Sixty-three percent of Florida law firms use paralegals and 40 percent of those say their paralegals averaged more than 1,000 billable hours last year, according to The Florida Bar’s 2022 Economics and Law Office Management Survey.

The survey also found that 16 percent of respondents who work in firms with paralegals report their offices require certain standards or certifications of their paralegals. The most often reported hiring standards included inclusion in The Florida Bar’s Florida Registered Paralegal program (21%) and passage of the Certified Legal Assistant exam (15%) or other certified paralegal certificate (14%).

Of those surveyed, 47% of respondents who work in firms or legal offices that employ paralegals report that the hourly rate billed for legal work performed by those paralegals is over $140, while 26% report that the billed paralegal hourly rate is $100 or less. The median hourly rate for paralegals was $135, up from $125 in the 2018 survey.