With the news that the number of new jobs in Alabama was just shy of the benchmark figure of 2 million at the end of 2016, the secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor was bullish about growth prospects in the state. It’s no surprise that the Department expects the number of paralegals practicing in the state to increase at a rate of 4.8 percent between 2014 and 2024. This level of growth should result in 80 positions becoming available during that ten-year period.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that paralegals in Alabama earned an average salary of $45,300 ($21.78 hourly) as of 2016. Alabama’s paralegals in the top ten percent earned salaries that exceeded the average by more than $18,000 a year, with these experienced legal support professionals earning $63,513 ($30.53 hourly) on average.
Prospects for Paralegals in the Major Metropolitan Areas of Alabama
The BLS provided the annual salaries and hourly pay rates for paralegals in Alabama’s major metropolitan areas as of 2016. Paralegals in Montgomery earned the highest average salary, while the salaries of experienced paralegals in the Birmingham area greatly exceeded those of their colleagues in the rest of Alabama.
- The online Master of Legal Studies from American University equips students with fundamental legal training and industry-specific knowledge. Students attend online classes and an in-person immersion in Washington, D.C. Complete in as few as 15 months. No GRE or LSAT required.
- Fordham Law’s online master’s in corporate compliance. Bachelor’s degree required. Complete in as few as 20 months. GRE, GMAT, and LSAT scores not required to apply.
- The online Master of Legal Studies program from top-20 ranked Washington University School of Law is designed for non-lawyers who would benefit from legal training. The MLS can be completed in as little as one year. No GRE/LSAT required to apply.
- The online Master of Legal Studies program from Pepperdine Law teaches professionals from a variety of fields the fundamental legal skills they need to better execute their law-related responsibilities. No GRE or LSAT scores are required to apply.
Most of Alabama’s 2,870 paralegals were located in Birmingham as of 2016 according to the BLS. As befits a city receiving national accolades for its robust economic climate, Birmingham businesses announced more than $500 million in capital investment and more than 2,000 new jobs during 2016 according to the Birmingham Business Alliance.
With the region known for its advanced automotive, biological, and IT technology, paralegals with experience in areas like intellectual property licensing and patent law are likely to benefit from the high wages these industries pay.
- Average – $37,080 ($17.83 hourly)
- Top 10% – $49,530 ($23.81 hourly)
- Average – $47,450 ($22.81 hourly)
- Top 10% – $63,670 ($30.61 hourly)
- Average – $41,590 ($20.00 hourly)
- Top 10% – $49,960 ($24.02 hourly)
- Average – $40,530 ($19.49 hourly)
- Top 10% – $58,730 ($28.23 hourly)
- Average – $37,420 ($17.99 hourly)
- Top 10% – $48,580 ($23.35 hourly)
- Average – $43,690 ($21.00 hourly)
- Top 10% – $63,940 ($30.74 hourly)
- Average – $41,470 ($19.94 hourly)
- Top 10% – $61,390 ($29.51 hourly)
- Average – $49,500 ($23.80 hourly)
- Top 10% – $64,860 ($31.18 hourly)
- Average – $41,850 ($20.12 hourly)
- Top 10% – $58,250 ($28.01 hourly)
Salary and employment data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016.