How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

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paratactical
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby paratactical » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:29 pm

40andlegal wrote:Got my current job via LinkedIn. Never thought I would make use of my profile on that site but glad I signed up. Lots of employers post jobs there.

Careful with legal recruiters. Not all of them are useful. They get you all amped with snazzy job ads (many of them are fake), bring you in to fill out lots of paper work and take tests and then nothing....or you get sent to interview for crap admin jobs. If you get called in to interview with a legal recruiter and they do not interview you for a specific position, don't expect much.

Biglaw will generally recruit on campus or post on their website.

I just wanted to say that this was the exact opposite of my experience. Neither of the two biglaw firms I worked for, nor the others I interviewed with, actually hired through the posts on their website. All of those positions were filled through legal recruiters or internally. My experiences in assisting with hiring additional staff never involved, nor even mentioned, on-campus recruitment for paralegal positions. My experiences are based in Boston and NYC, so obviously YMMV.

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francesfarmer
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby francesfarmer » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:38 pm

CL for my first job and Idealist for my current job. I had relevant work experience already from part-time jobs at small firms in college and that helped.

Fun fact: when searching for my replacement at my old job, we got many resumes from TTT/TTTT JD holders looking to work as a legal assistant/office manager. Laugh to keep from crying

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lawyerchick
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby lawyerchick » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:23 pm

I went on the website of every single V100 firm and applied for paralegal positions if possible. Even if there were no specific postings, I emailed the paralegal coordinators.

I got a few responses (not much for the effort that was put in), but in the end I chose to be a paralegal in house at a huge corporation. The interview process was ridiculous - met with 11 people in the department for a half hour each. They liked me mainly because of my experience with the specific type of law (from a college internship). I learned about that position either through monster/idealist/indeed/linkedin. I was extremely determined to not be left unemployed between college and law school, so I spent basically everyday applying to jobs as they became available. I also used a link on the georgetown career site for some insight (not my UG, but I found it from a simple google search, though it seems they've taken it down, which is unfortunate as it was pretty helpful). As far as big law, I have heard it really is all about who you know if you want a paralegal position. Also try mid size firms and government positions (usajobs.gov website).

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CaptainLeela
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby CaptainLeela » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:47 pm

francesfarmer wrote:Fun fact: when searching for my replacement at my old job, we got many resumes from TTT/TTTT JD holders looking to work as a legal assistant/office manager. Laugh to keep from crying


At almost every legal interview I've been on the hiring attorney felt the need to share their SHOCK that they recieved tons of ATTORNEYS applying for the position.

I just nodded and tried to fake a look of equal surprise. It is amazing (and unsettling) how little some attorneys seem to know about the modern legal market.

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zor
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby zor » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:41 pm

School job board. Literally the only job in my life I didn't get through connections but by sending in a resume and application. It was a small firm (10 lawyers, 2 paralegals including me) and they liked the prestige of my degree (lol) and my extensive work experience throughout college. It's been 7 years and I still have lunch or dinner with someone from there once a month. They're my mentors and friends now and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I definitely advise against blindly sending out your resume or cold-calling. I can't speak to biglaw, but small firms are all about fit. You're spending 40+ hrs a week with the same 5-10 people. Do you make them laugh or do they try to avoid you in the halls?

Pro tip: follow directions. I was interviewed because I was one of the few people who actually followed the instructions and included an unofficial transcript. I don't think they even cared what my grades are, they just wanted to know if I had read the post closely.

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BentleyLittle
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby BentleyLittle » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:13 pm

I currently work in Chicago big law as an assistant. I landed an interview by responding to a post on indeed.com. Prior to being hired at my current firm I managed to get an interview through indeed. I've heard only negative things about legal recruiting sites like Robert Half

However, I landed my first legal assistant job out of undergrad through an unusual form of networking. I was out at a club for a friend's birthday when an older woman who somehow had joined our group asked me to dance. I obliged and we proceed to converse when eventually I shared with her my law school ambitions. She informed me that she was a legal secretary at a firm downtown and could get me an interview as they were looking to fill a position. I had an interview the following week and started the week after. It was a tremendous stroke of luck and I still have a good laugh thinking about it to this day.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:55 am

While I ended up going the consultant route instead (much more interesting & usually more lucrative), I got several legal assistant job offers at firms via 1) on campus recruiting events 2) UG alumni networking/talking to alumns at events, and lastly 3) mass mailing firms from the college career site where employers go to post listings. 3) alone was rarely successful, but a combination of 1) & 3) or 2) & 3) yielded several decent offers.

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MKX
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby MKX » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:55 am

Were you guys able to get any of these jobs while in UG?

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KD35
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby KD35 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:01 am

Jake Wyler wrote:I got my v20 job by just applying through the firm website. Super competitive though, the firm got over 1000 resumes, had over 100 screening interviews, then 3 different rounds of interviews before hiring 5 people.


ego check. Not only is this extreme gloating, but using ones own name = too cocky.

MKX wrote:Were you guys able to get any of these jobs while in UG?


Clarification? I think a lot of people were able to get these jobs while still in UG/just before graduating. A least for people coming out of my UG, I've noticed a lot of in-person interviews. So yea you can get these jobs while in UG but it often requires you to travel for them (not conducive to UG but still can get the jobs during UG).

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beepboopbeep
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:34 am

BentleyLittle wrote:However, I landed my first legal assistant job out of undergrad through an unusual form of networking. I was out at a club for a friend's birthday when an older woman who somehow had joined our group asked me to dance. I obliged and we proceed to converse when eventually I shared with her my law school ambitions. She informed me that she was a legal secretary at a firm downtown and could get me an interview as they were looking to fill a position. I had an interview the following week and started the week after. It was a tremendous stroke of luck and I still have a good laugh thinking about it to this day.


I ended up turning this offer down, but my experience was basically the same. Ran into a former bandmate at a concert, told him I was looking for a jerb; I guess a bunch of paralegals in his group had quit within the past couple of weeks. There were three spots and each of them ended up getting filled through connections.

This was a V10 Chicago firm. Kinda kicking myself now for not taking it; would've been a great fallback come OCI.

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MKX
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby MKX » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:54 am

KD35 wrote:
MKX wrote:Were you guys able to get any of these jobs while in UG?


Clarification? I think a lot of people were able to get these jobs while still in UG/just before graduating. A least for people coming out of my UG, I've noticed a lot of in-person interviews. So yea you can get these jobs while in UG but it often requires you to travel for them (not conducive to UG but still can get the jobs during UG).

I still have a year left in UG so was wondering what my chances of getting a paralegal or assistant job were.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How did you get your legal assistant/paralegal job?

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:11 am

MKX wrote:
KD35 wrote:
MKX wrote:Were you guys able to get any of these jobs while in UG?


Clarification? I think a lot of people were able to get these jobs while still in UG/just before graduating. A least for people coming out of my UG, I've noticed a lot of in-person interviews. So yea you can get these jobs while in UG but it often requires you to travel for them (not conducive to UG but still can get the jobs during UG).

I still have a year left in UG so was wondering what my chances of getting a paralegal or assistant job were.


Depends, what are you doing this summer? Whats your past WE experience? (Summers, ect.) How strong a writer are you? How good is your UG institution? Whats your major? Whats your GPA? Everyone will ask for resume/transcript, some will want writing samples or references. It all depends on how much recruiting is done at your school and how competitive the positions are.




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