How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

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RickyDnwhyc
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 pm

How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:18 am

Is this possible?

All the job postings I'm seeing require at least 1-3 yrs of lit experience, Westlaw, Nexus, Concordance, trial experience, etc.

I'm working as a temp paralegal at a large PI/Lit firm in NYC but the work is not really of a legal nature and I get no exposure to the litigation process.

I basically sit at my desk and talk to 80 year old clients all day who half of the time forget why they called me 10 seconds into the conversation. When I'm not doing that I'm e-filing or making paper-clip-mache figurines... or stalking TLS.

I'm looking for a litigation intensive position, overtime, etc, I want to know what it feels like to work (near)lawyer hours, and get exposed to actual lawyer work; I want to go to court, etc... I feel like a fool for even considering law school before I get this done.

I would appreciate any reccomendations as to how I can break into this type of role. Ideally at a large/BigLaw firm, but I know that's asking a lot, my undergrad GPA was only a 3.4, and I don't have a lot of WE.

Should I be cold calling them and gunning my ass off? Is there a credited way to compensate for not having lit experience?

Younger Abstention
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

Postby Younger Abstention » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:26 am

Paralegal jobs, especially entry level but even advanced ones too, are largely administrative. if you want to do more substantial work, try to get in with a smaller firm, but don't hold your breath. If you want to land a permanent job with no experience, try to find something that's temp-to-perm.

RickyDnwhyc
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Re: How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:42 am

Younger Abstention wrote:Paralegal jobs, especially entry level but even advanced ones too, are largely administrative. if you want to do more substantial work, try to get in with a smaller firm, but don't hold your breath. If you want to land a permanent job with no experience, try to find something that's temp-to-perm.


Even some of the temp roles are looking for experience, and the ones that aren't are usually administrative...

I'm definitely open to straight temping, temp to perm, etc, looking at everything.

I'm looking at smaller firms too, although it won't give me a complete picture of what BigLaw is like, it would at least expose me to the life of a lawyer. Problem is most of the smaller firm jobs that don't require experience are "internship-like" roles with either no pay, a small stipend, or close to minimum wage...

RickyDnwhyc
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Re: How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:24 pm

Beginning to think I have no choice but to take an unpaid legal internship. It seems to be the quickest way to gain exposure to any sort of substantive legal work... I don't get how 10s of thousands of undergrad students jump into law school without trying out these positions first...

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PaulKriske
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:47 pm

Re: How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

Postby PaulKriske » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:11 pm

if you know any attorneys on listservs, you can sometimes find positions in smaller firms who need a hand.

i did all sorts of things.

RickyDnwhyc
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Re: How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:44 am

PaulKriske wrote:if you know any attorneys on listservs, you can sometimes find positions in smaller firms who need a hand.

i did all sorts of things.


Man. If I knew any attorneys PERIOD I would just ask to drop in and shadow them for a couple of weeks.

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NYC2012
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:47 am

Re: How to land a decent lit paralegal role with no experience?

Postby NYC2012 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:24 pm

Most of the NYC big law firms hire paralegals on a pretty standard hiring schedule. They interview around January/February, and the new class starts in June every year. Most people get interviews through job fairs at their undergrad schools. The law firms are basically looking for college grads who will commit to the firm for 2 years and then go off to law school. I currently work in one of these positions... we work lots of overtime and although the job is largely administrative, as another poster pointed out, I am learning a lot! PM me if you want any more info!




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