Paralegal

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Paralegal

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:29 pm

So I'm in at BU/BC, GW, but am having second thoughts about the whole lawyer thing. I have decent scholarship money, but that's not enough to compel me. I'm thinking of paralegaling (and it's my own IDIOT fault for not having a backup in case I changed my mind). I might be working in some sort of corporate finance capacity (if I get the job, I have sent out some feelers). My thought is that this experience, if I decide against law school ultimately, will help me lateral into a finance job (not sure a top MBA program would take someone with only two years' WE as a paralegal), and another career from there.

The advice has tended to be: At the T14, it's a numbers game to the extent that 2 years of paralegaling, even at a V100 or whatever, isn't going to help all that much. That said, I have taken to heart the advice that I, at 22, have a lot of maturing to do. It would also be nice to step away from school and earn some money on my own before diving straight in. So that's it: do it because you need time off, but not because you think it will help your application all that much. It would, however, give me time to retake the LSAT and join the 170 club, and ED to UVa (and failing that, Duke).

Does anyone have any experience with this? Are paralegals glorified file clerks? Even if it doesn't help me, I think the time it would allow me to retake alone makes it worthwhile. I got waitlisted at a ton of places (GULC, Vandy, a few other T14s) and can't help but think that if I can get a 170+ those would turn into acceptances.

Related question-would two years as a paralegal at a V100 make me competitive enough (in terms of Work Experience) to be seriously considered at Northwestern? That is if I get the job-it may well be two years of roughing it in Denali National Park.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:35 pm

Two years of almost any type of work experience should satisfy Northwestern if you also have competitive numbers.

Information about paralegal experience is also of interest to several graduating students whom I know are considering law school versus paralegal opportunities at very prestigious D.C & NYC firms/government agencies.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:37 pm

Depends on where you are paralegaling at.

User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:38 pm

Wondering if it's too late in the game. I literally started having second thoughts Monday. I suppose it's "never too late" to start the job hunt, except when platitudes meet reality...it is...

In response to bk-the place I am in contact with is a V20. I don't know if I'm even going to get the job, but I'm crossing my fingers.

User avatar
Leira7905
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby Leira7905 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:40 pm

Paralegals at some firms are little more than secretaries... at other firms they do everything a lawyer does, except: give legal advice, quote legal fees, and represent clients in court. It really depends on where you work.

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby paratactical » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:41 pm

If you're in Boston now, PM me and I can help.

User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:42 pm

At this point, I don't care if I'm getting coffee and shining shoes all day if a V20 on my resume will help my application. I've heard mixed opinions on this.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:42 pm

It is not too late. Although resumes were submitted about two months ago & intial interviews scheduled were cancelled by the student-applicants due to travel expenses &/or conflicts, all were asked to reschedule interviews at a mutually convenient time. These interviews are with very prestigious (above Vault 20) firms.

P.S. These positions involve substantive research & drafting. Screening requirements are high in terms of undergraduate school, GPA & experience/abilities. Some specifically note Spanish fluency/proficiency is desired.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:42 pm

paratactical wrote:If you're in Boston now, PM me and I can help.


Not in Boston, but I graduate at the end of May and can relocate in a New York...erm Boston...Minute

User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:46 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:It is not too late. Although resumes were submitted about two months ago & intial interviews scheduled were cancelled by the student-applicants, all were asked to reschedule interviews at a mutually convenient time. These interviews are with very prestigious (above Vault 20) firms.

P.S. These positions involve substantive research & drafting. Screening requirements are high in terms of undergraduate school, GPA & experience/abilities.


Undergrad is somewhere between Duke and Vandy according to U.S. News. GPA is decent--above a B+ average but not spectacular. Two legal related internships

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Paralegal

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:51 pm

These firms & government entities solicit resumes on certain campuses. Think Ivy League schools, Chicago, Northwestern & similiar. Check with your career services office. GPAs of 3.5 & above seem to be the standard, but some seek Spanish proficiency & all like Lexus-Nexus familiarity which may allow consideration of those with slightly lower GPAs. Writing samples are required based on my very limited experience. This suggests that the duties are substantive & not merely secretarial. Interviews can be as short as 45 minutes to 60 minutes excluding office tour, or as long as 2-3 hours. Again, these may not be typical paralegal positions. I do know of many paralegals at other firms who are expected to perform mainly administrative duties.

P.S. Another poster wrote that the GPA specified at a couple Ivy universities was 3.6, but most Ivies are reputed to have grade inflation. GPA requirement lower at Chicago & Northwestern, for example.

My posts concern NYC & D.C. employers only.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest