Legal Assistant/Paralegal

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flexityflex86
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Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby flexityflex86 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:14 pm

How does one go about getting a legal assistant/paralegal job if their only resume factors include past leadership/management work not at all related to work, a high LSAT and top-14 acceptances?

Does the fact one is leaving to go off to a top 14 in a year impede such a job offer?

Is there any chance of jealousy if I mention the school I'll be attending? I know in my previous field going to the top field for the fine art was sometimes a negative as employers had a sense of, "I don't want my assistant to think s/he is better than me?"

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NZA
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby NZA » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:19 pm

...what?

am060459
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby am060459 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:22 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:How does one go about getting a legal assistant/paralegal job if their only resume factors include past leadership/management work not at all related to work, a high LSAT and top-14 acceptances?

Does the fact one is leaving to go off to a top 14 in a year impede such a job offer?

Is there any chance of jealousy if I mention the school I'll be attending? I know in my previous field going to the top field for the fine art was sometimes a negative as employers had a sense of, "I don't want my assistant to think s/he is better than me?"


it depends. a lot of legal assistant/paralegal jobs require a commitment of 2 years.

RCRARollin
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby RCRARollin » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:32 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:How does one go about getting a legal assistant/paralegal job if their only resume factors include past leadership/management work not at all related to work, a high LSAT and top-14 acceptances?

Does the fact one is leaving to go off to a top 14 in a year impede such a job offer?

Is there any chance of jealousy if I mention the school I'll be attending? I know in my previous field going to the top field for the fine art was sometimes a negative as employers had a sense of, "I don't want my assistant to think s/he is better than me?"


I second the "what." I thought this was a flame until I saw the post-count of OP. You most likely will not give a paralegal job if firms know you are trying to go to law school right away (why invest the time training you if you're going to be gone in a year).

Why would you want to do this anyways? Your chances of being hired by a big firm will not increase due to this work experience. Take the year off and enjoy yourself so you will be more relaxed (which will hopefully translate into good 1L grades which will translate into a big law job at OCI).

flexityflex86
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby flexityflex86 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:49 pm

RCRARollin wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:How does one go about getting a legal assistant/paralegal job if their only resume factors include past leadership/management work not at all related to work, a high LSAT and top-14 acceptances?

Does the fact one is leaving to go off to a top 14 in a year impede such a job offer?

Is there any chance of jealousy if I mention the school I'll be attending? I know in my previous field going to the top field for the fine art was sometimes a negative as employers had a sense of, "I don't want my assistant to think s/he is better than me?"


I second the "what." I thought this was a flame until I saw the post-count of OP. You most likely will not give a paralegal job if firms know you are trying to go to law school right away (why invest the time training you if you're going to be gone in a year).

Why would you want to do this anyways? Your chances of being hired by a big firm will not increase due to this work experience. Take the year off and enjoy yourself so you will be more relaxed (which will hopefully translate into good 1L grades which will translate into a big law job at OCI).

I'd like to increase my chances of not screwing up during a summer associate opportunity.

flexityflex86
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby flexityflex86 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:57 pm

I would like to do this job, and probably quit like 6 months in so I'd still be plenty relaxed.

splitmuch
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby splitmuch » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:04 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:How does one go about getting a legal assistant/paralegal job if their only resume factors include past leadership/management work not at all related to work, a high LSAT and top-14 acceptances?

Does the fact one is leaving to go off to a top 14 in a year impede such a job offer?

Is there any chance of jealousy if I mention the school I'll be attending? I know in my previous field going to the top field for the fine art was sometimes a negative as employers had a sense of, "I don't want my assistant to think s/he is better than me?"



No joke i used craigslist. Got hired in october 2010, told them id be leaving for law school in aug (which they didn't mind) and will be starting at NU.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:05 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:I would like to do this job, and probably quit like 6 months in so I'd still be plenty relaxed.


This might actually look worse than working at Starbucks for a year. People will ask wtf you did during the remaining time between your job and law school, and "played a shitton of Halo" isn't a good answer.

