Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

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SwollenMonkey
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Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby SwollenMonkey » Thu May 06, 2010 3:16 pm

I'm not too sure why the attorney world needs paralegals. Why not get all the recent grads, 2Ls, and 1Ls that are looking for employment to take the place of paralegals?

Is this a crazy idea? Why not phase out paralegals for the better of those graduating law school?

Pearalegal
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Pearalegal » Thu May 06, 2010 3:18 pm

Eff you, let me keep my job, shut your mouth.

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romothesavior
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby romothesavior » Thu May 06, 2010 3:19 pm

If I were a graduating 3L with no job, I would not want to be a paralegal. I would much rather enter a non-legal field with decent pay and the opportunity for advancement. It would be a much better long-term career choice.

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trialjunky
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby trialjunky » Thu May 06, 2010 3:22 pm

I had an attorney who graduated from Stetson who worked as a paralegal in my law firm until she got her bar #....she absolutely hated it. Personally, for me, I wouldn't be okay working as a paralegal after I enter law school because that's something I could have (and am currently) done beforehand. Plus the pay, in general, sucks - not McDonald's suck but still sucky.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Blindmelon » Thu May 06, 2010 3:24 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:I'm not too sure why the attorney world needs paralegals. Why not get all the recent grads, 2Ls, and 1Ls that are looking for employment to take the place of paralegals?

Is this a crazy idea? Why not phase out paralegals for the better of those graduating law school?


Suffolk/Seton Hall firms come to OCI looking for paralegals and their career services really push paralegal jobs. Its not a bad gig for 4th tier grads I would think.

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Unemployed
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Unemployed » Thu May 06, 2010 3:28 pm

Pearalegal wrote:Eff you, let me keep my job, shut your mouth.


I don't need a paralegal who can't spell "paralegal" :lol:

hubtubrub
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby hubtubrub » Thu May 06, 2010 3:29 pm

Pearalegal wrote:Eff you, let me keep my job, shut your mouth.

+1

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Lonagan
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Lonagan » Thu May 06, 2010 3:30 pm

I don't actually know anything, but I have heard it said that paralegals actually know everything, and 1Ls and 2Ls know nothing. That could have something to do with it.

Not to mention, law firms aren't J.C. Penny and probably need people to stick around for more than 3 months at a stretch.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby SwollenMonkey » Thu May 06, 2010 3:35 pm

Thank you all! Your responses are colorful and helpful. :wink:

digitalcntrl
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby digitalcntrl » Thu May 06, 2010 3:38 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:I'm not too sure why the attorney world needs paralegals. Why not get all the recent grads, 2Ls, and 1Ls that are looking for employment to take the place of paralegals?

Is this a crazy idea? Why not phase out paralegals for the better of those graduating law school?


The average salary for a paralegal is under 45K, so in a word cheap labor is the reason. Many attorneys will not work for these wages and even if they do, a law firm would suspect that they would leave once their prospects improved with some experience. Plus an experienced paralegal can probably do a better job than a newly minted attorney with zero experience.

Pearalegal
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Pearalegal » Thu May 06, 2010 3:46 pm

Unemployed wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:Eff you, let me keep my job, shut your mouth.


I don't need a paralegal who can't spell "paralegal" :lol:



I looked for a smiley that stuck out its tongue, but alas, there wasn't one.

Anonymous User
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 06, 2010 3:51 pm

Paralegals are frickin' awesome.

They make the paralegals here informally supervise the straight-out-of-law-school know-nothings to make sure they don't break stuff.

I'm making 85k base with no overtime AND I get my law school tuition paid for because again... paralegals are frickin' awesome.

:lol:

Anonymous User
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 06, 2010 4:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Paralegals are frickin' awesome.

They make the paralegals here informally supervise the straight-out-of-law-school know-nothings to make sure they don't break stuff.

I'm making 85k base with no overtime AND I get my law school tuition paid for because again... paralegals are frickin' awesome.

:lol:


Lucky you. I am currently trying to leverage a commitment to come back to this place post-law-school in exchange for the firm paying part of my education, and they aren't biting. They are only going to give me a huge "good luck" payment without any promises. But, then again, I do kind of enjoy being a paralegal.

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Unemployed
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Unemployed » Thu May 06, 2010 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Paralegals are frickin' awesome.

