© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Average Salary: $46,990

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,962,000

Not great for someone in the legal profession, but not bad for someone who didn't have to go to three years of law school. And let's be real—if you chose to not go to law school, it is highly likely that you didn’t attend that top-notch university and, in the one you did attend, you probably weren't valedictorian. So you are…optimizing. You do the best you can with the skills and circumstances given to you.

Depending on whether you work within the government, for a private firm, or for an insurance carrier, your salary can vary quite a bit, but think somewhere in the $55-$75k range—but with lots of overtime and value-add, you can pass $100k without it being a blue moon event. If you are a paralegal flipping burgers for a fast food restaurant, your annual income will probably be more in the $16-$18k range. Also, you probably aren’t making the most of your bachelor's degree.