Legal Experience

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Tinajav
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Legal Experience

Postby Tinajav » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:01 am

What are the best websites to search for jobs as a legal assistant for someone who has no experience?

Thanks

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Tinajav
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby Tinajav » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:07 pm

bump
:?

kiwislug
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby kiwislug » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:15 pm

I am not sure of a website but you can always try the classifieds in your area. Probably the best way to find work when you have no experience is by networking through your UG alumni or your parent's connections. Go to your UG career services department and ask for a list of alumni that are currently in law and drop a few e-mails/phone calls. I got my job this way. I'm sorry if this is not what you are looking for.

jxk
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby jxk » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:17 pm

if you've taken any law classes in UG, you can also ask your law professors to put you in touch with some people.

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hoffb86
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby hoffb86 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:22 pm

Random calls to firms, and head-hunters/staffing agencies, if you are in a large market (or want to go to a large market).... i found my paralegal position through a staffing agency. just make sure you are careful, as some can be deceiving....

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Tinajav
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby Tinajav » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:16 pm

I seee...
What do you mean by deceiving?

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hoffb86
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby hoffb86 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:20 pm

Tinajav wrote:I seee...
What do you mean by deceiving?


Staffing agencies are a business, some of the staffers are more reliable and trust-worthy than others. Some will just want to get you placed as fast as possible, even if it isn't really what you are looking for, or not the best situation for you. Sooner you get hired = sooner they get paid by the firms.... so, you have to really evaluate each staffer and each job they present you for, so that you really know what you are getting into....

2009 Prospective
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby 2009 Prospective » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:38 pm

I found the best strategy was to go to each individual firm's website and search for job openings. I tried basically every major firm in the market and got callbacks from less than 10%. Needless to say, I ended up with a job at one of them. It's pretty standard though for most firms to ask for a 2 year committment I found. They will expect you to head off to law school after those 2 years. Also as a caveat, big firms will give you very tedious and unglamorous work as an entry level paralegal straight from undergrad. Don't expect to be drafting legal documents. Rather, you can expect to be doing a lot of mindless work.

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hoffb86
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby hoffb86 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:47 pm

2009 Prospective wrote:I found the best strategy was to go to each individual firm's website and search for job openings. I tried basically every major firm in the market and got callbacks from less than 10%. Needless to say, I ended up with a job at one of them. It's pretty standard though for most firms to ask for a 2 year committment I found. They will expect you to head off to law school after those 2 years. Also as a caveat, big firms will give you very tedious and unglamorous work as an entry level paralegal straight from undergrad. Don't expect to be drafting legal documents. Rather, you can expect to be doing a lot of mindless work.


However, if you approach the tedious work with intensity, and hard work, you can quickly rise up in the responsibilities you have, and the trust of your associates and partners. The work is tedious, but if you learn to appreciate it for what it is, take a second to read the docs, learn, etc. It can be rewarding work....

I have been with my firm a year, and have earned the trust of my attorneys and my clients to do handle a fair amount of drafting cite-checking, as well as travel internationally for my clients.

The experience is what you make of it. After all, being a 1L aint too glamorous either!

2009 Prospective
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby 2009 Prospective » Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:43 pm

I must echo Hoffb's comments at least somewhat. Your experience will ultimately become what you make of it.

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Tinajav
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby Tinajav » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:40 pm

Thanks guys!
I just graduated from UG this past December so I pretty much can only work from now till the Fall when I start law school... so I hope the fact that a lot of firms require 2 year commitments doesn't hurt me...
but everything you guys said was very helpful, so thank you! :)

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hoffb86
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby hoffb86 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:47 pm

Tinajav wrote:Thanks guys!
I just graduated from UG this past December so I pretty much can only work from now till the Fall when I start law school... so I hope the fact that a lot of firms require 2 year commitments doesn't hurt me...
but everything you guys said was very helpful, so thank you! :)



Unfortunately, unless you are a temp... which is tough to get without any experience, noone will hire you for that a short a time.... sorry if that is brutally honest. But, its usually either 1-2 year commitment. I will have given my firm 1 year 8 months, when I leave.

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Tinajav
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby Tinajav » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:54 pm

ya I'm starting to realize its going to be impossible to get something without experience...
I was just hoping to be a part of something law related so I'll have an easier time finding a job for the summer after my first year in law school.
Do you guys have an idea of what percentage of 1L's (at relatively not-too-bad schools... such as Hastings or Davis) have law-related work experience before they begin law school? And how much it'd have an impact on attaining a job for the post-1L summer?

2009 Prospective
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby 2009 Prospective » Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:29 am

Tinajav wrote:ya I'm starting to realize its going to be impossible to get something without experience...
I was just hoping to be a part of something law related so I'll have an easier time finding a job for the summer after my first year in law school.
Do you guys have an idea of what percentage of 1L's (at relatively not-too-bad schools... such as Hastings or Davis) have law-related work experience before they begin law school? And how much it'd have an impact on attaining a job for the post-1L summer?


I don't think that working for a law firm before law school will do very much to increase your chances at other firms after 1L. The most important factors are grades, law review, interpersonal skills etc. However, if you spend a couple years at a firm as a paralegal you can begin networking and cultivating relationships with the attorneys at your firm. I know of one person at my own firm that worked as a paralegal for around 3 years and after moving on to law school was brought on as a student associate (meaning that they work at the firm during the day and attend classes at night). The firm is helping pay for this person's law school and I would imagine he / she will have a great oppurtunity at becoming an associate after graduation. Nonetheless, it is rare for this to happen where I'm at. Keep in mind that you only will have a half year on your hands. For many, it takes this long to prove yourself on the minldess tasks before you get more important work. Work whatever job will make you happy or allow you to save the most money. If you want to have an idea of what it's like to work at a law firm, try temping through a legal staffing agency. Otherwise, enjoy the time you have before you dive into law school.

At any rate, I don't think not working at a firm before law school will affect your chances at getting a summer position later. Study your ass off if you're hoping for a good summer position.

Hopefully this wasn't too much of a rant. Off to the bar now. Good luck.

DBreslin417
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Re: Legal Experience

Postby DBreslin417 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:24 pm

Aside from the fact that most firms won't hire someone for an 8 month period, I also don't know of any firm that is hiring staff right now, especially without prior experience. I got lucky and worked as an intern for a summer and then got a full time job with the assumption I would go to school in a year.

The only area I can possibly see that would need temporary help is bankruptcy, so maybe send your resume to firms that are handling major bankruptcies.




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