They make the paralegals here informally supervise the straight-out-of-law-school know-nothings to make sure they don't break stuff.

I'm making 85k base with no overtime AND I get my law school tuition paid for because again... paralegals are frickin' awesome.

:lol:


:shock:

That is unbelievable! You are not a paralegal for your dad or mum's firm, are you?

ughOSU
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby ughOSU » Thu May 06, 2010 4:21 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:I'm not too sure why the attorney world needs paralegals. Why not get all the recent grads, 2Ls, and 1Ls that are looking for employment to take the place of paralegals?

Is this a crazy idea? Why not phase out paralegals for the better of those graduating law school?

If you're talking about firms eliminating paralegals and replacing them with attorneys, then you are crazy. The reason is because the client bills would explode and the firm would lose clients. Paralegals keep bills down because then bill out at rates 1/2 or less than attorneys. Most of what they do you don't need an attorney for, so it's stupid and wasteful for the client to pay one to do something someone else can do cheaper.

An attorney working as a paralegal would be miserable, as was mentioned above, because you don't go to law school to become a paralegal. So billing them out and paying them as paralegals also wouldn't work.

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Unemployed
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Unemployed » Thu May 06, 2010 4:22 pm

ughOSU wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:I'm not too sure why the attorney world needs paralegals. Why not get all the recent grads, 2Ls, and 1Ls that are looking for employment to take the place of paralegals?

Is this a crazy idea? Why not phase out paralegals for the better of those graduating law school?

If you're talking about firms eliminating paralegals and replacing them with attorneys, then you are crazy. The reason is because the client bills would explode and the firm would lose clients. Paralegals keep bills down because then bill out at rates 1/2 or less than attorneys. Most of what they do you don't need an attorney for, so it's stupid and wasteful for the client to pay one to do something someone else can do cheaper.

An attorney working as a paralegal would be miserable, as was mentioned above, because you don't go to law school to become a paralegal. So billing them out and paying them as paralegals also wouldn't work.


I think OP's talking about hiring JD's as paralegals - billing the clients at paralegal rate and paying the lawyers at paralegal rate.

Anonymous User
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 06, 2010 4:29 pm

Unemployed wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Paralegals are frickin' awesome.

They make the paralegals here informally supervise the straight-out-of-law-school know-nothings to make sure they don't break stuff.

I'm making 85k base with no overtime AND I get my law school tuition paid for because again... paralegals are frickin' awesome.

:lol:


:shock:

That is unbelievable! You are not a paralegal for your dad or mum's firm, are you?


No, but the tuition offer was if I continued to work a certain number of hours while I went to school. I turned that down because I'd rather focus on my 1L year, especially since I'm attending a T6. They still offered to give me a portion as long as I "check-in", but I don't know how much yet or how much time this "checking-in" entails.

BUT I was promised partner after school is done as a way to get me to come back. I'd have to see what the buy-in is and what the equity share would be, and I'll see what my other options are after 1L.

I was regretting taking the time off between undergrad and law school, but now my worst-case scenario is partner at a firm with an established client-base and where I already know how to do the work (!?!?!).

If anyone out there is debating taking time off, definitely do it. It can only help and get you some experience/contacts.

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Bert
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby Bert » Thu May 06, 2010 4:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It can only help and get you some experience/contacts.


Totally. I have offers for 1L SA gigs if I want to come back from my current firm, and clients of the firm have also offered to help me land on my feet when I get out. Don't know how realistic those opportunities will be in three years, but its good to know that I have some people to call if I need to.

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rx3r
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby rx3r » Thu May 06, 2010 4:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Unemployed wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Paralegals are frickin' awesome.

They make the paralegals here informally supervise the straight-out-of-law-school know-nothings to make sure they don't break stuff.

I'm making 85k base with no overtime AND I get my law school tuition paid for because again... paralegals are frickin' awesome.

:lol:


:shock:

That is unbelievable! You are not a paralegal for your dad or mum's firm, are you?


No, but the tuition offer was if I continued to work a certain number of hours while I went to school. I turned that down because I'd rather focus on my 1L year, especially since I'm attending a T6. They still offered to give me a portion as long as I "check-in", but I don't know how much yet or how much time this "checking-in" entails.

