Paralegal hiring patterns

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howlery
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Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby howlery » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:02 pm

So apparently some big law firms only hire from certain UGs (ivies and AWS). What about schools like NYU? If one went to NYU would they still be able to land a big law paralegal/legal assistant position with a firm that would allow them to work significant overtime (30-40k starting and 60-70k with overtime for ex.)?

The only other thread I could find that remotely addressed this involved a pissing match over NYU's reputation. It didn't really answer my question.

Hope this is in the right place.

alex.feuerman
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby alex.feuerman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:26 am

I went to a school ranked roughly the same as NYU. You should be fine as long as you have good internship experience. I don't think Biglaw firms would hire you without any experience though, regardless of which college you come from (unless maybe it's PHYS). Just prepare well for the interviews.

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paratactical
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby paratactical » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:28 am

alex.feuerman wrote:I went to a school ranked roughly the same as NYU. You should be fine as long as you have good internship experience. I don't think Biglaw firms would hire you without any experience though, regardless of which college you come from (unless maybe it's PHYS). Just prepare well for the interviews.

This is absolutely untrue. I was hired out of an art school UG at a V10 with zero internship experience. All that mattered was that I had a GPA over 3.5. Each firm will have different standards. All of them prefer highly regarded UGs; some require it, but certainly not all.

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howlery
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby howlery » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:34 pm

Even if they weren't required, what sort of internships would firms look for? I've never heard of large firms offering UG internships, so I'd just have to work within my major field.

Also, regarding the GPA benchmark, since one isn't required to put both schools on their resume would that 3.5+ only apply to the new school? My GPA is above a 3.5 now, but I'm just curious. And what about schools a bit less visible than NYU, like Fordham and Sarah Lawrence? Do NYC firms know these schools?

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paratactical
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:39 pm

howlery wrote:Even if they weren't required, what sort of internships would firms look for? I've never heard of large firms offering UG internships, so I'd just have to work within my major field.

Also, regarding the GPA benchmark, since one isn't required to put both schools on their resume would that 3.5+ only apply to the new school? My GPA is above a 3.5 now, but I'm just curious. And what about schools a bit less visible than NYU, like Fordham and Sarah Lawrence? Do NYC firms know these schools?

You can list your degree GPA or the GPA on your transcript when you graduate. Your best bet is to go through legal staffing agencies. Unless you're at a really prestigious school, they generally don't care what your UG was, as long as you performed competently in UG and can interview well. Landing the paralegal gig isn't that hard as long as you go through a head hunter, have a good GPA, and interview decently.

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howlery
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby howlery » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:10 pm

Thank you paratactical :D

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BlaqBella
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby BlaqBella » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:40 pm

I landed my former position at a V20 NYC law firm through a temp agency. Firm liked my work so they hired me. Quite a few paralegals got in through temp assignments. A few of my colleagues went to NYU undergrad, too. Try an see if firms visit your school for interviewing or contact your career services office to see if they have a list of contacts where you can send out your resume.

If that doesn't work out, consider going through an agency (off the top of my head the following are pretty popular:

Update Legal
Hire Counsel
Juristaff
Nadine Bocelli

...I know I'm missing a few, but these are quite popular in NYC for temp assignments, temp-to-perm or permanent.

Starting salaries in NYC range from mid 30s - low 50s, but generally in the 40s. OT can bank double that, but it depends on the market/type of firm/which department you work in.

Side note: Try and get the LSATs out the way before employment. Juggling a 60-80-hour work week where you're mostly on call (even on your weekends) + LSAT studies can be a daunting task.

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paratactical
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:50 pm

BlaqBella wrote:Nadine Bocelli


This agency is SPS.

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TheThriller
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby TheThriller » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:34 pm

What is the usual time frame for paralegal job hunting? As in, when is a good time to apply for jobs for next year? Taking a year off in between LS and want to keep as many options open as possible.

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paratactical
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:40 pm

TheThriller wrote:What is the usual time frame for paralegal job hunting? As in, when is a good time to apply for jobs for next year? Taking a year off in between LS and want to keep as many options open as possible.

Both of the biglaw firms I worked for would start a group of junior paralegals right before SAs came in the spring and right before the first year associates came in the fall. However, both of those firms were also pretty strict with the two year minimum commitment. It's not worth it to hire you for one year, because you will still be learning the job for the vast majority of your first year of work.

