Washington D.C. Paralegal Salary Guide

Marked by major federal agencies and a status as the political and administrative center of the United States, our nation’s capital has effortlessly held a position as the top-paying area in the nation for paralegals. With big names like Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, and Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius LLP (all of which are ranked among the top 10 largest law firms in the nation) and massive federal agencies like the CIA, the Office of the Attorney General, and the United States Courts at work here, there may be no better place in the country to lay down roots and get a paralegal career off the ground.

Paralegal Job Market Trends in Washington D.C.

Ranked as the top paying state in the nation for paralegals, Washington D.C, reported an average salary of $83,330, or about $40.06 per hour, as of May 2020, soaring about $27,000 higher than the national average for this profession. And for those with significant experience and senior-level titles, salaries here reach $121,720 at the 90th percentile.

And while this small region measures just 68 square miles, it packs a punch in terms of paralegal jobs. As of May 2020, our nation’s capital reported 5,870 paralegal jobs, placing it first in the nation for its concentration of paralegals.

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Average Paralegal Salary in the Washington D.C. Metro Area

It’s no surprise that the top-paid D.C. paralegals boost the salaries of paralegals in the surrounding tri-state area of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metro area reported an average salary of $70,700, or $33.99 per hour as of May 2020 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $107,950, or $51.90 per hour.

In addition to all the jobs available in law firms and government, this metropolitan area is known for its concentration of research and development facilities for technology and engineering firms, providing opportunities for paralegals with expertise in patent and intellectual property law.


May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary, growth, and job market trends for paralegals and legal assistants. Figures represent state data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed December 2021.