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Voxius

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Paralegal Positions

Post by Voxius » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:32 pm

I have a friend that's a senior in undergrad. He has an investment banking offer and two paralegal offers. I told him he should go with the IB offer (I worked in finance too before law school and thought it was really good experience), but he is insistent on taking one of the paralegal positions...

Anyway, one of the paralegal positions is with a v5 and the other is with a midmarket firm (both NYC). When he practices law he wants to do corporate work (so vault is presumably more relevant?), but my question is--does the name/quality of the law firm matter for paralegals or will that have no relevance when he goes to recruit out of law school?

scaliaantics

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Re: Paralegal Positions

Post by scaliaantics » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:36 pm

Voxius wrote:I have a friend that's a senior in undergrad. He has an investment banking offer and two paralegal offers. I told him he should go with the IB offer (I worked in finance too before law school and thought it was really good experience), but he is insistent on taking one of the paralegal positions...

Anyway, one of the paralegal positions is with a v5 and the other is with a midmarket firm (both NYC). When he practices law he wants to do corporate work (so vault is presumably more relevant?), but my question is--does the name/quality of the law firm matter for paralegals or will that have no relevance when he goes to recruit out of law school?
Has no impact. Go to the IBanking firm.

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Re: Paralegal Positions

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:14 pm

The name of the firm probably doesn't matter. But as a former paralegal in BigLaw, I will say that a few years at a firm prior to law school has given me a serious edge in terms of networking. All the 1L SA interviews I have gotten were because I knew someone who knew someone. The work probably isn't as substantive as you'd have in IB, but the connections have turned out to be a godsend.

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Re: Paralegal Positions

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:38 pm

100% investment banking even if set on law school. I was a paralegal and the experience was okay, but I don't really think it gave me much of an advantage in law school or in networking in the long run. Investment banking looks better on OCI resumes because firms see far more former paralegals, IB work is more intellectually demanding and will teach your friend stuff he can't/won't learn as a paralegal, and it allows him to take a path other than law if he decides later. Of the people who overperformed grades at OCI for corporate jobs, most of them had IB or similar experience. I don't know any paralegals (and i know a lot) who overperformed in a similar way. Many underperformed.

Taking the paralegal gig will essentially railroad him to law school or he'll end up in the same place he is now in two years. There's very little/no downside to the IB gig, while the downside for taking a paralegal gig can be quite large.

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Re: Paralegal Positions

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:16 pm

I would still probably advise your friend to go with the IB option, but for what it's worth, I was a paralegal at a V5 firm before law school and will be working at that same firm when I graduate. I believe my summer offer is 100% traceable to my prior experience there as a paralegal and the network I built while I was there.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Paralegal Positions

Post by deepseapartners » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Taking the paralegal gig will essentially railroad him to law school or he'll end up in the same place he is now in two years. There's very little/no downside to the IB gig

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Re: Paralegal Positions

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:100% investment banking even if set on law school. I was a paralegal and the experience was okay, but I don't really think it gave me much of an advantage in law school or in networking in the long run. Investment banking looks better on OCI resumes because firms see far more former paralegals, IB work is more intellectually demanding and will teach your friend stuff he can't/won't learn as a paralegal, and it allows him to take a path other than law if he decides later. Of the people who overperformed grades at OCI for corporate jobs, most of them had IB or similar experience. I don't know any paralegals (and i know a lot) who overperformed in a similar way. Many underperformed.

Taking the paralegal gig will essentially railroad him to law school or he'll end up in the same place he is now in two years. There's very little/no downside to the IB gig, while the downside for taking a paralegal gig can be quite large.
Another former biglaw paralegal here, and 100% agreed. Being a PL is fine, but the experience is not respected in other industries and should he decide he does not want to go to law school 2 or 3 years down the line, getting a good job doing something else will be an uphill battle. Most former PLs I know who decided not to go the law school route are still paras, are working as admin assistants, recruiters, etc. They're not getting 80k consulting gigs. By contrast, IB will provide him with a great set of alternative careers and a highly valued skill set and experience. No brainer here.

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