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Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 14 posts ] 
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 Post subject: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 8:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:06 am
Archived Posts: 2
I am debating whether I should attend Paralegal school in the Fall 2008 (and take the LSAT's next year before completing my courses in the end of 2009) or taking the LSAT's in either October or December of 2008. My main reason of applying for Paralegal school is for me to become more competitive in the admissions process since my GPA was average (not 3.0 status) and to get a greater glimpse of working inside a law firm environment. I have a some years of work experience during and after college (I have been out of college for three years).

My questions are:
1. Is attending Paralegal school worth attending at all?
2. Would it be easier for me to apply for the LSAT's in October (assuming I decide not to attend Paralegal school) or December?
3. Which LSAT prep course is better between Testmasters and Powerscore? I have taken PR online during Senior year and scored extrememly low; prepped myself with Kaplan books two years later (which helped me score six more points, but still had a extremely low score below 150). I am looking to get at least a 150 (more like a must).


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:58 pm
Archived Posts: 2686
1 lsat point is worth more than paralegal school; don't do it--study


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:20 pm
Archived Posts: 640
I think it would be worth being a paralegal to get the feel of a legal environment and day-to-day life, but it probably would not give you much of an advantage in the admissions process.

If you intend to apply to law school next year, I would take the LSAT in October. Those will allow you to get your applications early in the cycle rather than at the late end (which would happen if you took it in December).

I haven't heard anything about either PowerScore or TestMasters being particularly stronger than the other. I would go with whichever is more convenient in terms of price and location. Maybe ask some folks in the LSAT forum for opinions.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 4:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:14 am
Archived Posts: 121
it is 100% NOT worth it to go to paralegal school unless that's what you want your career to be in. im a paralegal now, and seriously a monkey could do my job. i can't even imagine what they teach you in those schools, correct printing technique? copying etiquette? not to make light of what paras do, as i am one of them, but for reals.

and it will also NOT help in the law school admission process, although scoring well on the lsat will. devote every waking moment to studying if you haven't even been cracking 150. you can get into some decent schools with a 155, but with your gpa sub 3.0, you should be looking to get a 160, minimum.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:31 pm 

Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 6:49 pm
Archived Posts: 1
As a paralegal who went to law school I can tell you that working as a paralegal does offer some advantages including:

1. The opportunity to gain real-world experience and decide whether a career in law is really for you.
2. A competitive edge in the first year of law school. You will already be familiar with legal lingo while your class mates are figuring out how to pronounce res ipsa loquitur. (After year one, the playing field levels out).
3. A potential competitive advantage in the legal market post-graduation if you have subtantial related experience. Small and mid-size firms often prefer to hire associates who can hit the ground running.

What paralegal experience will NOT give you is a significant advantage in the law school admissions process.

Sally Kane
About.com Guide to Legal Careers
http://legalcareers.about.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:28 pm
Archived Posts: 31
legalwriter wrote:
As a paralegal who went to law school I can tell you that working as a paralegal does offer some advantages including:


However, there is absolutely a difference between working as a paralegal for a year or two and going to paralegal school. Being a paralegal has some benefits (and by benefits, I mean to you personally, not application benefits), and can perhaps help you decide whether law is for you, but you do NOT have to go to paralegal school to do that. Most people who go from paralegal to law student got their paralegal jobs with only a BA.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:54 pm
Archived Posts: 167
Wait, is the OP wanting to go to paralegal school just to buff up the resume or does he/she actually want to work as a paralegal with that certificate?

Nowhere in the OP's post did I see he/she wanted to be one (for whatever time period), they just wanted go to school to buff up the resume. Now that would be a waste of money.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:47 pm
Archived Posts: 164
This is an interesting post. I agree completely that becoming a paralegal for the primary purpose of helping you get into law school would be a TERRIBLE idea.

But I think some clarification should be made on what is a "paralegal". Let me just say up front I don't claim to know, but from my observation there are very different perceptions. One poster upthread decried his role as some sort of copy boy.

However, it seems that from trolling want-ads and job postings, employers distinctly prefer paralegals with Bachelor's degrees. Indeed, there are a lot of BA in Legal Studies degrees at reputable colleges out there.

Also, the money seems pretty good, starting around $20 an hour or so...my point is, if the OP goes to an ABA accredited Para program, and already has a BA/BS, they may find that they like that profession and will have a (relatively) well paying career and not want to go to law school anyway


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:24 pm
Archived Posts: 88
i think there is a difference between a legal assistant and a paralegal. paralegals usually draft briefs and motions, etc. and are paid fairly well.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:41 pm 

Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:22 pm
Archived Posts: 3
Hi everyone,
I can tell you from experience that going through a reputable paralegal program can benefit you in terms of preparation for law school. The paralegal program that I attended ( and i did so mainly with the intention of deferring loans before attending law school) was taught by attorneys and we focused primarily on legal researching, writing, issue spotting, case briefing- IRAC-ing etc... I have learned a great deal of significant legal knowledge, vocabulary etc.. (I feel ) which will probably give me a slight edge when entering law school this fall.

In terms of giving you the advantage over your competition while going through the application process...I would say that having a paralegal degree is not going to help you out much, unless you have been a veteren practicing paralegal from a top firm or something. It is my impression that there are many paralegals applying to law school looking to make a career transition.

but in your case with a sub 3.0 GPA and potentially average LSAT score, then going through paralegal school and attaining high grades [i]might benefit you. By excelling in paralegal school, the ad coms might see that you have an innate ability to succeed at law school and might take a chance on you.

ultimately its up to you...if you think it will help you out in the long run then go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 5:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:47 pm
Archived Posts: 52
Having taken some paralegal classes I can tell you this much: the profession is very undefined, the work you do varies greatly depending what firm you are at. It will not help you get INTO law school however if you actually want to work at a firm, it will def. give you a leg up. I hear on the East Coast it is not unusual for post-BA's to work as "paralegals" in their years before law school. On the West COast it seems to be harder to get into a law firm for any entry-level position. I have learned some vocab and basic legal concepts, nothing you can't get out of reading a book. My prof made it clear on the first day paralegal school is nothing like law school. I would put more focus on studying for the LSAT. I did Testmasters and my score went up significantly, but it's all about how much you put into it. I suggest you make it THE priority in your life when you study for it, since it is the only thing you can really control.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 6:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:38 pm
Archived Posts: 6
No No No No. Paralegal school is a racket. You can become a paralegal without extra training right out of college. Taking some law/prelaw classes might help, I don't know. Hell, law school is a racket too, but one you need to go through to be able to practice law.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 6:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:58 pm
Archived Posts: 2686
Quote:
I have learned a great deal of significant legal knowledge, vocabulary etc.. (I feel ) which will probably give me a slight edge when entering law school this fall.


Please don't go.........


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 Post subject: Re: Is Paralegal School Worth Attending?
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 5:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:48 am
Archived Posts: 1620
If you want to work as a paralegal it's certainly worth attending a paralegal school.
If you simply want to gain a leg up in either admissions or academics once in school, then it absolutely isn't worth it.

As was stated earlier 1 point higher on the LSAT is probably worth more than paralegal school in the admission's process. The things you learn in paralegal school that would help you could be learned in the LEEWS course. Working as a paralegal for a few years would most certainly give you an advantage once in school if you have a job where you actually get to do quite a bit. But the school alone won't give you any unique advantage.


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Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 14 posts ] 

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