How to Make More Money as a Paralegal

3 Strategies to Make More Money as a Paralegal

Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic:  money!  More specifically, how to make more of it as a paralegal.

I want to give you my top strategies from the perspective of my days as a paralegal manager. These are things I saw on the management side that on the surface sound simple, but read the text (or watch the video) in its entirety because I break down each one for you.


1. Make them money

This is not the same for a paralegal as it is in other careers. As a paralegal, you have somewhat of an advantage here, especially if you work in a practice area that involves contingency fees or in a defense firm that bills time to client files.

With this strategy, there’s also a “step 2” of sorts, because it won’t do you any good if you make them money, but they don’t know how much money you’re making them. 

You also have to make sure that the people who are making decisions about your raises and bonuses know how much you’re making them.

In order to do that you have to:

➡️ Know your data

➡️ Track your data

➡️ Share your data


What data am I looking for?

using KPIs as a way to make more money as a paralegal

KPIs are Key Performance Indicators used by all businesses (law firms included!) to predict  or project their revenue based on specific metrics that are important to them.  They are unique to the business.


If you are a personal injury paralegal working in a plaintiff’s firm, yours might look like this (track these monthly!):

  1. The number of intake calls that resulted in client engagements.
  2. The number of new claim files assigned to you.
  3. The dollar value of those claim files.
  4. The number of medical records received and summarized.
  5. The dollar value of this month’s settlements from the demand packages that you sent out.
  6. The number of litigation cases you are managing.
If you are a paralegal working in a firm that bills its time to client files:

  1. The number of billable hours you entered into the system this month
  2. The number of pro bono or other hours that bring value to the firm.
  3. The number of hours you spent mentoring or training other paralegals in the firm.
  4. Your productivity number for the month.
  5. Your realization rate. Not sure what that is? Learn the key numbers here.
  6. The number of active client files you are managing.



Personal Injury Paralegal Boot Camp

As a personal injury paralegal, you have an important role in the pre-litigation phase of your claim files.

But where do you even start when you’re managing 80+ active files?

This online course will give you all the tools to manage that heavy case load.

A professional personal injury paralegal smiling confidently as she works with her calculator after the paralegal team training.

2. Ask for what you want

That sounds simple, right?

You’d be surprised how many times I am talking to paralegals who took jobs well below what they needed in a salary because that was what was offered and they needed a job.

I get it! Everyone has bills to pay. But if that salary that was just offered to you won’t even pay the bills, then tell them that.

Or maybe you’ve been working at your current firm for a while and you’ve been disappointed at raise time each year. Instead of asking them for the raise you want, you thank them and walk out of your supervisor’s office with so much resent that you can’t wait to go get another job offer.

Don’t do that! You’ll be doing that every couple of years if you don’t ever have the courageous conversation that requires you to ask for what you want.

Don’t do that yet though!

Just like you’re tracking the data monthly, you want to have that data (and more) ready before you have the discussion where you ask for what you want.

The Preparation

  1.  The monthly data (KPIs) that you’ve been tracking from the above Strategy #1.
  2.  People you’ve mentored or trained.
  3.  The courses you’ve taken.
  4.  The skills you’ve acquired.
  5.  Emails from the clients about you.
  6.  Emails from colleagues thanking you for helping out on special projects.
  7.  Stats from salary surveys.
how to make more money as a paralegal when asking for a raise


Worried that you’ll ask and they will say no?

If you don’t ask, then the answer is definitely no!

Asking for what you want is especially important when you are looking for a new paralegal position.

You should not accept a position for a salary that is lower than you expected in hopes of them “making up for it” in future raises or bonuses. This is setting you up for disappointment and potentially a feeling of resentment.


A recent article you might be interested in:  You are worth more than $15 per hour!

3. Be the top performer

If you want to make more money as a paralegal, you have to be a top performer.  Average performers get average salaries and average raises. Top performers get the bigger raises and bigger salaries.

In the video above, I cover several mistakes that people make that prevent them from being a top performer. Watch the video to learn more.

If you work in a law firm that has a billable hour requirement, you also have to be meeting or exceeding your billable hour target each year because billable hours matter more than you think.

If you’re a new (or fairly new) litigation paralegal and want to be a top performer, you might want to consider watching the replay of a recent masterclass that I held.


A group of new paralegals watching a lesson from the free litigation blueprint workshop handled by experienced paralegals.

You are invited to our FREE Litigation Paralegal Workshop

If you’re a new litigation paralegal, our Litigation Paralegal Blueprint: 3 Cornerstones to Fast-Track Your Success workshop will help you discover what’s possible in your paralegal career.

Sign up to watch instantly and learn how you can shorten the learning curve and start feeling more confident today.

Meet the Author

A portrait of Ann Pearson for the Paralegal blog.

Ann Pearson is the Founder of the Paralegal Boot Camp, and host of the Paralegals on Fire! Podcast Show, and passionate about promoting the paralegal profession.

Ann spent 20 years working as a paralegal manager and a litigation paralegal before opening the Paralegal Boot Camp in 2010. 

Ann’s training programs focus on adding immediate value to a paralegal’s career and bridging the gap between what a paralegal learns in school and what they actually do on the job.

Visit the About Us Page to learn more about why Ann started the Paralegal Boot Camp.

Connect with Ann on LinkedIn

Featured Courses:


Personal Injury

As a personal injury paralegal, you have an important role in the pre-litigation phase of your claim files. 

But where do you start when you’re managing 80+ active files?  

The Personal Injury Paralegal Boot camp will give you all the tools to manage that heavy case load.


Are you still waiting for on-the-job training that takes you through the lifecycle of a litigation case and shows you what it is you can be doing?

This course and coaching program is what you’ve been looking for! 

This is the only program of its kind that provides you with all of the tools to master your litigation cases, from the complaint through the trial, and everything in between.

See More Posts:

Get Our Free Strategy Guidebook

For New Litigation Paralegals

. . ... .

Are you ready to fast-track your litigation paralegal career?!

Our free guidebook reveals three powerful strategies that will set you up for success in your journey. If you’re ready to seize this opportunity and thrive as a litigation paralegal, sign up below, and get started now!