Paralegal Experiences

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trkmaniak00
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:18 pm

Paralegal Experiences

Postby trkmaniak00 » Tue May 09, 2017 9:14 am

I couldn't find any discussions within the last couple years-

I am looking for a gap year or two before reapplying to law school. My LSAT lasts a few years so studying is not a concern. Has anyone found that their work experience as a paralegal gave them an in to a specific niche field of law after they attended law school? What about getting hired from that firm as an SA / Associate after attending law school?

Lastly, can anyone weigh in on the difference between big law and prominent boutiques for paralegals? I imagine boutiques allow for more exposure to a diverse range of cases and possibly more responsibility?

Thanks

acr440
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:57 pm

Re: Paralegal Experiences

Postby acr440 » Tue May 09, 2017 9:32 am

I paralegal'd at a lit boutique for a year. Good experience in that it validated my assumption of wanting nothing to do with Big Law. I'm assuming the responsibility was greater because staff was much smaller than at the behemoth firms.

I'm an 0L so I can't speak to many of the questions you pose. However, using this time to explore areas/careers in law you think you are interested, or not interested, in is beneficial.

mrtux45
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:08 am

Re: Paralegal Experiences

Postby mrtux45 » Tue May 09, 2017 9:44 am

I guess I've had a somewhat opposite experience as the above poster, in that I have been a paralegal at a small firm for the past couple of years and that has made me want to at least start somewhere larger if I can. Regardless, my small firm job has been a great learning experience because I work alongside lawyers all day, every day. I have a firm grasp of what lawyers actually do, and in comparison to internships I've done at big firms, you get way more exposure in the small shop.

Point is, in my opinion, 0L employment should be about learning to function within an office/gaining an understanding about what lawyers do.. You need to know what you're getting into and imo it's more valuable to have real connections with and references from actual practicing attorneys, than the slight chance you set yourself up for a SA or port grad job.

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bitter_melon
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:19 pm

Re: Paralegal Experiences

Postby bitter_melon » Tue May 09, 2017 10:43 am

mrtux45 wrote:I guess I've had a somewhat opposite experience as the above poster, in that I have been a paralegal at a small firm for the past couple of years and that has made me want to at least start somewhere larger if I can. Regardless, my small firm job has been a great learning experience because I work alongside lawyers all day, every day. I have a firm grasp of what lawyers actually do, and in comparison to internships I've done at big firms, you get way more exposure in the small shop.

Point is, in my opinion, 0L employment should be about learning to function within an office/gaining an understanding about what lawyers do.. You need to know what you're getting into and imo it's more valuable to have real connections with and references from actual practicing attorneys, than the slight chance you set yourself up for a SA or port grad job.


I'm just going to echo this. I've been a paralegal at a small but prestigious boutique firm for almost two years now. I've gotten great experience because I'm often treated more like a lawyer than like a support staff member (although I've gotten plenty of that as well) but it's made me want to go bigger, at the very least to try it out. During/Post college I've worked in four offices, none of which were larger than a dozen people. I'm interested in seeing what it's like to work for a 100+ person company. I kind of feel like the dehumanization might be good for me, whatever that means.

Triangle
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: Paralegal Experiences

Postby Triangle » Tue May 09, 2017 10:45 am

I was a paralegal at a biglaw firm for 2 years prior to law school. It convinced me that I could stomach biglaw for a few years after graduating, I went into OCI with an offer from that firm (wasn't sure I wanted to go back and ultimately decided not to, but it took the edge off of OCI), and the work I did was a great talking point during OCI. I also felt like my experience gave me a slight leg up in some 1L classes (particularly CivPro), but folks caught up relatively quick. Very few downsides on my end.

trkmaniak00
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Paralegal Experiences

Postby trkmaniak00 » Tue May 09, 2017 7:14 pm

Thanks for the responses.

Does anyone have recent data points for salary expectations? Is it still 35-40 before overtime?

shinydunsparce
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:21 pm

Re: Paralegal Experiences

Postby shinydunsparce » Tue May 09, 2017 7:31 pm

I'm also contemplating taking a paralegal position as a 1-2 year gap (NYC biglaw.) Salary I was told would be 45 + overtime

acr440
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:57 pm

Re: Paralegal Experiences

Postby acr440 » Tue May 09, 2017 7:43 pm

trkmaniak00 wrote:Thanks for the responses.

Does anyone have recent data points for salary expectations? Is it still 35-40 before overtime?


NYC area is between 42-48 depending on the firm. Plenty of overtime, usually at 1.5x rate.




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