Career & salary outlook

Paralegals work with attorneys to provide legal services to clients. Paralegals may: draft legal documents, correspondence, and reports; investigate, research, analyze and organize case information; assist with legal research, and perform office support tasks in a legal office. 

Paralegals work in a variety of settings in addition to law offices, such as financial institutions, real estate and title offices, corporations, investigative agencies, and law libraries. Paralegals do not give legal advice or act in the place of an attorney.

In many firms and agencies a paralegal may fulfill the dual responsibilities of paralegal and legal secretary. Paralegals must be well-organized and knowledgeable about laws and procedures of their specialty, skilled in helping people in stressful situations, and respectful of confidentiality. 

Wages for paralegals in Whatcom county may start between $19.26 and $21.79 per hour; the median hourly wage is $23.89.*

*Sources: CareerOneStop, 2015; WA State Employment Security Department, July 2016