Paralegal Related Question

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jbwez121
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:57 pm

Paralegal Related Question

Postby jbwez121 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:00 pm

I realize that this topic is probably misplaced, but this is probably one of the few sites where past and present paralegals will view my post.

Very short form, I have decided against going to law school mainly out of financial reasons and not getting into the school(s) I was willing to pay for. I realized attending would have put me in a severely adverse position as my dream was to run my own private practice (not feasible with 150k plus in debt).

I am now looking to transition out of being a paralegal (after 3 years of solid experience) and into something else. The question is what else? Mind you I am not looking for very specific answers, but what careers/jobs would paralegal experience transfer over well to? I am sure someone on TLS has experienced something similar in the past. I do value the aspects of the job that require investigation, critical thinking and problem resolution but I realize I need something with room for more growth and preferably more challenging. I should throw in that I have a poli-sci degree (a decision I regret, but life goes on).

If you would like more specific details PM me. Again, sorry for the misplaced post, but this is one of the few areas online I will likely get a legitimate amount of readers/responses back.

Any help, even if it is pointing me to a different forum/site to post is appreciated.

Kage3212
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:34 am

Re: Paralegal Related Question

Postby Kage3212 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:20 pm

I currently work as a paralegal now so figured I would chime in with my two cents (mainly questions). The questions are as follows: why have you decided to abandon your aspiration to go to law school? Sure you don't want the debt, but who says you have to accumulate 150k in debt? Have you considered going to law school part-time and keeping your paralegal gig for a bit? (this would surely mitigate your debt) Finding a cheap state school and working/going to school part time is not that bad of an option, especially considering the opportunity a J.D. affords as opposed to merely being a paralegal.

My advice is to look into part-time programs at schools that are not now attainable with your numbers. Apply to a part-time program for the first year, keep your paralegal gig, and then try to segway into your respective institution's full-time program if you desire. Or you may find that you actually prefer part-time over full-time. If you cut out living expenses (by paying your cost of living expense in full each year) you cut out a large portion of that debt (20k/year COL, over 3/4 years; saved yourself 60-80k debt) There are most certainly alternatives to the full-time programs that are most often sought after on this board. Don't forgo career opportunities because you cant get there by following some mainstream model. If you want to make it in this field the opportunity is there, its up to you to decide whether the sacrifices are worth the eventual goal.

jbwez121
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:57 pm

Re: Paralegal Related Question

Postby jbwez121 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:23 am

Kage3212 wrote:I currently work as a paralegal now so figured I would chime in with my two cents (mainly questions). The questions are as follows: why have you decided to abandon your aspiration to go to law school? Sure you don't want the debt, but who says you have to accumulate 150k in debt? Have you considered going to law school part-time and keeping your paralegal gig for a bit? (this would surely mitigate your debt) Finding a cheap state school and working/going to school part time is not that bad of an option, especially considering the opportunity a J.D. affords as opposed to merely being a paralegal.

My advice is to look into part-time programs at schools that are not now attainable with your numbers. Apply to a part-time program for the first year, keep your paralegal gig, and then try to segway into your respective institution's full-time program if you desire. Or you may find that you actually prefer part-time over full-time. If you cut out living expenses (by paying your cost of living expense in full each year) you cut out a large portion of that debt (20k/year COL, over 3/4 years; saved yourself 60-80k debt) There are most certainly alternatives to the full-time programs that are most often sought after on this board. Don't forgo career opportunities because you cant get there by following some mainstream model. If you want to make it in this field the opportunity is there, its up to you to decide whether the sacrifices are worth the eventual goal.


Thanks for the advice/response. I actually was following the path that you had laid out in your post. I was admitted into a part-time (though not a great school/also very expensive) program. I was looking for another job as a paralegal in the area for the past 4 months, but wasn't able to find one. I asked for a transfer from the current firm I am employed with and they suprisingly agreed. The problem was the office was not the closest office to the school and the other problem was that I really do not wish to work for the firm any longer then I have to.

I want to segway into a different career path. I've picked my brain on this for awhile and I have reached (painfully) the conclusion that I fall into the category of "I should go to law school because I don't know what else to do."

I understand that a career in law is possible, but I am not even sure I want it. They more or less promised employment out of law school at the firm I am at, but I know that I do not want to stay here. The only type of law I could see myself doing is criminal defense. The problem with that is the debt, but even with that career I wouldn't be certain I would be happy.

Which leaves me where I am now, to see if any of my skills/experience would transfer over to a new career. I am just trying to find someone that may have had a similar experience....




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