Miami - Downtown/Brickell - S. Florida Salaries

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Bored in Denver, Colorado

77 months ago

I'll be relocating to Miami next year with my husband. We aren't exactly sure about Brickell, so it might be anywhere between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

I have a B.A., an Associates in Paralegal Studies, and about 8 years experience in legal secretary. Currently I'm in a large firm (about 800 persons).

In Denver, Colo., the salary range for that is about $45-$55. I'm at the higher end. Can I make this in Miami or surrounding? Is it better to stick in Brickell (I think that's where most of the big firms are)?

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Bored in Denver, Colorado

77 months ago

anyone in Miami working as a legal secretary/paralegal?

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Midwestern at heart in Miami, Florida

77 months ago

Hi. I have years of experience in the insurance industry but have been searching for a position for some time after a relocation to Miami due to my husband's promotion. I do not know specifically about paralegal positions but I see many postings. The catch is that in Miami salaries are low, the cost of living is high, and if you are not bilingual (Eng/Span), it is quite difficult to secure any positon. Good luck.

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Bored in Denver, Colorado

77 months ago

Thanks for your post. Hopefully someone working in the business can respond.

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Wanda d. cleckley in Washington, District of Columbia

67 months ago

Bored in Denver, Colorado said: I'll be relocating to Miami next year with my husband. We aren't exactly sure about Brickell, so it might be anywhere between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

I have a B.A., an Associates in Paralegal Studies, and about 8 years experience in legal secretary. Currently I'm in a large firm (about 800 persons).

In Denver, Colo., the salary range for that is about $45-$55. I'm at the higher end. Can I make this in Miami or surrounding? Is it better to stick in Brickell (I think that's where most of the big firms are)?

Brickell is in the heart of downtown, Miami... it is very congested getting to work but it is duable. You might want to look into coral gables... Fort lauderdale is 30 minutes from Miami and it is a great job market up there. Miami is very different so be prepared for the cultural difference. The demographics are 60% Hispanic and Latino.

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Bored in Denver in Denver, Colorado

67 months ago

Thanks for all of your posts. Funny how when you tell people here that you want to go to Miami they are quick to point out the Hispanic population. I'd gladly take that over an all-white population. Although Denver seems to be increasing in it's diversity somewhat, it's still too small for me.

With the economy crash and all, our plans are on a neverending hold it seems.

I've decided to study for the LSAT. I'm sick of being treated like an underdog while training baby lawyers how to practice law. I honestly enjoy law and feel that I'm up to the challenge.

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Wanda d. cleckley in Washington, District of Columbia

67 months ago

Personally, I enjoyed the demographics... but it was a cultural change coming from D.C. so I point it out because no one pointed it out to me before I got there. Literally, you will go to certain areas of Miami and be in a different land... but then there's the flavor where you can go to Lil Haiti, North Miami which is mostly Jamaicans... Opalocka which is primarily African American... I loved Miami...

It makes for an interesting job market though and you will run into the cultural differences there ... remember it's Florida - the dirty South; patriachal and multicultural... enjoy!

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Bored in Denver in Denver, Colorado

67 months ago

Hey Wanda, I didn't mean any offense to you, just FYI. I've visited the countries you named off, so being around the people there in Miami will be neat for me. When I was talking about people advising as to the Hispanic pop., I meant people who know me. I find it amusing that they tell me these things as warnings. These are usually small minded persons who haven't even left this state.

I don't know if I'll ever get to Miami. And things are changing for me, I really don't know if I'll enjoy the intense heat there, the weather in Denver is really good. Taking the LSAT might keep me here for years to come, not necessarily a bad thing.

It's all sort of a mental struggle for me, but I suppose taking things as they come is best.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

67 months ago

Bored in Denver, Colorado said: anyone in Miami working as a legal secretary/paralegal?

I lived on Brickell, a pretigious high-rise condo neighborhood directly on the bay, next to Key Biscayne. I was a working paralegal in Miami. Brickell is located next to the business district. Greenbreg Traurig (miami's biggest firm) was practically in my back yard. I had one job in a firm (most beautiful building) where I walked to work - 5 blocks up along the bay.

IF you are experienced, you have a shot. Legal secretaries are posted a lot. The news paper you need to get is the "Daily Business Review". It is the legal newspaper, your bible, with classified in the back. It will give you an idea of what is going on in the legal job market today. Call them up and get a subscription for a month or so. It is inexpensive.

Hope this helps.

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Bored in Denver in Denver, Colorado

67 months ago

Hey kmmm, thanks, but did you read my post directly above yours? Meaning, things are changing for me in Denver, I may end up staying here for several years. But yeah, if I decide to not go to law school and move to Miami, I'll follow your advice. Greenberg doesn't have the best rep. here.

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Wanda d. cleckley in Washington, District of Columbia

67 months ago

Personally, I can't wait to get back to Miami. I worked a lot in Coral Gables... it was beautiful and the law firms were state of the art... a little cultured but adaptable. I am in DC now... it's just not the same.
I know about Greenberg... they have a lot of turnover...

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Bored in Denver in Denver, Colorado

67 months ago

Hey Wanda,

I'm worried about the heat and bugs. We just don't have that here. And I just spent some time in another very very hot country and thought to myself, do I really want to live in this? Constantly spraying bug spray on myself has me in rashes.

