Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

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jwinaz
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Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:35 pm

This is just looking at the worst case scenarios.

Would it be possible to use a JD to become a paralegal if you did not get a "normal" legal job after graduation? Or wuold the employer fear having to pay you a high salary and think you're over credentialed?

alex.feuerman
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby alex.feuerman » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:36 pm

Option number two. Nodoby is going to hire a paralegal with a JD because the employer knows as soon as you get a "real lawyer" job you're out the door. So you're a flight risk. Sorry. You're too overqualified.

westie25
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby westie25 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:12 pm

jwinaz wrote:This is just looking at the worst case scenarios.

Would it be possible to use a JD to become a paralegal if you did not get a "normal" legal job after graduation? Or wuold the employer fear having to pay you a high salary and think you're over credentialed?


I'm going to be straight forward with you...

As a paralegal, I would say that would just be stupid. First, no firm will hire you. Second, you would get paralegal starting salary even if they did. Finally, that would look super shitty on your résumé. What law firm would seriously consider you for an attorney position if you accepted a safety paralegal position out of law school? A position you can get with little to no education. On top of that you would have zero respect in the legal community, and may even become somewhat of a joke between the attorneys you work with.

Bottom line. Don't even consider it.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby francesfarmer » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:14 pm

westie25 wrote:
jwinaz wrote:This is just looking at the worst case scenarios.

Would it be possible to use a JD to become a paralegal if you did not get a "normal" legal job after graduation? Or wuold the employer fear having to pay you a high salary and think you're over credentialed?


I'm going to be straight forward with you...

As a paralegal, I would say that would just be stupid. First, no firm will hire you. Second, you would get paralegal starting salary even if they did. Finally, that would look super shitty on your résumé. What law firm would seriously consider you for an attorney position if you accepted a safety paralegal position out of law school? A position you can get with little to no education. On top of that you would have zero respect in the legal community, and may even become somewhat of a joke between the attorneys you work with.

Bottom line. Don't even consider it.

This. Its pathetic. People looking to hire paralegals throw out JD resumes immediately.

jwinaz
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:18 pm

alex.feuerman wrote:Option number two. Nodoby is going to hire a paralegal with a JD because the employer knows as soon as you get a "real lawyer" job you're out the door. So you're a flight risk. Sorry. You're too overqualified.



Hi.

Thanks for the response. I did start Googling the topic and I think you're probably right. It seems in most cases that the legal industry views a JD as a scarlet letter for paralegal jobs.

Still wanted to check. But it does kind of stink. I've heard of Ph.D.'s working as high school and even elementary school teachers. A friend of mine actually is trying to do that with his humanities Ph.D. after not securing employment as a college instructor or post-doc. He said it's quite common to see PhD's teaching in secondary/primary ed. It's considered more or less an advanced degree (at best) or neutral (at worst).

You'd figure a JD would probably have more starting nkowledge of the law and legal processes than a BA applying for paralegal positions, but I guess it's just seen as a negative in the legal field.

Thanks anyways. Had to check. :|

jwinaz
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:23 pm

Out of curiosity, what about other "advanced" degrees? Would MA, MS, PhD's etc. be just as likely to be viewed with disdain?

Thank you again.

jwinaz
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:26 pm

westie25 wrote:
jwinaz wrote:This is just looking at the worst case scenarios.

Would it be possible to use a JD to become a paralegal if you did not get a "normal" legal job after graduation? Or wuold the employer fear having to pay you a high salary and think you're over credentialed?


I'm going to be straight forward with you...

As a paralegal, I would say that would just be stupid. First, no firm will hire you. Second, you would get paralegal starting salary even if they did. Finally, that would look super shitty on your résumé. What law firm would seriously consider you for an attorney position if you accepted a safety paralegal position out of law school? A position you can get with little to no education. On top of that you would have zero respect in the legal community, and may even become somewhat of a joke between the attorneys you work with.

Bottom line. Don't even consider it.



Very good points. lol.

I imagine it might be like an MD applying for a nurses position? :lol:

I suppose I was looking at the decent salaries for some paralegal positions and thinking it could be a backup plan. Again, I was also thinking of the Ph.D. to secondary/primary educatino analogy.

But I can see how the MD to nurse hypothetical may be more apt.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby francesfarmer » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:42 pm

jwinaz wrote:
Very good points. lol.

I imagine it might be like an MD applying for a nurses position? :lol:

I suppose I was looking at the decent salaries for some paralegal positions and thinking it could be a backup plan. Again, I was also thinking of the Ph.D. to secondary/primary educatino analogy.

