Why does California have the most lawyers, while New Jersey has the most toxic waste dumps? Because New Jersey got first pick!
People might make jokes about our state’s legal industry, but New Jersey’s paralegal salaries are no laughing matter.
New Jersey is among the top-five states that offer the highest average paralegal salary in the nation – $57,540 in 2016 according to the US Department of Labor. Trenton ranks in the top-10 cities for that same category.
Our state is world class for its legal industry and law firms, the number one correlator for paralegal jobs, and that means we’ve got world class paralegals. In 2016 the state’s top-five law firms brought in a combined total of more than half a billion dollars according to the New Jersey Law Journal. Those firms are:
- Lowenstein Sandler with an office in Roseland
- McCarter & English, headquartered in Newark
- Gibbons, headquartered in Newark
- Sills Cummis & Gross, headquartered in Newark
- Fox Rothschild with an office in Lawrenceville
New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects that there will be an average of 170 paralegal job openings every year over the decade leading up to 2024.
- 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.
These are a few things to consider about New Jersey’s legal industry environment (US Department of Labor, 2016):
- Even though New Jersey is the 11th most populous state, it has the 10th-highest number of paralegals and the seventh-highest number of lawyers in the nation
- The greater NYC area, including areas of New Jersey, is home to the largest number of paralegal and lawyer jobs in the nation: 16,830 and 58,900, respectively
- The state’s highest average paralegal salary is in Trenton – $65,460
- The state’s highest top-10th percentile salary is in the Jersey City-White Plains-New York metro area – $99,840
New Jersey Salary Statistics for Paralegals
The following numbers are sourced from the US Department of Labor, 2016:
- Average annual – $51,930
- Average hourly – $24.97
- Top-10th annual – $75,460
- Top-10th hourly – $36.28
- Average annual – $54,190
- Average hourly – $26.05
- Top-10th annual – $75,990
- Top-10th hourly – $36.53
- Average annual – $61,940
- Average hourly – $29.78
- Top-10th annual – $92,690
- Top-10th hourly – $44.56
- Average annual – $65,460
- Average hourly – $31.47
- Top-10th annual – $85,720
- Top-10th hourly – $41.21
- Average annual – $46,870
- Average hourly – $22.53
- Top-10th annual – $57,470
- Top-10th hourly – $27.63
Jersey City-New York-White Plains:
- Average annual – $62,680
- Average hourly – $30.14
- Top-10th annual – $99,840
- Top-10th hourly – $48.00
Salary and employment data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016.