Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

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Anonymous User
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Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:02 pm

Hello, I am living in NYC and I want legal experience. I am applying to law school this Fall 2011, so I will be entering Fall 2012 or so. I'd like some exposure in the legal field, and I'd be happy making min wage, as long as I get some payment. I have FT work experience (call center) and I am currently a paid PT intern, but no legal experience and it seems that for all the searches that I do for legal secretary, paralegal, legal assistant etc, they want someone with 5+ years of experience. I have friends who say that they know people who got those jobs without any experience in the legal field, but I can't seem to find those? Any tips please-good websites to check out, places to call?
The temp agencies I call have nothing for me so far.

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Kabuo
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Re: Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby Kabuo » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:06 pm

Pretty interested in this. Right now deciding between Wash U and working a year as a substitute teacher with lots of volunteer work. This would be better in a lot of ways I think.

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paratactical
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Re: Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby paratactical » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:07 pm

I worked in NYC as a biglaw paralegal and there are lots of programs that don't require a ton of experience, but they will all want a 2 year commitment. You could look into doing receptionist work at a law firm, as they will probably not require the commitment, but you should probably becareful about mentioning only wanting to work for a year.

EDIT: You could also try other more "office" type jobs in a law firm, but unless you go for a very small mom & pop type place, I really doubt you'll be able to get any kind of substantial legal work experience. The amount of time that it takes to get a legal secretary or paralegal up to speed on how projects work makes it financially stupid for a firm to hire someone that they know is leaving in a year.

Anonymous User
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Re: Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:39 pm

Thank you, could you give me more details on the programs...? Where I can find them? I am open to a longer 2 year commitment, I am worried about finding out that law isn't for me after going to law school, so even any office job in a law firm would be great.
Paralegal would be ideal, but in this job economy, I'd be happy with any office job in a firm.
If you'd like, I can PM you.

Sup Kid
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Re: Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby Sup Kid » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:18 am

If you're willing to work in a small law firm, for like $10/hour, check out craigslist. I know a couple people who did a mix of paralegal and secretarial work for about a year before law school, but be aware that your experience in a small firm will be incredibly different than in a Biglaw firm (resources, training, etc will all be less). Also, as another poster mentioned, don't mention that you are planning on going to school in a year, unless you are directly asked (if you are asked, don't lie though, no sense burning bridges before you even start your career).

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paratactical
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Re: Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby paratactical » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you, could you give me more details on the programs...? Where I can find them? I am open to a longer 2 year commitment, I am worried about finding out that law isn't for me after going to law school, so even any office job in a law firm would be great.
Paralegal would be ideal, but in this job economy, I'd be happy with any office job in a firm.
If you'd like, I can PM you.

If you're willing to do a two year commitment, contact Filcro Legal Staffing, Delta Legal Staffing and any other legal staffing firms you can find in NYC. Most big firms go through agencies, so that's the best place to start - be forwarned, a lot of biglaw firms have GPA cutoffs, even for the mailroom, so that might be your biggest hurdle. The NYC biglaw I worked for required a minimum of a 3.5 UG GPA and a signed 2 year commitment to get into their paralegal program.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions, but the best way to go is definitely to simply google "NYC legal staffing" and send your resume out.

framboozer
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Re: Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby framboozer » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:47 am

I have the same dilemma, and would also be totally up for the 2-year commitment. In fact, it might be ideal. Where can I find agencies like that for secondary markets like Philadelphia or the Twin Cities? A GPA cut-off would be no problem for me.

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paratactical
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Re: Gap Year-how to get legal experience?

Postby paratactical » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:25 pm

framboozer wrote:I have the same dilemma, and would also be totally up for the 2-year commitment. In fact, it might be ideal. Where can I find agencies like that for secondary markets like Philadelphia or the Twin Cities? A GPA cut-off would be no problem for me.

A quick google of "Philadelphia Legal Staffing" gets you lots of results - I'd also be open to looking at statewide agencies. I know that in Harrisburg, contacting firms directly worked for a friend of mine, but I think Philly might still be big enough that I would look for agencies to assist.




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