Home to major corporate heavyweights like Northrop Grumman, Capital One, General Dynamics, and Freddie Mac, Virginia has long been a national player for economic growth thanks to business-friendly government policies and an attractive regulatory environment. It’s also long enjoyed a reputation for its exceptional quality of life, attracting educated professionals who lend themselves to a qualified and competent workforce. And in Arlington, the U.S Army is a major reason for the city’s economic strength and vitality, employing some 500,000 people.
Impressed yet? You may be surprised to know that Virginia is home to no less than 35 Fortune 1000 companies as of 2020 – 22 of which also made the Fortune 500 list.
For paralegals, Virginia’s economy means plenty of opportunities for the legal services environment here which, in turn, means plentiful opportunities with corporate law departments, law firms, governmental agencies, and nonprofits.
Paralegal Job Market Trends in Virginia
As of May 2020, the average paralegal salary in Virginia was $53,400, or $25.67 per hour. Once you’ve gained considerable experience and specialized knowledge in one or more areas of law like consumer law, corporate law, labor law, or bankruptcy law, your stock will increase considerably here, allowing you to become among the top-earning in your field. During this time, these top earners in Virginia (top 10%) brought home about $82,060, or $39.45 per hour.
Average Paralegal Salary in Virginia by City
Richmond comes out on top for its pay of paralegals in Virginia, both at the average mark and at the top 10%. Richmond is Virginia’s paralegal capital, not least of all because it is the center of the state’s government. It’s also where the state’s four largest law firms are based – McGuireWoods, Hunton-Andrews-Kurth, LeClairRyan and Williams Mullen – who collectively employ more than 2,300 lawyers (Internet Legal Research Group, July 2020).
The larger metro area of Washington DC-Arlington-Alexandria reports some of the highest employment of paralegals in the nation, with 12,760, and one of the top average salaries of $70,700.
Average – $45,080 ($21.68 hourly)
Top 10% – $60,040 ($28.86 hourly)
Average – $46,370 ($22.30 hourly)
Top 10% – $62,660 ($30.12 hourly)
Average – $37,590 ($18.07 hourly)
Top 10% – $58,020 ($27.90 hourly)
Average – $37,490 ($18.03 hourly)
Top 10% – $57,730 ($27.76 hourly)
Average – $52,180 ($25.09 hourly)
Top 10% – $76,070 ($36.57 hourly)
Average – $40,550 ($19.49 hourly)
Top 10% – $62,780 ($30.18 hourly)
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News:
Average – $46,350 ($22.28 hourly)
Top 10% – $69,110 ($33.23 hourly)
Average – $41,240 ($19.83 hourly)
Top 10% – $70,850 ($34.06 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.