Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

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williams11
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Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby williams11 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:03 am

My career center had emphasized that hiring for Legal Assistant / Paralegal positions generally happens in March/April, but I'm starting to worry that I've missed the boat on a lot of these jobs. Can anyone going through the process now (or who has gone through it before) testify to when hiring generally happened? (specifically, I've applied to several v10 firms on our career site and directly on their websites)

Curry

Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby Curry » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:31 am

From what I understand, it tends to be more "we need a paralegal, lets hire one now" than have a hiring season. That being said, I don't know as much about this as I should *cough para*

MrAnon
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby MrAnon » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:04 pm

there is no hiring season. and I can't think of why on earth someone believes it would tilt toward March/April if there were one. Career centers are largely useless.

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dr123
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby dr123 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:10 pm

There's a fairly high turnover rate amongst paralegals/LAs (from my experience at least), so most places pick em up as they go.

phonepro
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby phonepro » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:22 pm

There is a hiring season. There is an extremely high turnover rate of paralegals who leave to go to law school or for their MBA. This is when firms recruit from college campuses.

Crazy4lawzzz
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby Crazy4lawzzz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Im about to graduate law school...do you think they hire JDs?

jarofsoup
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby jarofsoup » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:37 pm

I am under the impression that at the moment there are more jobs that require skilled labor than workers to fill these positions. I am seeing a lot of these types of jobs listed online, but very few that are entry level.

I would recommend legal temp agencies to gain experience if you are considering this.

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Moxie
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby Moxie » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:22 pm

phonepro wrote:There is a hiring season. There is an extremely high turnover rate of paralegals who leave to go to law school or for their MBA. This is when firms recruit from college campuses.


Just curious - is it common for paralegals to get an MBA? I don't get the impression that paralegal experience is comparable to other pre-MBA work experience...

phonepro
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby phonepro » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:26 pm

Moxie wrote:
phonepro wrote:There is a hiring season. There is an extremely high turnover rate of paralegals who leave to go to law school or for their MBA. This is when firms recruit from college campuses.


Just curious - is it common for paralegals to get an MBA? I don't get the impression that paralegal experience is comparable to other pre-MBA work experience...


It was common where I worked. Everyone either went to law school or for their MBA. I don't know anything about getting an MBA, I would assume there is other work that is more beneficial. However, I worked in corporate finance group. A lot of people who never considered MBA before, did so after getting experience with financial markets, etc.

delusional
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby delusional » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:35 pm

That's funny. I know nothing about paralegals and seasons, but I just got a FB friend of a friend update about a firm looking for one. Coincidence? This is eerie.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:03 am

Moxie wrote:
phonepro wrote:There is a hiring season. There is an extremely high turnover rate of paralegals who leave to go to law school or for their MBA. This is when firms recruit from college campuses.


Just curious - is it common for paralegals to get an MBA? I don't get the impression that paralegal experience is comparable to other pre-MBA work experience...

The common transitions are law or business. Law is much more common.

MrAnon
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby MrAnon » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:29 am

phonepro wrote:There is a hiring season. There is an extremely high turnover rate of paralegals who leave to go to law school or for their MBA. This is when firms recruit from college campuses.


Lots of paralegal leaving for law school starting in April, obvi.

There is no hiring season.

phonepro
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby phonepro » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:34 am

MrAnon wrote:
phonepro wrote:There is a hiring season. There is an extremely high turnover rate of paralegals who leave to go to law school or for their MBA. This is when firms recruit from college campuses.


Lots of paralegal leaving for law school starting in April, obvi.

There is no hiring season.


Yes, there is. They recruit from college campuses. My firm hired a total of 8 paralegals in one group while I was there. They are hired to start in August/September. But interviewed much, much earlier. All of the top firms have a 2-year program. There is a huge overturn and its ALWAYS during the same time period.

kbye.

zomginternets
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby zomginternets » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:53 am

+1 on the April/May hiring season, at least at the firm i worked for. That's how I got my legal assistant position.

JoJ2124
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby JoJ2124 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:43 am

From my own personal experience of para-ing with a V10, some people were hired as needed, and some were hired around May, when people were graduating from college/when other paras were getting ready to leave before law school. It's kind a crapshoot, and all depends on hiring needs/if paralegals are leaving after their 2 years are up.

Anonymous User
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:42 am

phonepro wrote:
Yes, there is. They recruit from college campuses. My firm hired a total of 8 paralegals in one group while I was there. They are hired to start in August/September. But interviewed much, much earlier. All of the top firms have a 2-year program. There is a huge overturn and its ALWAYS during the same time period.

kbye.


When exactly do you mean by "much, much earlier"? The August/September turn-over makes sense to me, but I feel like there is a gap between firms who hire legal assistants/paralegals in January/February and those who don't even start the process until April/May, and I'm struggling with figuring out whether many of the V10/etc firms I've applied to aren't responding to me because they haven't even started the process yet or because I'm too late or not seen as a good candidate. And then many don't even have postings for positions online, and again, it's hard to tell whether that is because I've missed their hiring season or it just hasn't happened yet.

strawboy1230
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby strawboy1230 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:25 pm

I really don't think a hiring season exists for paralegals/legal assistants. Big firms hire when they want to. In general though, they start as early as Jan/Feb, even December. I started looking for jobs around mid-December and got some interviews for end of December...with other interview calls trickling in as late as end of Feb. V10 firms usually hire by march, at the latest i'd say. it doesn't make any sense for them to wait any longer.

I've also noticed ppl posting saying that one needs a paralegal certificate in order to be hired as one. I don't think this is true at all. All I know is that the top firms tend to hire ivy league grads right out of college. they work for 2 years, and then they're out.