Plus your employer's gonna be pissed and might refuse you a reference.

flexityflex86
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby flexityflex86 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:11 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:I would like to do this job, and probably quit like 6 months in so I'd still be plenty relaxed.


This might actually look worse than working at Starbucks for a year. People will ask wtf you did during the remaining time between your job and law school, and "played a shitton of Halo" isn't a good answer.

Plus your employer's gonna be pissed and might refuse you a reference.

I'd be upfront.

mikunta
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby mikunta » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:14 pm

My college had a bunch of listings for these kind of positions but none of them panned out. I got my current legal assistant-ish position through Craigslist actually. Unless you have a contact somewhere I think the best bet is vigilantly checking CL and other job boards as well as your college's career office/alumni services and looking to crank out cover letters and resume emailings. I've heard of people getting jobs by calling firms and offering their services, but I think those people mostly ended up with internships of the non-paying variety.

Going to a T-14 isn't a problem in my experience. A managing partner who drives a 150k Mercedes isn't going to feel threatened by me going to a T-14. I think if anything it helps in the interview to pull you above the rest of the field. Busy people want smart and self-motivated assistants that don't have to be watched over/have shit explained to them over and over. Putting it in your cover letter or resume might make you stand out in the pile and get a call. Sure some firms might have more rigid hiring requirements regarding how long you need to be there but there definitely are paying positions at firms for which a year is fine. Get started now though so you can say youll be there at least a year. 1 year is wayyy better than 8 months or 6 months or something.

As much fun as it would be to loaf around and booze on the beach every day I think its still a very valuable experience - not that it's going to necessarily help you get a job by having it on your resume, but you are starting to develop a professional network in the legal field before you even start school. I have a paying 1L summer job if I want it and I have professional recommendations from successful attorneys. Also, it's good to have experience billing hours, working 10-12 hour days, doing doc review, drafting complaints etc. Even just sitting in on depos is pretty good experience, all of which (I'm hoping) will give me some good perspective when I'm sitting in my 1L classes this fall. Just because it's not going to necessarily impress a hiring partner during OCI doesn't mean it's worthless or something. And you're making money.

TL;DR: mass email like a motherfucker and cross your fingers

flexityflex86
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby flexityflex86 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:18 pm

mikunta wrote:My college had a bunch of listings for these kind of positions but none of them panned out. I got my current legal assistant-ish position through Craigslist actually. Unless you have a contact somewhere I think the best bet is vigilantly checking CL and other job boards as well as your college's career office/alumni services and looking to crank out cover letters and resume emailings. I've heard of people getting jobs by calling firms and offering their services, but I think those people mostly ended up with internships of the non-paying variety.

Going to a T-14 isn't a problem in my experience. A managing partner who drives a 150k Mercedes isn't going to feel threatened by me going to a T-14. I think if anything it helps in the interview to pull you above the rest of the field. Busy people want smart and self-motivated assistants that don't have to be watched over/have shit explained to them over and over. Putting it in your cover letter or resume might make you stand out in the pile and get a call. Sure some firms might have more rigid hiring requirements regarding how long you need to be there but there definitely are paying positions at firms for which a year is fine. Get started now though so you can say youll be there at least a year. 1 year is wayyy better than 8 months or 6 months or something.

As much fun as it would be to loaf around and booze on the beach every day I think its still a very valuable experience - not that it's going to necessarily help you get a job by having it on your resume, but you are starting to develop a professional network in the legal field before you even start school. I have a paying 1L summer job if I want it and I have professional recommendations from successful attorneys. Also, it's good to have experience billing hours, working 10-12 hour days, doing doc review, drafting complaints etc. Even just sitting in on depos is pretty good experience, all of which (I'm hoping) will give me some good perspective when I'm sitting in my 1L classes this fall. Just because it's not going to necessarily impress a hiring partner during OCI doesn't mean it's worthless or something. And you're making money.

TL;DR: mass email like a motherfucker and cross your fingers

so just find openings on c-list?

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drays917
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby drays917 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:16 am

flexityflex86 wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:I would like to do this job, and probably quit like 6 months in so I'd still be plenty relaxed.


