Paralegal Hiring Timeline

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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tforterrill
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Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 1:36 am

Hey everyone!

For those who've had paralegal jobs, when did you apply? I'm a rising senior and will be out of law school for at least one year. Should I start applying for paralegal jobs in the fall or closer to my graduation date?

acr440
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby acr440 » Tue May 16, 2017 5:58 am

I started searching in March and was applying/interviewing through June.

mrtux45
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby mrtux45 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:56 am

I'd say it's somewhat firm dependent, but they're likely hiring paralegals on more of an as needed basis.

You could reach out to a firm you're considering, say you're a rising senior, and ask when the best time to apply would be. Otherwise, your best bet is just applying anywhere you're interested during the spring before graduation

albanach
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby albanach » Tue May 16, 2017 10:44 am

Why do you want a paralegal job? It won't help with admissions, won't help with your JD and is unlikely to help with hiring.

If you want to be a lawyer, find a job that maximizes the amount of time you can devote to the LSAT (unless you already have a 99th percentile score, in which case do whatever floats your boat).

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tforterrill
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 11:02 am

albanach wrote:Why do you want a paralegal job? It won't help with admissions, won't help with your JD and is unlikely to help with hiring.

If you want to be a lawyer, find a job that maximizes the amount of time you can devote to the LSAT (unless you already have a 99th percentile score, in which case do whatever floats your boat).


I figured it would be the best job for me to get out of undergrad. I definitely need to work for a few years before attending law school. But what you're saying about the LSAT makes sense. However, I'm planning on taking it the June after graduation. Either I'll be satisfied with my score and it'll be out of the way or I'll have time to retake. What other kind of jobs would you suggest? I'm an International Studies major so I'm not sure how much I could do :lol:

albanach
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby albanach » Tue May 16, 2017 11:13 am

tforterrill wrote:
albanach wrote:Why do you want a paralegal job? It won't help with admissions, won't help with your JD and is unlikely to help with hiring.

If you want to be a lawyer, find a job that maximizes the amount of time you can devote to the LSAT (unless you already have a 99th percentile score, in which case do whatever floats your boat).


I figured it would be the best job for me to get out of undergrad. I definitely need to work for a few years before attending law school. But what you're saying about the LSAT makes sense. However, I'm planning on taking it the June after graduation. Either I'll be satisfied with my score and it'll be out of the way or I'll have time to retake. What other kind of jobs would you suggest? I'm an International Studies major so I'm not sure how much I could do :lol:


Honestly there's very little that will make a difference to hiring. Paralegal is a fine job to do, but so would any administrative job. Equally you could wait tables or work in a bar. My biggest recommendation would be to find something that's hourly and which you can walk away from at the end of the day with no expectation that you'll work late or be checking email into the evening. Even if you're not studying for the LSAT, you want the next year to be as much of a break and rest period as possible. Find something easy that will pay your bills.

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tforterrill
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 11:33 am

Thanks albanach! That helps a lot. Thank you to everyone else as well!

P.s. Albanach, how did you like UVA? I go to Virginia Tech for undergrad so I've been looking closely at UVA recently. Could I PM you?

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existentialcrisis
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby existentialcrisis » Tue May 16, 2017 2:04 pm

I agree with maximizing lsat studying, but I think working as a paralegal could maybe be a good way to help someone figure out whether or not they actually want to be a lawyer.

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tforterrill
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 3:14 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:I agree with maximizing lsat studying, but I think working as a paralegal could maybe be a good way to help someone figure out whether or not they actually want to be a lawyer.


Those were my initial thoughts. I guess I'll just see how this process goes :D

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existentialcrisis
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby existentialcrisis » Tue May 16, 2017 3:36 pm

tforterrill wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:I agree with maximizing lsat studying, but I think working as a paralegal could maybe be a good way to help someone figure out whether or not they actually want to be a lawyer.


Those were my initial thoughts. I guess I'll just see how this process goes :D


I have never been a paralegal, so I'm not entirely sure how illuminating the job would actually be. But, I am a K-JD and I very much wish I had taken some time off and gotten a better sense of what being an attorney actually entails, rather than just going to law school because I liked/was good at writing and arguing.

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tforterrill
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 5:12 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:
tforterrill wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:I agree with maximizing lsat studying, but I think working as a paralegal could maybe be a good way to help someone figure out whether or not they actually want to be a lawyer.


Those were my initial thoughts. I guess I'll just see how this process goes :D


I have never been a paralegal, so I'm not entirely sure how illuminating the job would actually be. But, I am a K-JD and I very much wish I had taken some time off and gotten a better sense of what being an attorney actually entails, rather than just going to law school because I liked/was good at writing and arguing.


