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Exploring the Path of an Employment Law Paralegal

Published on: May 31, 2024

Labor law, or employment law, is a branch of contract law that deals with the relationship between employers and employees. It covers matters including working hours, wages, employment discrimination, and the regulation of working conditions. Many employment law firms and lawyers hire employment law paralegals to help bridge the gap between these employment issues and legal support. These paralegals work closely with lawyers to address problems related to workplace safety, layoffs, labor disputes, compensation, and other labor-related concerns.

In the article, we will review an employment law paralegal’s job duties, career path, employer types, and salary insights to help you better understand the role and provide you with resources to help you get started on this career path.

Common Responsibilities as an Employment Law Paralegal

 In general, an employment law paralegal is often responsible for conducting research, organizing case files, and assisting with preparing and drafting legal briefs and documents for cases involving labor disputes, contract negotiations, discrimination, health and safety issues, fair labor standards, or workers’ compensation. Additionally, these paralegals are often responsible for interviewing clients or witnesses, collecting information from employers and insurance providers, helping lawyers in court, drafting correspondences, managing a lawyer's schedule, and setting appointments.

A Day in the Life of an Employment Law Paralegal

While an employment law paralegal’s duties will usually depend on their specific position and where they work, day-to-day tasks will usually include the following:

  • Administrative tasks, including keeping track of the attorney’s schedule and ensuring the law firm is running properly

  • Case management tasks, including coordination of all the aspects of a case and making sure deadlines are met

  • Drafting emails and contacting clients

  • Preparing documents for attorney review (pleadings, document responses, discovery)

  • Analyzing and summarizing documents

  • Performing legal research

  • Attending meetings with the attorney or hearings and mediation sessions

  • Collaborating with lawyers, HR departments, and others

Path to Becoming an Employment Law Paralegal

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals' typical entry-level education level is an associate's degree. However, those looking to get started in this position should know that there are numerous education pathways they can choose from. For instance, most paralegals, including employment law paralegals, often get an associate's degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies.  

Yet, before pursuing any of these pathways, it is important to review certain factors to determine if a paralegal program has the necessary criteria to help you: 

  • Has the American Bar Association (ABA) approved the program, ensuring it meets the standards of the legal sector?

  • Does the program have a solid job placement rate?

  • Is the program offered online or in person, and does it have flexibility regarding your other life commitments?

  • Does the program have a clear pathway between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree if you decide to continue your education?

Salary and Compensation Expectations

The average annual salary for an employment law paralegal is approximately $54,355. However, this amount can vary depending on experience level, job responsibilities, and employer type. Some of the top employment law paralegals can make over $100,000 annually.

Challenges and Opportunities

Due to the type of work and deadlines involved, employment law paralegals often work long hours and experience high-stress levels. Depending on their employer, these paralegals may also experience challenging clients, complicated legal issues, frequently changing labor laws, and sensitive topics such as workplace harassment or discrimination.

However, while the job may present some challenges, this position also offers numerous opportunities. Employment law paralegals tend to have an interesting and changing workload, dealing with unique subject matter that helps ensure there is always something new to learn.  

There are also plenty of opportunities for career growth. With additional training, certifications, and experience, employment law paralegals can become senior paralegals and law firm managers, hold legal advisory positions, or specialize in high-demand areas of employment law to further their careers.

Assessing Your Suitability for the Role

If you are considering a legal career, you must understand that the legal field is vast and sometimes complicated, with many nuances and gray areas. That is why legal professionals such as employment law paralegals are often tasked with offering valuable assistance to clients navigating these challenging legal issues. However, if you are unsure if you are ready to take on this role or if the position is right for you, consider the following factors that can help with the decision process. 

A Genuine Interest in Employment Law 

Those wanting to become an employment law paralegal should show interest in employment law. Dealing with complex employment legal issues is not for the faint of heart, and it is important that those who enter this field are interested in what they do, especially if they want to get ahead.

Strong Communicator 

Employment law paralegals generally have to be good communicators, as they interact with a variety of people daily, including lawyers, clients, and other types of professionals. As a result, when these paralegals schedule court appointments or interview clients, they need to be able to express themselves clearly and confidently in person, online, or even over the phone.

Solid Multi-Tasker

Employment law paralegals often have to manage many different projects at once. That is why having strong multi-tasking skills can be incredibly beneficial for those seeking a position in this field.

Attention To Detail

Paying attention to detail is important as an employment law paralegal. This role is often responsible for preparing and filing critical legal documents, handling correspondence, and reviewing reports that require strong attention to detail. For these reasons, those who are detail-oriented and can pay attention to the minor details may do well in this role.

Passion for Advocacy

While career success in law often requires diligence, a strong work ethic, and commitment, choosing a path you are passionate about can help your career thrive. That is why those who have a passion for advocacy and rights protection may be able to find long-term career satisfaction as an employment law paralegal.

Resources and Continuing Education

If you are considering employment law and want to learn more about this career path, consider the following valuable resources: professional organizations, forums, webinars, and workshops that offer ongoing learning about employment law.

Take the First Step To Becoming an Employment Law Paralegal Today

Although lawyers and judges are often the first people who come to mind when thinking of legal cases or jobs in the legal field, other well-known professionals also perform crucial duties. In truth, paralegals are a vital part of why law firms work as efficiently as possible and offer individuals an opportunity for a challenging and well-respected career. 

If you are interested in pursuing a position in employment law as a paralegal, do not wait any longer to get started. Attend relevant school events, join organizations, and network with current paralegals to better understand the role and the steps you need to take to begin this next chapter.

About the Authors

Written by:

Kasia Nelson, Esq.

Kasia Nelson is a licensed attorney and skilled legal content writer with years of experience. With a background in corporate immigration law, she is well-versed in the intricacies of producing legally accurate and well-researched work. 


  • Michigan State University, B.S.

  • Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, J.D.

Law Licensures

  • Michigan

Kasia Nelson

Kasia Nelson, Esq.


Education: Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, J.D.

Knowledge: Corporate Immigration Law

Reviewed by:

Ryan P. Duffy, Esq.

Ryan P. Duffy is an attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina. His practice focuses primarily on Estate Planning, Personal Injury, and Business law. 

Law Licensures

  • New Jersey

  • Pennsylvania (inactive)

  • South Carolina

  • North Carolina

Ryan Duffy

Ryan P. Duffy, Esq.

Editorial Lead

Education: Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, J.D.

Knowledge: Estate Planning