Employment in the paralegal sector: key figures

Services Canada has updated its statistics in June 2016 about legal and similar technicians.

RATE OF GROWTH

The annual rate of growth from 2013 to 2017 for paralegal professions is 1.3% while it is 0.8% for all professions.

EMPLOYMENT  BY SENIORITY

The salary for paralegal professions in Canada varies between $33,902 and $68,113, and the median salary is $49,886. At the beginning of their career, the salary for these professionals ranges between $30,032 and $58,309, the median salary being $41,157. At the end of their career, legal technicians and similar personnel can expect to earn between $44,913 and $79,381; the median salary is estimated to be $60,064.

EMPLOYMENT BY ANNUAL INCOME

The income category from $20,000 to $49,999 is more represented in paralegal professions (61.2%) than among professions as a whole (48%). Conversely, the income category from 0 to $19,999 is less represented for paralegal professions (5.1%) than among professions as a whole (13.3%)

DISTRIBUTION BY AGE

Paralegals are predominantly between 25 and 54 years old. Young people from 15 to 24 years old are less represented within paralegal professions (9.8%) than among professions as a whole (13.3%).

PART TIME

Paralegals generally work full time (90.2%). Only 10% of them have a part time position, while this rate is 18.8% among all professions.

 

RATIO OF MEN/WOMEN

More than 90% of paralegal professions are occupied by women, while this figure falls to 48.1% for all professions. 

EMPLOYMENT PERSPECTIVES

The annual (2017) Robert Half Salary Guide, for legal and paralegal professions, underlines that the role of legal support professionals continues to evolve as law firms focus on enhancing services and value. Mid level paralegals with background in real estate and litigation are particularly appreciated. Their role will still evolve as they can perform more comprehensive duties at lower billing rate. 

Hybrid profiles, paralegal/legal secretary are becoming more and more common as legal organizations continue to consolidate support functions to improve efficiency. Today, secretaries with 5 or 6 year experience and who can perform multiple duties are most marketable. They generally support five or more lawyers. 

Law clerks and legal assistants who, once again, can handle with a wide range of duties and support multiple team are the first sought by recruiters. Those with over 10 years experience, versatile and tech savvy have a hiring advantage. Legal support professionals specializing in litigation, corporate law or with commercial real estate background are mostly appreciated from firms and agencies, and generally command higher salary.

 

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