Do you intend on going into BigLaw? I was also thinking working as a paralegal would give me a little glimpse into what biglaw life is like. Although I'm sure I won't be getting the full picture as a paralegal.

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existentialcrisis
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby existentialcrisis » Tue May 16, 2017 5:20 pm

tforterrill wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:
tforterrill wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:I agree with maximizing lsat studying, but I think working as a paralegal could maybe be a good way to help someone figure out whether or not they actually want to be a lawyer.


Those were my initial thoughts. I guess I'll just see how this process goes :D


I have never been a paralegal, so I'm not entirely sure how illuminating the job would actually be. But, I am a K-JD and I very much wish I had taken some time off and gotten a better sense of what being an attorney actually entails, rather than just going to law school because I liked/was good at writing and arguing.


Do you intend on going into BigLaw? I was also thinking working as a paralegal would give me a little glimpse into what biglaw life is like. Although I'm sure I won't be getting the full picture as a paralegal.


Yes, I start biglaw in the fall. I do think working as a biglaw paralegal might give you a glimpse of what biglaw life is like, even if the work would be rather different.

I think/hope that law law school --> starting at a big firm is still probably the right move for me personally, but I do wish that I gotten the chance to gain some additional perspective before starting ls. I think regardless of whether it's as a paralegal, getting some office work experience before school is a very good thing.

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tforterrill
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 6:34 pm

Thanks existential! Fortunately I have a lot of time to figure things out. I really would like to only take a year off from law school so hopefully things fall into place.

acr440
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby acr440 » Tue May 16, 2017 6:39 pm

albanach wrote:Why do you want a paralegal job? It won't help with admissions, won't help with your JD and is unlikely to help with hiring.

If you want to be a lawyer, find a job that maximizes the amount of time you can devote to the LSAT (unless you already have a 99th percentile score, in which case do whatever floats your boat).


It's a good way to to peek inside the day to day of a particular type of legal environment and engage with those practicing in areas of the law you think interests you. The overtime is helpful if you want to just make a good amount of money in a short period of time. When I was interviewing around, some firms allowed their paralegals to study for LSAT during down time especially if you are in a particular fields that operates according to particular business cycles (e.g. handling regulatory filings at the end of quarters). Depends on the place though and I doubt that its the norm.

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tforterrill
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 6:52 pm

acr440 wrote:
albanach wrote:Why do you want a paralegal job? It won't help with admissions, won't help with your JD and is unlikely to help with hiring.

If you want to be a lawyer, find a job that maximizes the amount of time you can devote to the LSAT (unless you already have a 99th percentile score, in which case do whatever floats your boat).


It's a good way to to peek inside the day to day of a particular type of legal environment and engage with those practicing in areas of the law you think interests you. The overtime is helpful if you want to just make a good amount of money in a short period of time. When I was interviewing around, some firms allowed their paralegals to study for LSAT during down time especially if you are in a particular fields that operates according to particular business cycles (e.g. handling regulatory filings at the end of quarters). Depends on the place though and I doubt that its the norm.


Thank you! You definitely identified one of my goals: to make as much money as I can in a short period of time :lol: Are you working as a paralegal now?

acr440
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby acr440 » Tue May 16, 2017 7:07 pm

tforterrill wrote:
acr440 wrote:
albanach wrote:Why do you want a paralegal job? It won't help with admissions, won't help with your JD and is unlikely to help with hiring.

If you want to be a lawyer, find a job that maximizes the amount of time you can devote to the LSAT (unless you already have a 99th percentile score, in which case do whatever floats your boat).


It's a good way to to peek inside the day to day of a particular type of legal environment and engage with those practicing in areas of the law you think interests you. The overtime is helpful if you want to just make a good amount of money in a short period of time. When I was interviewing around, some firms allowed their paralegals to study for LSAT during down time especially if you are in a particular fields that operates according to particular business cycles (e.g. handling regulatory filings at the end of quarters). Depends on the place though and I doubt that its the norm.


Thank you! You definitely identified one of my goals: to make as much money as I can in a short period of time :lol: Are you working as a paralegal now?


No. I was a paralegal for about a year after I graduated in 2015. I worked in a smaller firm that dealt mostly with litigation. Take albanach's advice seriously that if you want the most study time possible to consider a job where "you can walk away from at the end of the day with no expectation that you'll work late or be checking email into the evening." I had very little time to study given my commute and there was an expectation that I was available 24/7 if an attorney needed anything.

Also always ask about overtime in interviews because it varies across firms and among groups within those firms.

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tforterrill
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Re: Paralegal Hiring Timeline

Postby tforterrill » Tue May 16, 2017 7:13 pm

Yes that makes sense. Especially since I may have to end up retaking the LSAT if I don't do well on the June test.




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