Paraclerking as a 1L?

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Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:59 pm

Already have a part-time offer with government position.

Worked at a V10 Firm prior to LS. This firm does not hire 1Ls for summer associates, but does have a summer paralegal program, and has offered me a part time gig as an intern in that program.

1. Do you think this would look bad or good on resume? Summer intern at at top firm? (combined with a good gov't position)
2. Would it be appropriate to contact the partner with this type of inquiry.

ETA:
Since most people are misinterpreting this. I will be able to put my title as "Summer Intern" and I already have a Judicial Internship locked up.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Master Tofu
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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Master Tofu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:00 am

Are you doing LAWYER work or PARALEGAL work?

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:21 am

My sense is that this won't really help your "resume," but if you think that coming in as a paralegal could potentially help you with the firm/partner regarding a 2L summer gig down the line, it could be worth it.

Is the connection you currently have (or would have) with this partner one that you think could help you land a 2L SA at the firm?

09042014
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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:16 am

Ask them to call you a law clerk even if it's for the same pay.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:18 am

UCLAtransfer wrote:My sense is that this won't really help your "resume," but if you think that coming in as a paralegal could potentially help you with the firm/partner regarding a 2L summer gig down the line, it could be worth it.

Is the connection you currently have (or would have) with this partner one that you think could help you land a 2L SA at the firm?


that's what i'm hoping for...

it's substantive work (drafting documents, but i already did it as a paralegal), and it pays well. i'll also have a judge on my resume (thats the govt position). I don't think it will hurt. It might show other firms that this firm liked me enough to take me back again? And, of course, hoping it leads to 2L SA.

BTW, I did contact the person, and they pretty much said yes, but they have to talk to a few people first.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:19 am

Desert Fox wrote:Ask them to call you a law clerk even if it's for the same pay.


Yea, I was thinking that. Even if I can write "Summer Intern" it'd probably be fine?

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Ask them to call you a law clerk even if it's for the same pay.


Yea, I was thinking that. Even if I can write "Summer Intern" it'd probably be fine?


I dunno. But if you have you have the judge thing, maybe leave it off your resume entirely. People will just assume the PT was FT.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:30 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Ask them to call you a law clerk even if it's for the same pay.


Yea, I was thinking that. Even if I can write "Summer Intern" it'd probably be fine?


I dunno. But if you have you have the judge thing, maybe leave it off your resume entirely. People will just assume the PT was FT.


Really? Don't put a V10 firm on resume for 1L summer, if they agree to call me an intern? I see your point, b/c im not a SA. But I thought it still might look decent on the resume, and could give me more talking points at OCI. (split summer firm/judge). The work I'd be doing is substantive, i trained SAs on it while i worked there.

I guess either way, I could just do it for the money and potential to land 2L gig. But, I'd like some more advice on whether to include it on resume or not.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Cupidity » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:36 am

big firms are quite familiar with one another's summer programs, if you are interviewing at a V50 firm and have a "law clerk/intern" position with another V50 firm they will know that 1) this is not the real SA program or 2) they will know enough about the SA program that it will be apparent that you were not part of it.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:42 am

Cupidity wrote:big firms are quite familiar with one another's summer programs, if you are interviewing at a V50 firm and have a "law clerk/intern" position with another V50 firm they will know that 1) this is not the real SA program or 2) they will know enough about the SA program that it will be apparent that you were not part of it.


In other words, don't do it?

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Ask them to call you a law clerk even if it's for the same pay.


Yea, I was thinking that. Even if I can write "Summer Intern" it'd probably be fine?


I dunno. But if you have you have the judge thing, maybe leave it off your resume entirely. People will just assume the PT was FT.


Really? Don't put a V10 firm on resume for 1L summer, if they agree to call me an intern? I see your point, b/c im not a SA. But I thought it still might look decent on the resume, and could give me more talking points at OCI. (split summer firm/judge). The work I'd be doing is substantive, i trained SAs on it while i worked there.

I guess either way, I could just do it for the money and potential to land 2L gig. But, I'd like some more advice on whether to include it on resume or not.


Like cupity said firms aren't going to be fooled with a v10. Maybe if it was some plaintiffs firm.

Talk to career services, but putting paralegal as your summer job is probably bad. Do you have the grades to get a 2L spot at your firm.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:56 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Talk to career services, but putting paralegal as your summer job is probably bad. Do you have the grades to get a 2L spot at your firm.



I won't know that until after this semester. But right now, no. I'm about top 15%. They do OCI at my school, but probably only look at top 5%.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:02 am

I'm struggling mightily to agree with the apparent consensus that this is a bad idea. You've already locked down a judicial externship; that's exactly the kind of thing a ton of 1Ls are going for and exactly the kind of thing firms expect to see.

