A national model for economic growth and innovation, Washington State is where some of the largest companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and Boeing call home and where venture capital funds flow into the state as quickly as new startups. It’s no surprise that the legal services industry here is robust and dynamic, and it’s also no surprise that according to the American Bar Association, the number of active lawyers here has increased by 13.6% between 2011 and 2021. This, of course, means nothing but good news for the paralegals who work in the state’s law firms, corporate law departments, governmental agencies, and nonprofits.
Paralegal Job Market Trends in Washington
As of May 2020, Washington paralegals earned an average salary of $63,050, or $30.31 per hour, ranking the state third in the nation for its pay of these legal professionals and about $7,000 higher than the national average.
Once you’ve gained considerable experience that includes specialized experience in one or more areas of law like litigation, corporate law, estate law, or immigration law, you’ll soon find yourself earning a salary that more accurately reflects the state’s top-earning (top 10%) paralegals, which was $91,410, or $43.95 during this time.
Average Paralegal Salary in Washington by City
While prospects are good across the board, you’ll encounter regional differences throughout the state. Naturally, the Seattle area offers a higher average salary for paralegals than the rest of the state. After all the Emerald City is bolstered by companies like Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft and national law firms like Perkins Coie LLP and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, both of which are ranked among the largest law firms in the nation.
Average – $59,870 ($28.78 hourly)
Top 10% – $88,900 ($42.74 hourly)
Average – $59,180 ($28.45 hourly)
Top 10% – $78,480 ($37.73 hourly)
Average – $45,150 ($21.70 hourly)
Top 10% – $61,680 ($29.65 hourly)
Average – $55,270 ($26.57 hourly)
Top 10% – $69,610 ($33.47 hourly)
Average – $68,160 ($32.77 hourly)
Top 10% – $97,320 ($46.79 hourly)
Average – $53,740 ($25.83 hourly)
Top 10% – $67,950 ($32.67 hourly)
Average – $60,270 ($25.98 hourly)
Top 10% – $75,330 ($36.22 hourly)
Average – $49,420 ($23.76 hourly)
Top 10% – $64,500 ($31.01 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.