association of Legal Assistants administers the CP credential, which proves a candidate’s basic legal knowledge, analytical skills, writing abilities, and reading comprehension as pertains to legal documents. The CP exam is divided into 5 sections that cover the legal system, civil litigation, contracts, commercial law, and more. To qualify for the exam, candidates must have achieved a high school diploma and 7 years of experience. Those with a bachelor’s degree in any field need 1 year of experience. The experience criteria may be waived for candidates who have graduated from a paralegal program. The certification must be renewed every 5 years. 
  • American Alliance Certified Paralegal (AACP). This certification is offered by the American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. (AAPI) and shows a candidate’s high level of understanding in all aspects of the paralegal profession. Eligibility requirements include a combination of education and experience. Candidates must also become members of the AAPI before applying for certification. To maintain certification, candidates must renew their status every 3 years and complete 18 hours of continuing legal education.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What types of law have you worked with, such as litigation, corporate, or family?
  • What steps do you take to ensure accuracy and completeness when preparing pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents?
  • What resources have you typically used, and how do you analyze the information you find when conducting legal research?
  • Are you able to describe your experience working with clients, including your communication style and strategies for managing client expectations?
  • Do you have experience assisting attorneys in trial preparation, such as witness preparation or evidence management?
  • What is your experience managing deadlines? How do you prioritize tasks and adhere to deadlines?
  • What procedures do you follow when handling confidential client information or sensitive case details?
  • To ensure that all necessary documentation is available and easily accessible, how do you organize and maintain case files?
  • When you encounter legal issues or questions outside your area of expertise, what steps do you take to seek legal advice?
  • In order to keep your knowledge current and relevant to your work, how do you stay up to date with developments in legal procedures and regulations?

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