I've heard Coral Gables is very pretty. I think we are coming out there either this Aug. or next summer.

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Bored in Denver in Denver, Colorado

67 months ago

So Greenberg has turnover there too? Not good...

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Wanda d. cleckley in Washington, District of Columbia

67 months ago

Everything in Florida is pretty. You will enjoy it. You needn't worry about bugs because it is too darn hot to be outside around the bugs... Personally, I am just waiting for this market thing to change... I am missing Florida and I am going back. Enjoy yourself though.. Florida is nice.

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Wanda d. cleckley in Washington, District of Columbia

67 months ago

I just know they are always in the paper... they take "at will" employee to a new level in Florida... esp. Miami. Fort Lauderdale is a little better though.
Just my experience. Someone else's might be different... I have unique cultural circumstances - which is new to the culture there. I am definitely a northerner. LOL

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Bored in Denver in Denver, Colorado

67 months ago

That's funny Wanda, we are northerners too by their aspects. You know what you say about it being too hot to go outside? I've seen the light and now realize how lucky we are in Colo. Here, we are outside all the time, the weather is gorgeous. I even had a college class that met outside during the spring. I walked to work from where my bus left off - about a mile for this particular stop off. It was beautiful. So going to a place where I can't go outside might be awful for me. I don't know.

I really do want to live in a bigger city, but with the upcoming LSAT, I might be here for years to come.

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Azure in Miami, Florida

51 months ago

Bored in Denver, I know im 15 months late to this reply but, like you, i was Bored living in North Carolina, Raleigh to be exact. So i decided to move to Miami. Ive been down here for 2 yrs now, Im a student at Florida International University(which has a great law school btw) but Miami is a city full of 98% hispanic people and the other 2% are just OTHER. bilingual is a must if you want to work as a paralegal! However to be honest a lot of the people who live in the Brickell,Miami,Coral Gables area(which happen to be some of the nicest areas in south florida) can be very snotty/stuck up at times. Miami cities is the city of the upper class luxury car driving, luxury condo having people who dont pay attention to your average middle class worker. Everything in Miami is about STATUS and what you HAVE.So it can be hard mentally to move to a bigger city with the high rollers, b/c literally you will be surrounded by beautiful men and women, dressed extravagantly everyday driving porshe's, (bmw"s are like the honda's in miami, everyone has one). So if I were you I would stay in Denver and appreciate what you have before moving to Miami, b/c down here if you have the money to afford this high class lifestyle then do it, but trust me a $50,000 and under salary wont cut it in miami, maybe orlando. The people can be mean at times, but you'll get used to the coldness after a while. Im also thinking about taking the LSAT, but I want to get some exepirence in the legal field first as a paralegal, Ill keep you updated on my job search..so far the average pay in Miami is about $42,000..which after taxes isnt much.

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Wanda D. Cleckley in Miami, Florida

51 months ago

You are so 15 months late, LOL! I am in Miami and the market is awful. I don't know about your exposure because I personally don't live with the rich and famous but Miami is an interesting mix. I just wish the market would give a bit and we could find some meaningful employment here. If not, I will definitely have to return to D.C. where at least I can get an honest days wage for an honest days work.

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Chris in Miami, Florida

44 months ago

Funny, I was born and raised in Miami, and I am currently looking into moving Colorado.
I know that i'm late in responing but i'll list some of the pros and cons of Miami so that any lingering reader may have a heads up.

Pros-
Restaurants galore
Beaches
The Florida keys are a short drive away
Disney World is a short drive away
HOTT people
beautiful sunny weather
if you have a degree - jobs galore - if not, good luck.
you can work at a decent law firm if you are competent, you do not need to speak spanish to survive in Miami, but be aware if you are unwilling to try and learn the language you may find yourself a bit frustrated at some stores.
you do not necessarily need to know spanish at large law firms, there is an abundance spanish speaking employees who are able to translate for you.

CONS (the reason I want to move to Colorado)
the heat is not the issue, the humidity is.
the traffic is horrible
the traffic wouldn't be as bad if people knew how to drive ( scarce in miami)
the elderly are everywhere - EVERYWHERE
the people are RUDE - common courtesy is non existent
money is always an issue in miami from what you wear to who you are with, you are always being judged, this stands for your employer as well.
if you care for the social crowds, and networking yourself, be prepared to be fake, and always act as if your bank account had a couple of extra zeros at the end. regardless of how much is really in there.

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Jenny P. in Miami, Florida

35 months ago

Bored in Denver, Colorado said: I'll be relocating to Miami next year with my husband. We aren't exactly sure about Brickell, so it might be anywhere between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

I have a B.A., an Associates in Paralegal Studies, and about 8 years experience in legal secretary. Currently I'm in a large firm (about 800 persons).

In Denver, Colo., the salary range for that is about $45-$55. I'm at the higher end. Can I make this in Miami or surrounding? Is it better to stick in Brickell (I think that's where most of the big firms are)?

You can make more than $55K. Down here for your experience as a paralegal you can make in the range of $55-65K if at a large firm. For a legal secretary with 8 yrs experience you're looking at $48-52K

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