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A study conducted by the Legal Assistant Management Association shows legal assistant managers nationwide have an average salary of $81,151 this year. Meanwhile, legal assistant-paralegals earn $44,416 and legal assistant clerks earn an average of $30,345, according to the survey. The study looked at seven paralegal positions, ranging from the most senior legal assistant manager to legal assistant clerk-project assistant. Participating in the study were 290 law firms, 99 law departments and five organizations, totaling 9,587 legal assistant positions. Legal assistant managers in law firms are earning an average of $83,687 while their counterparts at in-house legal departments earned $68,876. At the paralegal level, salaries averaged $44,121 in law firms and $47,312 in legal departments. Clerk salaries averaged $29,973, while clerks earned $37,896. The study also says the practice area a paralegal works in can dramatically affect compensation levels. IP work, for example, yields a 36 percent higher average total cash compensation than the same position in a law firm’s insurance practice. LAMA partnered with Altman Weil Publications, a legal surveying firm, to get the results. In San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., and Los Angeles, the pay for legal assistants in law firms tends to be 11 percent to 29 percent higher than elsewhere in the nation, according to the study.

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