But I can see how the MD to nurse hypothetical may be more apt.

Its more apt I guess because med school and law school are both professional school, not graduate school. In graduate school you're not necessarily training to become a professor or anything specific, but med school is for future doctors and law school is for future lawyers, with very rare exceptions. (Obviously many people end up not wanting to be lawyers but they go into it planning on becoming a lawyer.)

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banjo
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby banjo » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:03 pm

I work as a paralegal and had to conduct a job search to hire a fellow paralegal a few months ago. fwiw, I forwarded along a resume from a 2011 t14 grad to the attorney making the final call. Person didn't get the job, though.

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dietcoke0
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby dietcoke0 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:23 pm

Doc Review.

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saintsfan200
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby saintsfan200 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:32 pm

Anecdotal, but there was a contract paralegal at federal internship I had this summer. He was a JD from a local T4 school. So, it can happen, my guess is he sold them on it being temporary.

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dr123
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby dr123 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:33 pm

Why use a JD to get a job as a para? A lot of Paralegals dont even have a B.A./B.S.

jwinaz
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby jwinaz » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:47 pm

After Googling a bit, I also saw commentors say that there seemed to be gender discrimination in the paralegal field. Have people come across any anti-male biases that I've read about?

I think the theory was that men would be more difficult to "control," whereas women were seen as more likely to comply to superiors' work orders.

westie25
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby westie25 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:13 pm

jwinaz wrote:After Googling a bit, I also saw commentors say that there seemed to be gender discrimination in the paralegal field. Have people come across any anti-male biases that I've read about?

I think the theory was that men would be more difficult to "control," whereas women were seen as more likely to comply to superiors' work orders.


I don't think there's gender bias. I just think many men do not apply for paralegal positions, because they see it as being a glorified legal secretary. If there is a gender bias, it's on the part of the male applicant who doesn't apply for "lady" types of positions.

In my first firm, there was 1 male paralegal & 3 females. In my second, there were 3 male paralegals in my department and about 6 females, and 1 male in my office (not department). Plus, many men in other supportive positions throughout the firm. Male paralegals are hired when they apply as long as they're equally qualified.

This (IMHO) is a crock of sh*t: "I think the theory was that men would be more difficult to "control," whereas women were seen as more likely to comply to superiors' work orders."

Difficult people will be difficult. I've worked with plenty of difficult women and men. People who are going to follow orders will follow orders. I do not think there is an actual gender difference. Assholes are gonna be assholes.

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cowmater
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby cowmater » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:17 pm

jwinaz wrote:After Googling a bit, I also saw commentors say that there seemed to be gender discrimination in the paralegal field. Have people come across any anti-male biases that I've read about?

I think the theory was that men would be more difficult to "control," whereas women were seen as more likely to comply to superiors' work orders.


Jwinaz, if you have a strong interest in gender discrimination and paralegals in large law firms, I highly recommend Gender Trials by Jennifer Pierce. It doesn't really address hiring discrimination as it relates to gender, but how gender dynamics affect paralegals that work for large law firms.

http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520201088

B90
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby B90 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:27 pm

Since we are discussing back-up plans, I would like to report that contrary to tls jokes about baristas with JDs, Starbucks is also not impressed by a JD.
I heard this from a "friend," of course.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:28 pm

B90 wrote:Since we are discussing back-up plans, I would like to report that contrary to tls jokes about baristas with JDs, Starbucks is also not impressed by a JD.
I heard this from a "friend," of course.

Starbucks won't hire a JD for the same reason I couldn't get a job at Urban Outfitters after undergrad: not hip enough.

B90
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby B90 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:31 pm

Also, I am currently posting from inside a Starbucks.
Clearly, I am just trying to up my post count before funemployment ends on the 29th and I need to finally get a job.

B90
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby B90 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:35 pm

In case anyone from the unemployment department is lurking, I have been "actively seeking employment" and making more than the required three contacts a week. In fact, I have sent out 50-60 cover letters in the past week. At least my typing skills are improving!

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:29 am

alex.feuerman wrote:Option number two. Nodoby is going to hire a paralegal with a JD because the employer knows as soon as you get a "real lawyer" job you're out the door. So you're a flight risk. Sorry. You're too overqualified.


I know someone with a JD who has worked as a paralegal his entire career.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Possible Back-up Plan, Using JD to become Paralegal?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:51 am

Why are people necroing old threads for no reason this morning?




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