1. Currently, the average starting salary for a paralegal in the United States is $21,000 - $22,000. This is a base salary for working from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break, Monday through Friday.

2. Many employers (particularly large law firms) won't let you escape with such normal hours. If there is work to be done on an important deal or trial, you may be expected to stay late, perhaps until 10:00 p.m. or so.

3. You might be expected to come in on weekends.

4. You'll get paid extra for overtime. In New York City and Washington, D.C. firms, paralegals are paid time-and-a-half for overtime - any hours over the basic 35 hour workweek. This amounts to $21/hour. Also, you can often make double overtime if you work really crazy hours - anything after 3:00 a.m. or on Sundays and holidays. So if you put in long hours, you're looking at a salary as high as $60,000 a year.

5. All in all, being a paralegal is relatively flexible. Many non-law firm jobs do not require (or even permit) overtime. On the other hand, crazy hours are impossible to avoid at many large law firms. So you can opt for a cozy lifestyle with livable hours

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW be a paralegal?