Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school  (Read 3865 times)

Babalaco

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
    • AOL Instant Messenger - babalaco
    • View Profile
Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« on: March 11, 2005, 12:41:58 AM »
I want to go to school in Chicao, however, my LSAT sucks, so I only applied to John Marshall part time. I would not be suprised, however, if I was rejected. I would like to work in a firm while in law school. I want to do this for the experience and contacts. As of now, i am not very qualified for many positions. Therefore I was thinking about doing a quick 8 month paralegal program at Loyola U-Chicago, so that I could work as a paralegal while in law school part time. It would cost about #10k, and I think it worth the investment. Plus it would probably pay better while in law school than many other jobs I could get. Any one have any imput on this idea. THanks, B

Bahamut

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2005, 12:44:04 AM »
I want to go to school in Chicao, however, my LSAT sucks, so I only applied to John Marshall part time. I would not be suprised, however, if I was rejected. I would like to work in a firm while in law school. I want to do this for the experience and contacts. As of now, i am not very qualified for many positions. Therefore I was thinking about doing a quick 8 month paralegal program at Loyola U-Chicago, so that I could work as a paralegal while in law school part time. It would cost about #10k, and I think it worth the investment. Plus it would probably pay better while in law school than many other jobs I could get. Any one have any imput on this idea. THanks, B

There are plenty of other jobs that you can easily get that pay better than a paralegal.
SMU Fall '05

Babalaco

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
    • AOL Instant Messenger - babalaco
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 01:11:27 AM »
I have my resume out at about 70 different jobs, so I was thinking of doing this if I dont hear back from any place I applied.

bruin

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 13867
    • View Profile
    • lsn profile
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 05:57:37 AM »
I want to go to school in Chicao, however, my LSAT sucks, so I only applied to John Marshall part time. I would not be suprised, however, if I was rejected. I would like to work in a firm while in law school. I want to do this for the experience and contacts. As of now, i am not very qualified for many positions. Therefore I was thinking about doing a quick 8 month paralegal program at Loyola U-Chicago, so that I could work as a paralegal while in law school part time. It would cost about #10k, and I think it worth the investment. Plus it would probably pay better while in law school than many other jobs I could get. Any one have any imput on this idea. THanks, B

There are plenty of other jobs that you can easily get that pay better than a paralegal.

Agreed, and jobs that don't require you to shell out lots of money for training. Unless law school is many years in the future, I don't think the paralegal program is worth it.
Attending UVa
Click below for more info
http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?cycle=0405&user=bruin04
Come on, I know you want to click me.

twarga

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3516
  • Must have cookie! Me like cookie!
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2005, 07:37:26 AM »
I want to go to school in Chicao, however, my LSAT sucks, so I only applied to John Marshall part time. I would not be suprised, however, if I was rejected. I would like to work in a firm while in law school. I want to do this for the experience and contacts. As of now, i am not very qualified for many positions. Therefore I was thinking about doing a quick 8 month paralegal program at Loyola U-Chicago, so that I could work as a paralegal while in law school part time. It would cost about #10k, and I think it worth the investment. Plus it would probably pay better while in law school than many other jobs I could get. Any one have any imput on this idea. THanks, B

I got my paralegal certificate from Penn State online for less than $3K.  Look into it.
http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=twarga

Attending:  Widener DE $$$
Accepted:  Rutgers-Camden, Villanova, Temple
Rejected:  Penn, Harvard

3.0 (3.82), 166

V00Jeff

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 466
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2005, 08:17:22 AM »
I don't think this is a good idea.  I've been working as a paralegal for 8 months (will be going to law school this fall).  While you do learn a good bit about law and the legal profession, there are other jobs that will also give you good experience that will help you in your legal career.  Getting a business job is especially recommended because, if you want to do corporate work, it really pays to have good business acumen. 

People can argue about whether it's better to get the business job or the paralegal job, but I'll tell you this: the difference between the two is not worth the investment in the paralegal certificate.  Ten thousand dollars?  Are you kidding?! As an entry-level paralegal, you can expect to make $20-30K.  When you remember that you will also have to pay for your living expenses during the time that you're getting the paralegal certificate (and your living expenses during the year or whatever that you work), you'll probably realize that it might take you more than a year to break even financially.  Even if the program is less costly, it will still not be worth it financially.

Also, you can work for a law firm part-time during law school as an intern.  You won't need a paralegal certificate, and you will probably get paid better than paralegals.
Attending: Columbia

Largemonk

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 165
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2005, 08:20:36 AM »
I want to go to school in Chicao, however, my LSAT sucks, so I only applied to John Marshall part time. I would not be suprised, however, if I was rejected. I would like to work in a firm while in law school. I want to do this for the experience and contacts. As of now, i am not very qualified for many positions. Therefore I was thinking about doing a quick 8 month paralegal program at Loyola U-Chicago, so that I could work as a paralegal while in law school part time. It would cost about #10k, and I think it worth the investment. Plus it would probably pay better while in law school than many other jobs I could get. Any one have any imput on this idea. THanks, B

I got my paralegal certificate from Penn State online for less than $3K.  Look into it.

I am a paralegal and I did not have to take any kind of course.  It is not a job that absolutely requires special schooling.  It also might be hard to catch on with a firm if they know you will be there for a year or less. Most of the firms I interviewed with demanded a two-year committment. 
158 (155+161)/3.1
Going to: Villanova
In:Rutgers-Camden $, Catholic, NYLS $, PSU $
WL: Cardozo, U MD, Brooklyn, St. John's
Out: American, BU, BC, UConn, Fordham, Georgetown PT, GW PT, Penn, Temple, George Mason, W&L
http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?cycle=0405&user=alexknagy

twarga

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3516
  • Must have cookie! Me like cookie!
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2005, 08:29:35 AM »
Some large firms require a bachelors in paralegal studies or a bachelors degree with an additional paralegal certificate.  I found the Penn State courses I took to be very helpful, especially the research/writing ones.
http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=twarga

Attending:  Widener DE $$$
Accepted:  Rutgers-Camden, Villanova, Temple
Rejected:  Penn, Harvard

3.0 (3.82), 166

wongsb

  • Guest
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2005, 10:27:09 AM »
There are many large firms that extend entry-level paralegal positions to kids straight out of college.  No experience and no further education needed and the jobs are fairly cushy "First Jobs".  And while entry-level paralegal jobs on a whole don't pay much, here in New York, you can expect to break $55K with all the OT forced upon you (base is generally $30K or $35K).  Of course, given cost of living, $55K in New York will get you about as far as $30K elsewhere.  I would assume the situation might be similar in Chicago.

Don't pay $10K for the certificate -that's silly! 

Schmett

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Thinking about becoming a paralegal before law school
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2005, 10:45:01 AM »
I got my paralegal certificate for less than $2K from a community college.  It actually did give me an edge when interviewing and is pretty much why I got my job, but it was in no way necessary.  However, most international/national firms want someone who'll be around for two years, and I found that most smaller firms wanted someone who'd be around even longer.