What's it like being a paralegal?

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What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:22 am

Is it possible to find a set-hours 9-5 style paralegal job? No work/stress outside those hours? Or is it always expected that paralegals will stay late on a regular basis?

r6_philly

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Re: What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it possible to find a set-hours 9-5 style paralegal job? No work/stress outside those hours? Or is it always expected that paralegals will stay late on a regular basis?


It largely depends on the practitioners they work for. Paralegals are generally 9-5 hourly jobs, but they are expected to support attorneys late if attorneys are working late due to a filing/deadline/etc. They usually get paid OT though. Large firms usually have evening shift paralegals, but we frequently asked the day paralegal assigned on the case to stay later to support because they knew the case better. At a small firm, if the attorney is working late and something needed to be done before the next day the paralegal will be expected to help.

But how stressful it is depends on the attorney. A little anecdote: I once stayed until 2 am to prepare for a deposition because the partner I was preparing for took a long time to go through the documents. I had no choice. I could have asked the legal assistant to stay as well so he could assist getting the documents ready for next day, that is his job. But I didn't know whether if it was going to be 10 pm or 5 am, so I asked him if he wanted OT or go home. He'd rather go home so I let him go and got the documents together myself. But under another attorney he could have sat around for 7 hours not knowing when he would get home.

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anyriotgirl

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Re: What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby anyriotgirl » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:34 am

I spent a lot of time feeling bad for the attorneys
Last edited by anyriotgirl on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:56 am

I was a paralegal at a big firm in NYC. I can count on both hands the number of times (in two years) that I left at 5:30 PM - it was usually 8/9, sometimes later than that, and I was definitely on call for weekend work that came up. It takes over your life but it was the best experience, and you make overtime.

Can't speak to smaller firms on the hours.

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theInnerCircle

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Re: What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby theInnerCircle » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:11 pm

If you go down the paralegal route w/ a JD... any consequences? Do you get pigeon-holed? Risk of not getting a real lawyer job later? Curious.

SiddFinch85

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Re: What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby SiddFinch85 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:12 pm

It's definitely possible to find a paralegal position like the one you described. I worked at a small insurance defense firm before law school where my hours were pretty reliably 8:30-4:30. Didn't provide the pay, name on my resume, or window into big firm life that working in Big Law would have, but I learned a lot and they were very supportive through LSAT study and the application process. It's a trade off for sure, but if the hours are most important to you, smaller firms might be a good option.

Bluem_11

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Re: What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby Bluem_11 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:42 pm

Paralegal at IP boutique I've worked at (didn't see science degrees or anything) were typically in at 8:30 out by 430-5, sometimes earlier, sometimes 530-6. Like attorneys, you have deadlines and a bunch of cases you have to manage. Your hours depend on how well you manage it.

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mrs.miawallace

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Re: What's it like being a paralegal?

Postby mrs.miawallace » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:44 am

if you have a JD and go for a paralegal work, you really fucked up.



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