paralagel work or school

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dlbrodsky
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paralagel work or school

Postby dlbrodsky » Tue May 18, 2010 3:51 pm

I am at the end of my gap year between college and law school. I have been accepted to top 30 schools. I spent part of the past year volunteering and working with a staffing agency who placed me at some of the top law firms in DC, but only for short periods of time. In February after I had been accepted to school the staffing agency placed me at a top 30 law firm worldwide. About 2 months after that the firm offered me a full time paralegal / legal assistant position, asking me to postpone law school for one year. If I choose not to take the job I would continue working there through August.
What are the benefits of taking the position other than money? How will it help me land 1L and 2L summer positions? Feel free to offer you opinion on what is the better option and why.
Thank You

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bk1
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby bk1 » Tue May 18, 2010 3:54 pm

0L so I am merely reading what others in the Legal Employment forum have stated, but basically what you do pre-LS is seen as irrelevant. What matters for 2L hiring is your 1L grades and what you do during your 1L summer. I have not read how it affects your chances at landing a 1L summer job though.

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sophistry
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby sophistry » Tue May 18, 2010 4:04 pm

bk1 wrote:0L so I am merely reading what others in the Legal Employment forum have stated, but basically what you do pre-LS is seen as irrelevant. What matters for 2L hiring is your 1L grades and what you do during your 1L summer. I have not read how it affects your chances at landing a 1L summer job though.


0L as well, but I definitely know people who got hired for summer positions at a firm because they performed really well as a paralegal (these were mid-sized, not biglaw, however). So it could potentially help you if your dream was to get a job at the firm you're at.

Except for possibly getting an edge on a 1L or 2L job the firm you're currently at, I don't think it helps you. This is especially true if you're only putting in a year as a paralegal. I'd head to school unless you need the money or feel like partying more.

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bk1
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby bk1 » Tue May 18, 2010 4:08 pm

sophistry wrote:0L as well, but I definitely know people who got hired for summer positions at a firm because they performed really well as a paralegal (these were mid-sized, not biglaw, however). So it could potentially help you if your dream was to get a job at the firm you're at.

Except for the firm you're currently at, I don't think it helps you much. This is especially true if you're only putting in a year. I'd head to school unless you need the money or feel like partying more.


I forgot about this. Yes you get the contacts at this firm and the possibility of working there. As sophistry noted, I would evaluate how much you would like this as an option and how likely it is that working there would give you a boost in hiring there.

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Bert
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby Bert » Tue May 18, 2010 4:12 pm

bk1 wrote:0L so I am merely reading what others in the Legal Employment forum have stated, but basically what you do pre-LS is seen as irrelevant. What matters for 2L hiring is your 1L grades and what you do during your 1L summer. I have not read how it affects your chances at landing a 1L summer job though.


Since we are all qualifying our responses: 0L here.

I wouldn't say pre-LS work is seen as irrelevant. Assuming you work at a decent firm, get decent reviews, are pretty well liked/respected, it can definitely open a ton of doors (both at law firms and in-house). Additionally, such experience gives you some to discuss at interviews, networking events, etc. More than anything, it is another part of yourself to sell.

Rambling aside, I don't think having one job for one year will make any appreciable difference in your post-LS endeavors. Head to law school.

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Tue May 18, 2010 4:50 pm

ITT, they take over the forum, and we don't even care because of write-on. :cry:

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clintonius
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby clintonius » Tue May 18, 2010 5:07 pm

Another party to the 0L coup here. I work at one of the big firms in NYC and absolutely nobody gets grandfathered in here because they worked as a paralegal first. The guy who I replaced (in a non-paralegal job) got a letter of rec from a partner, had some convos with that same partner to prep for his SA interview, and still didn't get a SA position. He's at CLS. The biggest benefit my paralegal acquaintaces have found is that they no longer want to go to law school after working in a firm. Of course, this probably varies widely firm-to-firm.

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macattaq
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby macattaq » Tue May 18, 2010 5:27 pm

mikeytwoshoes wrote:ITT, they take over the forum, and we don't even care because of write-on. :cry:


LOL, so true.

*buries head in 4th Amendment*

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Bert
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby Bert » Tue May 18, 2010 5:30 pm

I don't want you to think that I was implying that paras get "grandfathered in" -- you are right, it does not happen often. At the firm I work at (and am leaving soon), if you worked as a paralegal and if you have the requisite grades/ranking (depending on your law school), you are automatically invited/accepted back as an 1L SA without the need for a formal interview provided that you meet certain other criteria (i.e. have been here for at least two years, etc.). As much as I despise this place, I am banking on this place being my 1L SA gig.

EDITED slightly

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clintonius
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby clintonius » Tue May 18, 2010 6:12 pm

Oh, that's awesome! This place does not take 1L summers for any reason. That bums me out, 'cause it'd be about as great a job as you could put on your resume. Best of luck to you next year though!

paralegal
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Re: paralagel work or school

Postby paralegal » Tue May 18, 2010 6:12 pm

I work as a paralegal for a Vault top 15 (Biglaw) firm. I absolutely love my job.....it's amazing. In fact, I seriously hate to leave it....(heading for a T14 in the fall). I work with partners from all the top 14 law schools, and I feel really fortunate to work in such an intellectual environment.

There is a UVA Law student blog (wish I could remember the website address) where current students comment about OCI and 1L summer positions....their experiences....their recommendations....what they found helped... Of course 1L grades were number one....but among other things - pre-law school legal work experience was listed as a plus.




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