In other words, you'd be in a pretty decent position if you spent the other 20 hours a week playing xbox in your underwear. How can working at a firm getting more practice doing the EXACT type of work firms will later demand of you be < sitting on your ass?

Because the word "paralegal" shows up on the resume?? Whatever screener interviews you are able to get next fall based on your grades, I highly doubt people are going to look at your resume THAT superficially. Why wouldn't they be pragmatic about it? "Hey look, in addition to doing what all these other candidates did, this guy also busted his ass to make money to pay expenses while continuing to network in the legal community and develop substantive skills."

/baseless speculation.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:08 am

Next fall when you are interviewing with firms and recount the situation, I don't see how they could disagree that you would have been an idiot to not take advantage of this opportunity.

EDIT: The above overstates it. Obviously being a paralegal is not a glorious opportunity, hence the apprehension ITT. My point: It there is any hint an interviewer is bothered by this, it will be easy for you to position it as "it was either that or spend the extra time doing nothing" and move on to the rest of the interview.
Last edited by Lieut Kaffee on Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

1234543523

Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby 1234543523 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:13 am

Lieut Kaffee wrote:Next fall when you are interviewing with firms and recount the situation, I don't see how they could disagree that you would have been an idiot to not take advantage of this opportunity.


+1. Paraclerking is of the utmost prestige.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Master Tofu » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:16 am

What type of documents do you draft? Does it require you to use the skills you learned in law school?

Does the partner you work for have the pull to get you a job? Is he an area-leader or a group-leader of some sorts?

I wouldn't put it on the resume. Personally, I'm not too fond of someone being a paralegal after law school. There are plenty of legal positions that would let you put the skills you learned in law school to use; choosing a summer job that doesn't hone those skills reflect shortsightedness in my opinion. At its worst, it could raise concerns as to whether you actually have the competencies in writing, analysis, and research that they seek. That being said, I'm not the one doing the hiring.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:17 am

Lieut Kaffee wrote:Next fall when you are interviewing with firms and recount the situation, I don't see how they could disagree that you would have been an idiot to not take advantage of this opportunity.

EDIT: The above overstates it. Obviously being a paralegal is not a glorious opportunity, hence the apprehension ITT. My point: It there is any hint an interviewer is bothered by this, it will be easy for you to position it as "it was either that or spend the extra time doing nothing" and move on to the rest of the interview.


I like this. I was pretty excited about the opportunity before I posted about it, lol.

I think without the judge, it'd be a bad idea. But I don't see how this added on to a judge is going to look bad? I'll also discuss my title to avoid "paralegal".

Even if the consensus is correct (which I don't think so), I'll be getting paid and networking with great people at a place I'd be in heaven to work for as a 2L.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:18 am

Master Tofu wrote:What type of documents do you draft? Does it require you to use the skills you learned in law school?

Does the partner you work for have the pull to get you a job? Is he an area-leader or a group-leader of some sorts?

I wouldn't put it on the resume. Personally, I'm not too fond of someone being a paralegal after law school. There are plenty of legal positions that would let you put the skills you learned in law school to use; choosing a summer job that doesn't hone those skills reflect shortsightedness in my opinion. At its worst, it could raise concerns as to whether you actually have the competencies in writing, analysis, and research that they seek. That being said, I'm not the one doing the hiring.

OP has a judicial externship lined up.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:22 am

Master Tofu wrote:What type of documents do you draft? Does it require you to use the skills you learned in law school?

Does the partner you work for have the pull to get you a job? Is he an area-leader or a group-leader of some sorts?

I wouldn't put it on the resume. Personally, I'm not too fond of someone being a paralegal after law school. There are plenty of legal positions that would let you put the skills you learned in law school to use; choosing a summer job that doesn't hone those skills reflect shortsightedness in my opinion. At its worst, it could raise concerns as to whether you actually have the competencies in writing, analysis, and research that they seek. That being said, I'm not the one doing the hiring.


I don't want to give away too much. But if you know what a term sheet is, those are the types of documents. Financial offering documents. It's work that corporate attorneys do, as a paralegal you assist, but if your good at it they let you take the lead. I'd come back to take the lead on the project for the summer. I'm sure I'd be able to reach out for other types of work as well.

The partner is legit. Banks request this partner specifically, or wont come to the firm. I'm not a shoe in @ this firm by no means, considering my school ranking (non-t14). In fact, I probably have no shot without my connections there. Thus, I think networking with them further the entire summer (right before OCI) will not hurt.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:25 am

The fact that this firm is a reach/dream for you is yet another reason to do it, imho.

