1) Since a lot of paralegals end up going to law school, the vast majority of openings appear in may/june as paralegals leave in time to prepare/relax before school. From my experience, firms start anticipating this turnover and do the majority of interviews and hiring between february and april. Anytime outside of this is going to be difficult.
2) If you're looking at biglaw firms (which are the only paralegal salaries that make it even worth it), keep in mind that grades and prestige are still an issue for paralegal hiring despite the fact that monkeys could do the work. A 3.6 should be fine, but they'll still prefer to take someone with a 3.7. Also, if you're coming from podunk university, it's gonna be tough without a really high GPA. Again, UVA will be fine. [NOTE: People might disagree with this, I actually know quite a few people with terrible undergrad GPAs who got biglaw paralegal positions, but when I was looking I almost universally saw GPA floors expressed in job requirements, and oftentimes they were at absurd levels like 'at least a 3.5 from an Ivy'. not joking. have fun with that.]
3) Connections will help. I got 90% of my interviews (and my job) from connections. Family, friends, classmates...any connections to lawyers through them? In my experience, passing along a resume for a paralegal position makes very few attorneys feel like they're doing anyone a 'favor', and it takes two seconds, so even if it's someone you barely have a connection to, it might help.
Hi, I'm not the OP but am in a similar situation for this upcoming year. I should graduate with a 4.0 from what I consider to be a pretty decent Southern public university (don't want to disclose here). I know this isn't prestigious, but do you think I should have a decent shot at paralegal positions in Boston or New York?
Also, my main concern is that I will be in this Southern city until at least the end of May, and I'm worried that not being available for physical interviews during the prime paralegal recruiting time will hurt my chances. What's the best strategy here? Send in resumes and cover letters now, or wait until I'm in Boston or New York. There's a high likelihood I'll be in one of these two cities for next year.
Thanks so much for any advice you can offer!