To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

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airwrecka

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To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

Postby airwrecka » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:53 pm

How much (or little or not at all) did/does your work experience help you in law school?

I'm currently working as a legal assistant at a really small firm (3 attorneys) and I semi-regularly draft answers, complaints, and memorandums of law for the attorneys (nothing too complicated, but it's something!), as well as complete basic legal research.

Just curious as to whether this experience will give me any help in law school or if it will be essentially useless :lol:

(FWIW I will have been working in my position for just shy of 2 years by the time I start school)

cavalier1138

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Re: To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:26 pm

I did not work as a paralegal or assistant, but some of my classmates did. They had a minimal advantage for about a week or so in legal writing, because they already recognized and understood the general format and style. But other than that, no advantage (and a huge detriment if someone actually thinks that it gives them a leg up in doctrinal classes).

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airwrecka

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Re: To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

Postby airwrecka » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:29 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:I did not work as a paralegal or assistant, but some of my classmates did. They had a minimal advantage for about a week or so in legal writing, because they already recognized and understood the general format and style. But other than that, no advantage (and a huge detriment if someone actually thinks that it gives them a leg up in doctrinal classes).


Thanks for the feedback! I kind of suspected it would probably be like that haha.

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poptart123

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Re: To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

Postby poptart123 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:37 pm

I'm in a similar position right now, and a lot of the attorneys told me it would be good experience. Then the other day a law clerk started and he told me it honestly won't be too helpful except for much. I'm inclined to believe him over the attorneys who haven't been in LS for a while. All they can seem to say is, "I didn't even know what a plaintiff or a petition was!"

TobyFlenderson

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Re: To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

Postby TobyFlenderson » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:26 am

I have offers as a corporate legal assistant at Davis Polk and Paul Hastings, both at NY offices. I liked PHs' culture and people better, but I feel like DPW would be a better resume builder (and I didn't dislike the people there; I just liked the entrepreneurial culture at PH better). As a legal assistant preparing for the LSAT, does it matter at this point if I work at a V5 like DPW or a V25 like PH? I've heard DPW can be a bit of a sweatshop for legal assistants, which is good for overtime pay but bad for balancing work with LSAT preparations. DPW's corporate department is significantly better, but will I be stuck doing all administrative work there versus maybe some more substantive work at PH? Do law school admissions care about the quality of the firm you work at? I guess my overall concern is choosing a firm with a better culture but lower quality corporate work/prestige (PH) versus a firm with much more prestige and a better resume builder.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

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Hildegard15

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Re: To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

Postby Hildegard15 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:17 pm

Academically it doesn't help at all, but for the clinics and other extra curriculars you join, having been a legal assistant can be really helpful since you will already know a bunch of the practical aspects of lawyering.

despina

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Re: To those who worked as legal assistants or paralegals before law school

Postby despina » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:59 am

Hildegard15 wrote:Academically it doesn't help at all, but for the clinics and other extra curriculars you join, having been a legal assistant can be really helpful since you will already know a bunch of the practical aspects of lawyering.


Agree with this. Didn't help me for learning actual law, but was definitely helpful for understanding how a law office works, customer service experience, substantive knowledge of the field of law I was work in before school, etc.



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