BUT I was promised partner after school is done as a way to get me to come back. I'd have to see what the buy-in is and what the equity share would be, and I'll see what my other options are after 1L.

I was regretting taking the time off between undergrad and law school, but now my worst-case scenario is partner at a firm with an established client-base and where I already know how to do the work (!?!?!).

If anyone out there is debating taking time off, definitely do it. It can only help and get you some experience/contacts.

I'm jealous!

kevin261186
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby kevin261186 » Thu May 06, 2010 4:49 pm

It is true that paralegals can teach new attorneys a lot about teh way things work aruond any given office, and they are valuable as allies. Keep them on your side and your life will be way easier. Better yet, be one for a year and then be genuinely sympathetic to how hard they work and how good they are.

Failing this, just ignore them and know that your J.D. makes you way better than they are, whichever you prefer.

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paratactical
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby paratactical » Thu May 06, 2010 5:00 pm

.
Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

glasgow3am
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby glasgow3am » Thu May 06, 2010 5:26 pm

rx3r wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Unemployed wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Paralegals are frickin' awesome.

They make the paralegals here informally supervise the straight-out-of-law-school know-nothings to make sure they don't break stuff.

I'm making 85k base with no overtime AND I get my law school tuition paid for because again... paralegals are frickin' awesome.

:lol:


:shock:

That is unbelievable! You are not a paralegal for your dad or mum's firm, are you?


No, but the tuition offer was if I continued to work a certain number of hours while I went to school. I turned that down because I'd rather focus on my 1L year, especially since I'm attending a T6. They still offered to give me a portion as long as I "check-in", but I don't know how much yet or how much time this "checking-in" entails.

BUT I was promised partner after school is done as a way to get me to come back. I'd have to see what the buy-in is and what the equity share would be, and I'll see what my other options are after 1L.

I was regretting taking the time off between undergrad and law school, but now my worst-case scenario is partner at a firm with an established client-base and where I already know how to do the work (!?!?!).

If anyone out there is debating taking time off, definitely do it. It can only help and get you some experience/contacts.

I'm jealous!


I was a paralegal at a V5 right out of school in NYC, and made nothing close to 85K even with overtime around the clock. They don't even pay career paralegals that. Unless you're super-para, I have never heard of any firm reimbursing for law school tuition. As special as you think you may be, every paralegal is replaceable and a freshly minted college grad wouldn't make 85K a year. You're basically doing a lot of paperwork. The more practice you get it, the faster and more detailed you get. And the less you fuck up. Fact.

You were promised partner after law school? You know it takes at least 7-8 years in a big firm to become a partner right? You've def never worked at a law "firm"...maybe a two person office in a walk up. Good luck with that partnership.

If you're going to lie, at least stick in some believable details...this is just a shitty post.

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paratactical
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby paratactical » Thu May 06, 2010 5:27 pm

.
Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bceagles182
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby bceagles182 » Thu May 06, 2010 5:29 pm

I'm a paralegal at a V10. I started at 40k (now 44k) plus overtime after 40 hours and made just under 80k last year. If you work 70 hours a week, you can easily gross over 80k.

The job sucks (basically secretarial work) but it's not half as bad as some of the garbarge gigs I've heard advertised for recent post-law school graduates (30k a year without overtime or benefits).

Think about it. If you hit 40 hours, plus 40 hours of overtime (80 hour week-- which is admittedly a lot), you'd make your salary 40K + 40k*1.5 = 100k

The downside to all of this is that you are basically someone else's slave and have no opportunites for career advancement ever. Most of the tasks are degrading, boring, and could be done by robots (this is also true for a lot of 1st year associate work btw) and some attorneys will have no issue talking down to you.
Last edited by bceagles182 on Thu May 06, 2010 5:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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bceagles182
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Re: Are paralegals still in demand after the recession?

Postby bceagles182 » Thu May 06, 2010 5:34 pm

paratactical wrote:
glasgow3am wrote:If you're going to lie, at least stick in some believable details...this is just a shitty post.


The only way this is true is if he's the child of a client.

EDIT: The earnings could be true, but I would doubt the promise of partner or the firm paying for LS. Most firms won't even pay for paralegal certificates or non-LS legal classes of any kind.


agree with this; they did pay for my lsat class though




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