How commonly do law departments employ paralegals? A more precise question looks at typical ratios of lawyers to paralegals. In US law departments, according to recent benchmark data from 228 law departments that reported paralegals, the median ratio is 2.66 lawyers for every paralegal. The average, however, stands higher: 3.57 lawyers per paralegal.
That ratio of lawyers to paralegals varies significantly in other parts of the world. From the same global benchmark survey, 43 Canadian law departments reported a median of three lawyers for each paralegal and an average of 3.72. From 47 law departments in the United Kingdom and Ireland (the UK) came the same median but a higher average of 4.06. Finally, from 81 law departments based in Europe, the median remained the same as that of the UK and Canada, but the average increased significantly to 4.83.