Paralegal at big firm or small firm?

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UpandDown97
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:07 pm

Re: Paralegal at big firm or small firm?

Postby UpandDown97 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:29 pm

celtslaw wrote:
acr440 wrote:
Skool wrote:
acr440 wrote:
Skool wrote:I got the second interview invite before receiving the first offer. I hadn't started work at the first job yet.


yea, I don't think this would be possible for me since they want me to start right away
This is not that complicated. If you really want to gun for the big law firm, ask them to schedule your interview ASAP, then ask them for an expedited decision. This sort of thing happens all the time.

You accept the offer you have in the mean time. You can also negotiate your start time at the small firm too. It's not crazy at all to say, I have a trip planned, I need to deal with my housing situation, I can't start next week, but I can start two weeks from now. People above mentioned having a doctors appointment. You can find the time.

Mentorship doesn't depend on number of attorneys. It really depends on the people and, to an extent, your skills at seeking it out. I will say, though, that one year will not give you the mentorship you likely seek -- it will build a relationship that you can turn into a good mentoring situation, but usually that's not enough time to get to know someone well enough for them to really be there and guide you.
To some extent this is true. A year is enough for a foundation and certainly enough for letters of recommendation and a good reference in the short and medium term.

Any longer relationship requires you to stay in touch through lunch dates, emails etc. You'll have to put some work in, but it's not that hard; whether you work there still or not, people want to help you and be a part of your success. And the most valuable thing you can do for your self at this point in your career is probably not money, but putting yourself in an environment where you can build this kind of relationship. Both for ongoing mentorship, but also to get your work product up to snuff.


After looking into it further, I'm not sure chasing a big firm is worth the trouble. There is great talent at the small firm where I already have a job, and from my interviews the industry average in NYC 42K. I was contacted by Goodwin Proctor and Linklaters for an interview, but Goodwin was only offering 42k and I doubt Linklaters is different. The only other place I interviewed at that offered more was Wachtell, which was 44k, but I did not get that job. The only other places I have an outstanding application at that might pay more is Goldman and Blackstone. Should those opportunities arise then I will use the many tactics stated in this thread and find the time to interview.

Yea, I was not won over by previous posters comment about 1 yr vs 2 yr for mentorship. I don't see anything magical in 2 years and putting off LSE is not an option. Although I agree that mentorship is important, money is important too because it is going to pay for LSE should scholarship opportunities not come through.


If you want biglaw, then having a biglaw firm's name on your resume will help you out tremendously. A paralegal job is NOT the same across the board. Biglaw hiring partners don't really care if you worked in a boutique firm, but they love it if you have experience in biglaw. It shows that you a) had the credentials to work at the highest level in the paralegal field b) you are competent enough to work with biglaw attorneys and likely picked up useful skills; and c) you know what practicing law looks like and are committed to the law (unlike all the K-JDs who have never even seen the inside of a firm before 2L).


OP wants to do "human rights law" though, whatever that is.

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celtslaw
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Paralegal at big firm or small firm?

Postby celtslaw » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:50 pm

In that case, forget about GS and find a nonprofit to work at.

acr440
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:57 pm

Re: Paralegal at big firm or small firm?

Postby acr440 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:01 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:Did you commit to your current position for at least one year? Even if you did, I bet the small firm would understand if you took a job with Goldman Sachs (depending on what kind of position it is --- is this an analyst position, a paralegal position, or what). I say at the very least, it can't hurt to interview with Goldman.


Sorry for the late response. I stayed at the boutique for better quality of life, which the firm takes to heart, and because of the focus on litigation. The boutique has the same benefits of biglaw/IB places without the stressed environments and associates. Also, I was tired of interviewing. I'm pretty happy with choice. Thanks for the advice TLS

acr440
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:57 pm

Re: Paralegal at big firm or small firm?

Postby acr440 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:10 pm

celtslaw wrote:In that case, forget about GS and find a nonprofit to work at.


I did, vigorously, but I only got a bite from ACLU. Didn't even get callback from Legal Aid Society and they were looking for like 15 paralegals at one point. I was pretty bummed about it, but guess I couldn't compete. Ah well...




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