Do paralegals work long hours? That depends on a variety of factors, including:
- the practice area you work in
- how busy your attorney is
- how productive you are during the workday (see chart below)
- the company/organization you go to work for
- your technology skills that can affect your proficiency and productivity
- the technology that is available to you to get your work done
- your attorney’s definition of a work/life balance
- what your annual billable hour requirement is
Do Paralegals Work Long Hours?
In this chart below, you can see that if you are doing productive work for 75% of the time you are in the office (or working remotely), and you have 1,700 billable hours per year (or 1,700 hours worth of work to do in a year), it would take you 2,267 workhours per year to complete that work.
Compare that to someone doing productive/billable work for 90% of the time they are in the office, it would take them 1,889 workhours per year to complete that same work.
That’s a difference of 378 hours! Use this chart below to compare how many hours it might take you to complete your work and you’ll see that productivity can make a HUGE difference in whether or not paralegals work long hours.
As a paralegal, you don’t always have control over how much work your attorney gives you, what the organization’s definition of work/life balance is, and many other things. But one thing you do have some control over is how productive you are when you are in the office (or on the clock working from home).
About the Author
Ann Pearson is the Founder of the Paralegal Boot Camp, specializing in training for paralegals that focuses on the important paralegal skills to become an indispensable member of the legal team.
Ann started her paralegal career as a litigation paralegal and then was a manager of paralegals for many years prior to starting the Paralegal Boot Camp in 2010. When she’s not working, you can usually find her somewhere near an ocean – either scuba diving, boating, cleaning up a beach, or volunteering to help save sea turtles.