Long recognized as the financial, manufacturing, and logistics hub of the U.S. and home to some of the nation’s largest law firms like Chicago’s Baker McKenzie LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Sidley Austin LLP, Illinois continues its reign as one of the top states in the country for paralegal jobs.
Paralegal Job Market Trends in Illinois
Home to 13,320 paralegal jobs as of May 2020, Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for its employment of these legal support professionals. Paralegal salaries in Illinois surge past the state average here, too. During this period, the average paralegal salary in Illinois was $60,390, or $29.03 per hour – that’s about $4,000 more than the national average.
But the most impressive salaries go to those paralegals who have risen through the ranks through a blend of experience and specialized knowledge and skills in a legal specialty like criminal litigation, family law, estate law, or commercial litigation. As of May 2020, the top 10% of paralegals in Illinois earned about $85,350, or $41.03 per hour, which is about $25,000 more annually than the state average.
Average Paralegal Salary in Illinois by City
The Springfield and Chicago metro areas pulled out head of the Illinois’ other metro areas in terms of paralegal salaries, as of May 2020. The Chicagoland area is also ranked fifth in the nation for its number of paralegals jobs, which was 11,480 during this time. Major corporations like Boeing, Accenture, and Hyatt Hotels have allowed jobs and salaries for paralegals in Chicago to remain strong.
Average – $40,250 ($19.35 hourly)
Top 10% – $50,260 ($24.16 hourly)
Average – $53,990 ($25.96 hourly)
Top 10% – $77,930 ($37.47 hourly)
Average – $61,140 ($29.39 hourly)
Top 10% – $86,820 ($41.74 hourly)
Average – $53,530 ($25.74 hourly)
Top 10% – $81,720 ($39.29 hourly)
Average – $51,320 ($24.67 hourly)
Top 10% – $73,240 ($35.21 hourly)
Average – $65,110 ($31.30 hourly)
Top 10% – $105,790 ($50.86 hourly)
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.