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Virginia Paralegal Salaries

In Virginia paralegals have attractive salary prospects, regardless of what side your ancestors were on in the Civil War.

In 2016 the average statewide salary for paralegals was $52,640. Paralegals in their prime earning a 90th-percentile salary made $78,960 (US Department of Labor).

If that wasn’t good enough, there will be an average of 300 paralegal job openings every year across the state over the decade leading up to 2024. That’s the projection released by the state-run Virginia Workforce Connection, which estimates a 12.3 percent hike in job prospects for paralegals and legal assistants over that period. That’s five percentage points higher than the national average.

The US Department of Labor reports that in 2016 Richmond was home to 2,130 paralegals while the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News area was home to 1,650 paralegals. The DC area is home to 5,400 paralegals.

The legal sector – by far the biggest employer of paralegals – is important for government, businesses, individuals, and the judicial branch. You’ll find paralegals throughout the state working all these angles.

Outside of the DC sphere Richmond is Virginia’s paralegal capital, not least because it is the center of the state’s government. It’s also where the state’s three largest law firms are based – McGuireWoods, Hunton & Williams, and Williams Mullen – who collectively employ 1,874 lawyers (Internet Legal Research Group, 2015).

West Falls Church is home to heavyweights in aerospace and defense Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics. Richmond is home to the pharmaceutical company kaléo. The major finance enterprise Freddie Mac is headquartered in Fairfax County. These are all examples of companies that depend on paralegals as guides to navigate the legal sector.

And don’t forget about Virginia’s legal system. In 2015 Virginia courts heard over half a million civil cases and around 350,000 domestic cases (National Center for State Courts, Conference of State Court Administrators).

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Paralegal Salaries in Virginia

The mix of employers in the legal sector has a lot to do with how paralegal salaries vary by location throughout the state. The following statistics are taken from the US Department of Labor in 2016:

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford:

  • Average annual – $42,760
  • Average hourly – $20.56
  • Top-10th annual – $58,470
  • Top-10th hourly – $28.11

Charlottesville:

  • Average annual – $53,150
  • Average hourly – $25.55
  • Top-10th annual – $72,870
  • Top-10th hourly – $35.03

District of Columbia:

  • Average annual – $76,620
  • Average hourly – $36.84
  • Top-10th annual – $112,910
  • Top-10th hourly – $54.28

Harrisonburg:

  • Average annual – $39,110
  • Average hourly – $18.80
  • Top-10th annual – $55,510
  • Top-10th hourly – $26.69

Lynchburg:

  • Average annual – $38,810
  • Average hourly – $18.66
  • Top-10th annual – $48,670
  • Top-10th hourly – $23.40

Richmond:

  • Average annual – $50,400
  • Average hourly – $24.23
  • Top-10th annual – $67,700
  • Top-10th hourly – $32.55

Roanoke:

  • Average annual – $38,950
  • Average hourly – $18.72
  • Top-10th annual – $61,890
  • Top-10th hourly – $29.75

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News:

  • Average annual – $44,770
  • Average hourly – $21.52
  • Top-10th annual – $64,040
  • Top-10th hourly – $30.79

Winchester:

  • Average annual – $47,050
  • Average hourly – $22.62
  • Top-10th annual – $71,100
  • Top-10th hourly – $34.18

Rural Northeast Virginia:

  • Average annual – $43,660
  • Average hourly – $20.99
  • Top-10th annual – $61,740
  • Top-10th hourly – $29.68

Rural Northwest Virginia:

  • Average annual – $36,630
  • Average hourly – $17.61
  • Top-10th annual – $48,290
  • Top-10th hourly – $23.21

Rural Southside Virginia:

  • Average annual – $36,830
  • Average hourly – $17.71
  • Top-10th annual – $57,350
  • Top-10th hourly – $27.57

Rural Southwest Virginia:

  • Average annual – $32,230
  • Average hourly – $15.49
  • Top-10th annual – $45,830
  • Top-10th hourly – $22.03

 

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford VA
40
39840
Charlottesville VA
210
44390
Danville VA
50
33130
Harrisonburg VA
80
34380
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol TN-VA
140
45020
Lynchburg VA
130
35730
Richmond VA
1170
45250
Roanoke VA
280
40680
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
1610
42050
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
9840
63890
Winchester VA-WV
70
28680
Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
27040
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
30
37180
Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
140
33740

Salary and employment data has been compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2010.