I wouldn't worry about a hiring season. Just send in your resumes/cv's as soon as possible.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:29 pm

There is definitely a paralegal hiring season going on now. Most submitted resumes about two months ago. Starting pay for inexperienced paralegals seems to be about $38,000-$42,000 with the smaller (non-biglaw) firms sometimes offering bonuses.

P.S. This only concerns biglaw & major DA offices. Recruiting is done at Ivies & Ivy equivalents (Georgetown, Stanford, Chicago & Northwestern are examples).

P.P.S. Also, for recent college grads travelling significant differences, be prepared to pay your own travel expenses even at the nation's top law firms.

Anonymous User
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:07 pm

strawboy1230 wrote:I really don't think a hiring season exists for paralegals/legal assistants.


You are dead wrong. I went through said hiring season two years ago. It most certainly exists. It is because most paralegals who go to law school leave their jobs in June to get ready for law school. There is a general expected turnover every year because of this, although two years ago when I did it things were rough and the turnover was down significantly. I know it wasn't MUCH better last year, but maybe this year finally things are back to normal. One paralegal hiring staff member at a V100 in NYC at the time told me that for 20 years he hired between 70 and 80 paralegals a year (no joke), but that year they had spots for 7. I did not get the job, in case you were wondering.

edit: sorry this isn't supposed to be anonymous but i don't know how to redo it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:17 pm

I'm confused when you write that he hired 70 to 80 paralegals each year for 7 positions. Do you mean that he extended 70 to 80 offers for the 7 positions ?

strawboy1230
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby strawboy1230 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
strawboy1230 wrote:I really don't think a hiring season exists for paralegals/legal assistants.


You are dead wrong. I went through said hiring season two years ago. It most certainly exists. It is because most paralegals who go to law school leave their jobs in June to get ready for law school. There is a general expected turnover every year because of this, although two years ago when I did it things were rough and the turnover was down significantly. I know it wasn't MUCH better last year, but maybe this year finally things are back to normal. One paralegal hiring staff member at a V100 in NYC at the time told me that for 20 years he hired between 70 and 80 paralegals a year (no joke), but that year they had spots for 7. I did not get the job, in case you were wondering.

edit: sorry this isn't supposed to be anonymous but i don't know how to redo it.



ok... so did you read the rest of my post? or was the rest just gibberish to you?

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sanetruth
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby sanetruth » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:32 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I'm confused when you write that he hired 70 to 80 paralegals each year for 7 positions. Do you mean that he extended 70 to 80 offers for the 7 positions ?


I was the anonymous poster, but thats not what i was saying. What i was saying is that for 20 years he had hired 70-80 paralegals a year. In 2009, the year I interviewed, he only was going to hire 7. Just reflecting how bad things were even for paralegals.

I interviewed at 10-15 biglaw firms. All of them said hiring was down, frozen or uncertain, except for one: Wachtell. Didn't get that one either. But was interesting enough to go there, get a tour and interview.

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sanetruth
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby sanetruth » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:41 pm

strawboy1230 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
strawboy1230 wrote:I really don't think a hiring season exists for paralegals/legal assistants.


You are dead wrong. I went through said hiring season two years ago. It most certainly exists. It is because most paralegals who go to law school leave their jobs in June to get ready for law school. There is a general expected turnover every year because of this, although two years ago when I did it things were rough and the turnover was down significantly. I know it wasn't MUCH better last year, but maybe this year finally things are back to normal. One paralegal hiring staff member at a V100 in NYC at the time told me that for 20 years he hired between 70 and 80 paralegals a year (no joke), but that year they had spots for 7. I did not get the job, in case you were wondering.

edit: sorry this isn't supposed to be anonymous but i don't know how to redo it.



ok... so did you read the rest of my post? or was the rest just gibberish to you?


my bad, only read your first paragraph and seemed to contradict itself but i got it now. you're certainly right about no need for a paralegal certificate, and CERTAINLY right about hiring ivy grads. seriously, one of the DUMBEST things i've ever seen on a job posting was for a firm paralegal position and it said something along the lines of 'qualifications: only resumes from those with ivy league degrees and a 3.6 or higher will be considered'. meaning they automatically trash resumes from stanford/williams/amherst/MIT? good move guys. also, to do paralegal work? are you serious?

strawboy1230
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby strawboy1230 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:20 pm

sanetruth wrote:
strawboy1230 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
strawboy1230 wrote:I really don't think a hiring season exists for paralegals/legal assistants.


You are dead wrong. I went through said hiring season two years ago. It most certainly exists. It is because most paralegals who go to law school leave their jobs in June to get ready for law school. There is a general expected turnover every year because of this, although two years ago when I did it things were rough and the turnover was down significantly. I know it wasn't MUCH better last year, but maybe this year finally things are back to normal. One paralegal hiring staff member at a V100 in NYC at the time told me that for 20 years he hired between 70 and 80 paralegals a year (no joke), but that year they had spots for 7. I did not get the job, in case you were wondering.

edit: sorry this isn't supposed to be anonymous but i don't know how to redo it.



ok... so did you read the rest of my post? or was the rest just gibberish to you?


'qualifications: only resumes from those with ivy league degrees and a 3.6 or higher will be considered'.


Wow. that is really obnoxious.

williams11
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal Hiring Season

Postby williams11 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:21 pm

Yeah, I'm definitely feeling pretty behind in this process.. I applied to a bunch of the V10 in early March, heard a no from S&C, and nothing from the rest so far. For some I guess it's only been a few weeks, but if hiring really happens in March and not April, I guess I'm not in good shape.

Can anyone else comment on when they applied / were interviewed or hired?

Also, I'm definitely already worrying about the travel factor.. I'm out in western MA so Boston and NYC are inconvenient enough, but a lot of the firms I applied to are in DC and I've already got one interview offer that definitely won't be reimbursing the $300+ flight down.




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