Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

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whitecollar23
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Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby whitecollar23 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:58 pm

Added the bit that I'm a 2L since 0L's can't ask questions in forum, and I didn't want it to get locked before even being read.***

Anyways, I'm a 2L at CCN, and my girlfriend is looking for a job in BigLaw between college and applying to law school; she graduates in May. Does anyone have any input on how to apply/network for a paralegal/legal assistant position before law school?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much!!


***If you're doubting my 2L status, I wrote some mass mailing advice in the stickied thread.

GOATlawman
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby GOATlawman » Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:56 pm

Craigslist

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Mullens
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby Mullens » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:08 pm

Mass mail biglaw firms.

whitecollar23
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby whitecollar23 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:09 pm

Mullens wrote:Mass mail biglaw firms.


Mass mailing actually works for those types of jobs?

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cookiejar1
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby cookiejar1 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:18 pm

You have to do it the old fashioned way. Just go to every major firm in your market's website and look through their job listings for staff/paralegals. Those job application portals suck and applying to positions are a pain. Good luck.

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NYC2012
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby NYC2012 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:41 pm

Big firms often go to job fairs or on-campus interviewing programs at certain undergrads, I know this is true for many of the liberal arts colleges on the east coast and some big schools like NYU, Columbia, Penn, etc. If none of them are going to be at her school, she needs to a) apply online and b) work any and all family/family friend/etc connections she has to big firms. I don't think big firms advertise on Craigslist.

This is def the time to start looking into it - big firms start interviewing around January, make offers from January-March ish, and the new class of legal assistants starts in June/July.

I was a legal assistant for two years at a V5 before law school and had a great experience, let me know if you have any other questions!

whitecollar23
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby whitecollar23 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:53 pm

NYC2012 wrote:Big firms often go to job fairs or on-campus interviewing programs at certain undergrads, I know this is true for many of the liberal arts colleges on the east coast and some big schools like NYU, Columbia, Penn, etc. If none of them are going to be at her school, she needs to a) apply online and b) work any and all family/family friend/etc connections she has to big firms. I don't think big firms advertise on Craigslist.

This is def the time to start looking into it - big firms start interviewing around January, make offers from January-March ish, and the new class of legal assistants starts in June/July.

I was a legal assistant for two years at a V5 before law school and had a great experience, let me know if you have any other questions!



So she's at a CUNY, which is a NY city school. They all have decent reps in NYC, but I'm not sure how the recruiting there is. Also, do you know if any programs start in August? Or when paralegals begin? And I will definitely follow up with some questions, or better, get my girlfriend in touch with you on here, haha.

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Helioze
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby Helioze » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:19 pm

This is something I'm also interested in, and I have received similar advice from other posters on this website.


I've also heard that these firms hire staff in groups, but I don't really know why that is, or how it works.

Another common sentiment seems to be that they "expect a two year commitment." (or other close time period)
I don't really know why people say this, or what it means, but if anyone could provide some insight that would be great.

Anonymous User
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:38 pm

I did a gig at V5 firm before law school. I had a three offers, one I got through a job posting on my school's website, one I got through networking, and another I got by mass-mailing (which I accepted).

Firms want people to stick around because they invest a lot of time training paralegals. For obvious reasons, attorneys hate frequent turnover and crappy legal assistant work. HR people know this and they get in trouble if the paralegals bail or don't work out.

For what its worth, if you want to get meaningful pre-law school legal experience, sticking around for at least two years is the only way to get the knowledge base/trust of attorneys to do substantial work.

smt
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby smt » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:31 pm

You should get her in touch with some of your classmates or any 1Ls you know who were paralegals before law school. I was a paralegal before law school and networking in this way worked well for me! You should also tell her to talk to someone in career services through her school - they may be able to put her in touch with alumni at firms she's interested in. If she has any specific questions, I'd be happy to talk to her about my experience!

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NYC2012
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby NYC2012 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:54 pm

whitecollar23 wrote:
NYC2012 wrote:Big firms often go to job fairs or on-campus interviewing programs at certain undergrads, I know this is true for many of the liberal arts colleges on the east coast and some big schools like NYU, Columbia, Penn, etc. If none of them are going to be at her school, she needs to a) apply online and b) work any and all family/family friend/etc connections she has to big firms. I don't think big firms advertise on Craigslist.

This is def the time to start looking into it - big firms start interviewing around January, make offers from January-March ish, and the new class of legal assistants starts in June/July.

I was a legal assistant for two years at a V5 before law school and had a great experience, let me know if you have any other questions!



So she's at a CUNY, which is a NY city school. They all have decent reps in NYC, but I'm not sure how the recruiting there is. Also, do you know if any programs start in August? Or when paralegals begin? And I will definitely follow up with some questions, or better, get my girlfriend in touch with you on here, haha.


I'm not sure if they recruit at CUNY, sorry! I don't know of any firms that start their paralegals in August. Generally they want you to start in June or July and it's a 2 year "commitment." So this way, the new class stays their two years and then has a couple months off before starting law school. You technically can leave early since it's at-will employment, but like another poster said, it takes a few months to even learn how to do the job - 2 years is ideal for both you and the firm. And it goes by very quickly!
Last edited by NYC2012 on Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NYC2012
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Re: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Jobs before Law School (I'm a 2L)

Postby NYC2012 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:56 pm

Helioze wrote:This is something I'm also interested in, and I have received similar advice from other posters on this website.


I've also heard that these firms hire staff in groups, but I don't really know why that is, or how it works.

Another common sentiment seems to be that they "expect a two year commitment." (or other close time period)
I don't really know why people say this, or what it means, but if anyone could provide some insight that would be great.


Firms hire legal assistants in groups because there is a lot of training required, and it's most cost effective to train all of the new legal assistants in one 2-week session in June/July (and have all of those people stay 2 years) than have to train each employee separately as they get hired.




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