This might actually look worse than working at Starbucks for a year. People will ask wtf you did during the remaining time between your job and law school, and "played a shitton of Halo" isn't a good answer.

Plus your employer's gonna be pissed and might refuse you a reference.

I'd be upfront.


You'd be upfront about quitting in 6 months? I don't think you need to worry about whether or not it's a good idea, since no employer will hire you.

Also: you've been accepted already? For 2012? Or are you saying you're confident you'll be accepted to the T14 this cycle? I'm so confused.

flexityflex86
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby flexityflex86 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:37 am

I am deferring to improve my financial situation before law school, and handle some family matters.

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Heartford
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby Heartford » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:38 am

flexityflex86 wrote:I know in my previous field going to the top field for the fine art was sometimes a negative as employers had a sense of, "I don't want my assistant to think s/he is better than me?"


I've read this 10 times and I still have no idea wtf it means.

johndhi
Posts: 358
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby johndhi » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:51 am

flexityflex86 wrote:
RCRARollin wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:How does one go about getting a legal assistant/paralegal job if their only resume factors include past leadership/management work not at all related to work, a high LSAT and top-14 acceptances?

Does the fact one is leaving to go off to a top 14 in a year impede such a job offer?

Is there any chance of jealousy if I mention the school I'll be attending? I know in my previous field going to the top field for the fine art was sometimes a negative as employers had a sense of, "I don't want my assistant to think s/he is better than me?"


I second the "what." I thought this was a flame until I saw the post-count of OP. You most likely will not give a paralegal job if firms know you are trying to go to law school right away (why invest the time training you if you're going to be gone in a year).

Why would you want to do this anyways? Your chances of being hired by a big firm will not increase due to this work experience. Take the year off and enjoy yourself so you will be more relaxed (which will hopefully translate into good 1L grades which will translate into a big law job at OCI).

I'd like to increase my chances of not screwing up during a summer associate opportunity.


I'm just going to state my general disapproval for the idea of joining a firm for less than a year (or even just one year) for any reason other than to make money and form an opinion of legal employment. I think this is the NEGATIVE impact this website can have on law students - instigating foolish behavior. While I credit the hyperbole on this site with getting me motivated to do well as a 1L, I think the second someone spends a year of their life working a job for some bizarre and speculative reason, we've gone too far!

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:25 am

flexityflex86 wrote:I am deferring to improve my financial situation before law school, and handle some family matters.


Were you the same person who said you're only doing this for 6 months then taking the next 6 to "relax" before law school? Unless you're 25 and about to be considered independent from your parents and think that having 15k in half-year's salary will put you in the poverty level, you're not going to improve your financial situation. I started working a few months ago and will be working until a month or so before leaving in 2012, and although I don't make as much as some PLs, I will only have about 7k saved up. If I took 6 months off, the living expenses, etc., would eat up most of my savings.

But telling OP just to take the year off when OP can be making money is ridiculous. Not all of us have parents to support us through LS, so as much as being a paralegal won't get you a job in the future, it will help you save some money in the short-term, as opposed to blowing a lot on traveling or w/e.

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A'nold
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Re: Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Postby A'nold » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:11 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:I am deferring to improve my financial situation before law school, and handle some family matters.


Were you the same person who said you're only doing this for 6 months then taking the next 6 to "relax" before law school? Unless you're 25 and about to be considered independent from your parents and think that having 15k in half-year's salary will put you in the poverty level, you're not going to improve your financial situation. I started working a few months ago and will be working until a month or so before leaving in 2012, and although I don't make as much as some PLs, I will only have about 7k saved up. If I took 6 months off, the living expenses, etc., would eat up most of my savings.

But telling OP just to take the year off when OP can be making money is ridiculous. Not all of us have parents to support us through LS, so as much as being a paralegal won't get you a job in the future, it will help you save some money in the short-term, as opposed to blowing a lot on traveling or w/e.

How sad. I mean, isn't it just messed up how some people get everything and all you get are parents to pay your way through UG? *steps off of his "put his way through everything" jealousy pedestal*




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