Paralegal Two Year Program and Advice
Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:00 am
I will be interviewing with a couple big law firms upcoming for two year commitment paralegal gigs prior to law school. I am a senior UG and will be graduating in May and want to gain some experience/insight into law before school. With this being said, I am no rush to enter law school and the two year commitment is something that I am comfortable doing. I am reaching out to see if anyone on here has worked as a paralegal for a big law firm and what were your experiences, thoughts, etc. I know there have been other topics posted on this, but none seemed up to date. Additionally, for these interviews, do you have any advice or recommendations such as questions to ask or things to definitely mention? Should I tell them I plan to go to law school (I do not want to seem like I am unreliable)? How were your interviews... easy-going, personable? All and any help would be greatly appreciated.
Re: Paralegal Two Year Program and Advice
Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:08 am
Hey, worked as a paralegal in the DC branch of a BigLaw firm.
I think definitely you want to convey in your interview that 1) you have a good personality and will get along with everyone in the office and 2) that you are a competent, hard-working, detail-oriented person who isn't afraid to work long hours doing what is often frustrating and dumb work--but it's billable!
If you know what practice area(s) you're interviewing for, it's always good to ask sort of the big picture what that group of attorneys does, what their paralegals have gone on to do, etc. I was upfront about planning to go on to LS, and frankly, I think that's what they all expect--that you're there to learn about BigLaw and see if it's for you, and maybe get a letter of recommendation for your application. The attorneys I worked with were universally supportive (even letting me leave 'early' two evenings a week for an LSAT class).
Interviews were always really focused on "fit" at my firm. When I interviewed candidates for my replacement, literally we picked one candidate over the other because the first was very awkward and stilted, even though that candidate had "related" academic and internship background (for paralegal work, your academics/internships honestly don't matter, though).
tl;dr - be likeable, someone they'd enjoy having in their office, but who could get lots and lots of detail-oriented and often menial billable work done.