Male legal assistant?

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Anonymous User
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Male legal assistant?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:42 pm

I currently am working as a runner at a law firm, and HR wants me to keep around for a year before I go to law school as possibly a legal assistant/secretary. I'm hesitant because all our secretaries are women, it is traditionally a woman's job, and I don't know how emasculated I would feel accepting and working at the position. Does anyone have experience as a male legal assistant?

Pearalegal
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Pearalegal » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:52 pm

Oh come on.

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mcflooter06
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby mcflooter06 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:53 pm

Pearalegal wrote:Oh come on.


hahaha you beat me to it!

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holydonkey
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby holydonkey » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:56 pm

Great opportunity to mac. Still...I think I would pass. Go to law school this year. If you do stay, get them to give you a different title.

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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:58 pm

holydonkey wrote:Great opportunity to mac. Still...I think I would pass. Go to law school this year. If you do stay, get them to give you a different title.

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Bert
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Bert » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:08 pm

Go to school. Take it from somebody who stayed the extra year, I have hated every moment of it, knowing that I could have been at law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:13 pm

I'm not male, but my boyfriend works in an assistant role that is dominated by women at his office. He has never expressed feeling "emasculated" (seriously?) by doing "a woman's job," but he has experienced some discrimination there. His co-workers have treated him differently/not include him in things, but he has gained more acceptance than when he first started. He is also younger than most of the women so that may also play into it.

Pearalegal
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Pearalegal » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:16 pm

The job doesn't emasculate the man, the man emasculates the job.

OP, I'm finishing up my two year contract at my firm and the time I spent there was great for me, personally. I think your primary concern is silly...but you just need to decide if staying a year will benefit you personally and professionally.

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Cupidity
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Cupidity » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:34 pm

The one thing I noticed, was that perhaps because I was male--my job actually varied significantly from the female legal assistants. Though we had the same title, I found myself doing a lot more "runner" style work, and also a lot more hands on work as far as taking depositions, and even some legal research. While I did occassionaly have to get coffee, answer phones, and make copies...I found that I was used far less as a personal assistant that any of the women.

Take this for what you will. Also, I will mention it because it might change the nature of my answer, it wasn't at a firm--it was in house for a large national construction contractor.

Geist13
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Geist13 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:37 pm

Do you want to go to school immediately or not? If not, you have a job (and one that could give you some insight into your future career). If you're that insecure about it, you can find a different job. If you do want to go to school immediately, why does this even matter?

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macattaq
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby macattaq » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:38 pm

I've had a position like this before. What Cupidity says is entirely correct. It also seemed, though I could have been wrong, that the attorneys were just happy to have another guy around the office. You end up getting invited out, etc., etc., and you can network with the guys in a way that the secretaries cannot.

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John J. Rambo, Esq.
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby John J. Rambo, Esq. » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:47 pm

I worked as a legal secretary. In some ways, it's preferable to the usual paralegal/legal assistant gig: very stable hours (less demanding OT), higher base salary depending on firm, a nearly constant view of what an attorney does at the office. If you show the lawyers you work for that you're capable of it, they'll give you work that a paralegal or junior attorney would normally handle.

There are downsides, of course. You are more involved with the personal lives of the attorneys you work for and sometimes you may be asked to handle personal errands for them. This depends on the attorney and the boundaries you establish. I wouldn't ignore the stigma; it does exist. Largely because of proximity, you won't automatically be invited out with the paralegal crew. If that's something you want out of your work life, you'll have to be extra sociable to achieve it. Some people don't know what to make of a secretary who is young, bright and male. As long as you're comfortable with your position, you'll be able to handle this.

Pearalegal
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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Pearalegal » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:03 pm

+1 to the above. I'm very jealous of the legal assistants' hours.

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Re: Male legal assistant?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:23 pm

1. Thank you all for the responses.
2. I am taking the LSAT in June and using the year off to focus on applying to law school, getting some real world experiences, and paying off undergrad debt.
3. To Pearalegal, I know the concern sounds silly, and I am probably coming off as a sexist. But the reality is that my firm is very traditional and I live in a conservative/traditional part of the country where, although it sounds backward to most; fellow employees, clients, and friends might have second-thoughts about having a male secretary.
4. The options I see stand as continue to work as a runner, but with a title that sounds important (employer said they might do that). Apply to be a secretary there (which I would probably get). Or find a new job, (poor job environment).

Thanks again!




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