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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby JethroTull » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:59 am

I may be in the minority here, but I think being a paralegal at that firm would hurt your chances for 2L SA there and at other firms. The kind of work you do your 1L summer is just as if not more important for OCI purposes as the place you work your 1L summer. (The one exception might be working in house at a big corporation.) Your experience there will be a key talking point in every interview you have. So the goal for 1L summer is to find a paying gig at a prestigious place, but also to do substantive work. Also, you'll need a good writing sample. Paralegals can't even write basic memos. Your best bet is to ask the partner you're close with to help you find a good summer job at another firm or with a judge he knows.

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Re: Paralegal as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:08 am

Lieut Kaffee wrote:The fact that this firm is a reach/dream for you is yet another reason to do it, imho.


OP needs to talk to career services. I think she might be better off leaving it off her resume.

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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:25 pm

JethroTull wrote:I may be in the minority here, but I think being a paralegal at that firm would hurt your chances for 2L SA there and at other firms. The kind of work you do your 1L summer is just as if not more important for OCI purposes as the place you work your 1L summer. (The one exception might be working in house at a big corporation.) Your experience there will be a key talking point in every interview you have. So the goal for 1L summer is to find a paying gig at a prestigious place, but also to do substantive work. Also, you'll need a good writing sample. Paralegals can't even write basic memos. Your best bet is to ask the partner you're close with to help you find a good summer job at another firm or with a judge he knows.


OP already has a part time summer internship with a judge, so none of this really applies. The only issue here is whether he should ALSO take the paying paralegal gig with the V10, and if/under what circumstances he should put it on his resume.

OP- After reading the recent posts, I'm convinced that you should do it. It can only help in terms of networking, and I see very little downside.

I'm less sure about whether you should put it on your resume. If you talk to them and are able to come up with some other title that is agreeable, it is probably worth it to put it on the resume. This is especially true if you can potentially do some research/write a memo/do at least something a SA would do during the summer in addition to the usual paralegal duties. If not, I don't think you will get any resume benefit from putting "paralegal" on there again (since it is already on your resume from your pre-LS time there presumably).

In any case, good luck!

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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:27 pm

JethroTull wrote:I may be in the minority here, but I think being a paralegal at that firm would hurt your chances for 2L SA there and at other firms. The kind of work you do your 1L summer is just as if not more important for OCI purposes as the place you work your 1L summer. (The one exception might be working in house at a big corporation.) Your experience there will be a key talking point in every interview you have. So the goal for 1L summer is to find a paying gig at a prestigious place, but also to do substantive work. Also, you'll need a good writing sample. Paralegals can't even write basic memos. Your best bet is to ask the partner you're close with to help you find a good summer job at another firm or with a judge he knows.

You're aren't the first person to blatantly misread the posts. OP has already secured a judicial externship which will provide all the substantive experience a 1L could want and future employers would expect. We're talking about the paralegal thing as something to a) make some money, b) maintain an in with a "reach" firm, and c) fill time for which the OP has no meaningful alternative.

For OCI purposes, OP could easily get away with just doing the part-time externship (as has been advised ITT) and just talking about that. I bet OP's summer would be full of free time, which would be nice. I still don't see why an employer would ever look down on choosing to work instead, particularly at a law firm. I have peers who are planning to serve tables to supplement their part-time substantive jobs.

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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:29 pm

Lieut Kaffee wrote:
JethroTull wrote:I may be in the minority here, but I think being a paralegal at that firm would hurt your chances for 2L SA there and at other firms. The kind of work you do your 1L summer is just as if not more important for OCI purposes as the place you work your 1L summer. (The one exception might be working in house at a big corporation.) Your experience there will be a key talking point in every interview you have. So the goal for 1L summer is to find a paying gig at a prestigious place, but also to do substantive work. Also, you'll need a good writing sample. Paralegals can't even write basic memos. Your best bet is to ask the partner you're close with to help you find a good summer job at another firm or with a judge he knows.

You're aren't the first person to blatantly misread the posts. OP has already secured a judicial externship which will provide all the substantive experience a 1L could want and future employers would expect. We're talking about the paralegal thing as something to a) make some money, b) maintain an in with a "reach" firm, and c) fill time for which the OP has no meaningful alternative.

For OCI purposes, OP could easily get away with just doing the part-time externship (as has been advised ITT) and just talking about that. I bet OP's summer would be full of free time, which would be nice. I still don't see why an employer would ever look down on choosing to work instead, particularly at a law firm. I have peers who are planning to serve tables to supplement their part-time substantive jobs.


You wouldn't put waitering on your resume? Nor should op put paralegal on it.




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