Best job: lawyer or paralegal?

January 9, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint
Paralegals have better jobs than attorneys, according to one job search Web site’s ranking of professions. Researchers at careercast.com analyzed numerous jobs and looked at five main criteria – physical demands, stress, work environment, income, and outlook (potential salary growth, unemployment rates) to rank 200 professions.

Based on the criteria, paralegals ranked No.17; attorneys made the list at No. 82. Here’s the entire list and more about the methodology.

Even though the physical demands on an attorney and paralegal scored very close in this ranking, paralegals had less stress and a better work environment, according to the researchers. Based on the methodology, it appears those careers with better work environments and less stress are “better” jobs than those that may pay higher salaries, but have a more demanding environment.

The rankings also say paralegals work on average 45 hours a week and attorneys work an average of 50 hours a week. Does that sound right?

Other careers in the legal profession making the list: court reporter/stenographer came in at No. 28 and federal judges at No. 69. For some reason, the list left off state or local judges.

I was surprised to see paralegals rank so highly on this list. I just assumed since they work in a law office, they often face similar stresses and demands that attorneys do. I expected them to be ranked closer to attorneys in that regard.

In case you’re curious, mathematician ranked No. 1 and lumberjack came in at No. 200. Reporters made No. 140 on the list.

What’s your reaction to the list? Does it seem accurate or did the list get it wrong?
ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

ADVERTISEMENT