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TheThriller
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby TheThriller » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:47 pm

paratactical wrote:
TheThriller wrote:What is the usual time frame for paralegal job hunting? As in, when is a good time to apply for jobs for next year? Taking a year off in between LS and want to keep as many options open as possible.

Both of the biglaw firms I worked for would start a group of junior paralegals right before SAs came in the spring and right before the first year associates came in the fall. However, both of those firms were also pretty strict with the two year minimum commitment. It's not worth it to hire you for one year, because you will still be learning the job for the vast majority of your first year of work.


Do most biglaw firms have a 2 year commitment thing? Or is it a mixed bag? PARA hire me.

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paratactical
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:52 pm

TheThriller wrote:
paratactical wrote:
TheThriller wrote:What is the usual time frame for paralegal job hunting? As in, when is a good time to apply for jobs for next year? Taking a year off in between LS and want to keep as many options open as possible.

Both of the biglaw firms I worked for would start a group of junior paralegals right before SAs came in the spring and right before the first year associates came in the fall. However, both of those firms were also pretty strict with the two year minimum commitment. It's not worth it to hire you for one year, because you will still be learning the job for the vast majority of your first year of work.


Do most biglaw firms have a 2 year commitment thing? Or is it a mixed bag? PARA hire me.

It seems to be pretty common, and not just in paralegal gigs. Most places don't like to hire someone that says up front that they only want a job for a year. The issue with doing this as a paralegal is that you don't want to get blackballed from a firm you love. I'd talk about this with a head hunter. You might want to look for more of a non-paralegal but other position in a firm.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby BlaqBella » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:23 pm

TheThriller wrote:
paratactical wrote:
TheThriller wrote:What is the usual time frame for paralegal job hunting? As in, when is a good time to apply for jobs for next year? Taking a year off in between LS and want to keep as many options open as possible.

Both of the biglaw firms I worked for would start a group of junior paralegals right before SAs came in the spring and right before the first year associates came in the fall. However, both of those firms were also pretty strict with the two year minimum commitment. It's not worth it to hire you for one year, because you will still be learning the job for the vast majority of your first year of work.


Do most biglaw firms have a 2 year commitment thing? Or is it a mixed bag? PARA hire me.


Yes, but it is by no means mandatory. Many leave before two years. One para at my former place of employment left under a year to be an au pair and actually returned only to leave again, lol.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby BlaqBella » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:29 pm

Tidbit: Always say you are willing to commit for two years or more even though this may not necessarily be the case. Never shoot yourself in the foot by saying otherwise. Always remember that entry-level paras in law firms are disposable. You are easily replaceable with or without a verbal commitment to stay on for two years.

Oh, and start sending that resume out now. Most firms interview in late Fall/Spring for hire/start date in the summer.

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howlery
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby howlery » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:59 pm

BlaqBella wrote:Tidbit: Always say you are willing to commit for two years or more even though this may not necessarily be the case. Never shoot yourself in the foot by saying otherwise. Always remember that entry-level paras in law firms are disposable. You are easily replaceable with or without a verbal commitment to stay on for two years.

Oh, and start sending that resume out now. Most firms interview in late Fall/Spring for hire/start date in the summer.


Seriously? Do you think I should start blast emailing firms now or during winter break? The Spring hasn't even started yet!

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BlaqBella
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby BlaqBella » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:23 pm

howlery wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:Tidbit: Always say you are willing to commit for two years or more even though this may not necessarily be the case. Never shoot yourself in the foot by saying otherwise. Always remember that entry-level paras in law firms are disposable. You are easily replaceable with or without a verbal commitment to stay on for two years.

Oh, and start sending that resume out now. Most firms interview in late Fall/Spring for hire/start date in the summer.


Seriously? Do you think I should start blast emailing firms now or during winter break? The Spring hasn't even started yet!


Right away. Paralegals are always coming and going.

Insider Tip: Make sure Akin Gump is on your list.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Paralegal hiring patterns

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:32 pm

BlaqBella wrote:Tidbit: Always say you are willing to commit for two years or more even though this may not necessarily be the case. Never shoot yourself in the foot by saying otherwise. Always remember that entry-level paras in law firms are disposable. You are easily replaceable with or without a verbal commitment to stay on for two years.

Oh, and start sending that resume out now. Most firms interview in late Fall/Spring for hire/start date in the summer.


Just wanted to bump this and ask - how bad would it look if you say upfront you'll commit for a year or more but leave in less than that? Would it hurt your ability to secure an offer during OCI (not necessarily at the same firm but will you be blackballed at a lot of places?)




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