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Author Topic: Paralegal Experience any help?  (Read 668 times)

Harlow80

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Paralegal Experience any help?
« on: February 05, 2007, 04:35:27 PM »
I actually have my Bachelor's Degree in paralegal studies and have worked for attorneys for going on 6 years.

Does anyone have a similar background, and if so: did it help considerably?

Thank you!

LostMyMonkeys

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Re: Paralegal Experience any help?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2007, 04:39:29 PM »
Help in what? Getting into school? Graduating? Getting a job?

If typing and filing is the basis for any law school class then sure... that experience is helpful.

I've actually seen paralegals-turned-law students have a hard time making the transition and unlearning their specific job-specific skills and learning the law from a broader, analysis viewpoint.
Nice ass won't get you through your whole life. When you turn 30 you better have a personality

Jumboshrimps

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Re: Paralegal Experience any help?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 04:49:44 PM »
I actually have my Bachelor's Degree in paralegal studies and have worked for attorneys for going on 6 years.

Does anyone have a similar background, and if so: did it help considerably?

Thank you!

Absolutely, it will help! For the life of me, I can't understand opinions to the contrary. You have experience with the way a law office works and dealings with clients and attorneys; you have a degree in black letter law, complemented by studies of the mechanics of law practice. You likely understand legal analysis (which some law students don't get until the bar exam, or after); you've taken law exams; you've earned a living practicing law (contrary to what most lawyers and bar associations think, paralegals and legal secretaries are practicing law. You can tell by how useful they are.)

Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you have no advantage in law school.


jacy85

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Re: Paralegal Experience any help?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 09:53:35 PM »
you've taken law exams; you've earned a living practicing law (contrary to what most lawyers and bar associations think, paralegals and legal secretaries are practicing law. You can tell by how useful they are.)


This is definitely the case for some paralegals, but I've also seen more than a few that are nothing but glorified secretaries.  What they did was definitely NOT practicing law.

Having the office experience will be a huge help.  Knowing how to work in an office environment is something a lot of law students who came right from college don't really have.  Whether or not your legal skills will help will depend on just what kind of work you did as a paralegal.  If you were a "real" paralegal (like the ones jumboshrimps was talking about), then I think your experience will help you in school, as long as you remain humble and willing to learn.  If you were more of a "secretarial" paralegal, then that might not help in school.

Regardless, I've seen people with paralegal experience screw up majorly in LS because they got cocky.  They thought they had this huge advantage.  By taking a "know it all" attitude, they didn't do as well as they liked because they wrongly assumed they knew more than they did.  Keep an open mind, and you really will have a bit of an edge if you have decent experience.

LawLady

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Re: Paralegal Experience any help?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 11:58:07 PM »
I was half glorified-secretary and half-office manager.  I had paralegal duties, but mainly just taking the info from lawyers and filing the info into complaints, motions, etc.  I know one area of law really well, but didn't do any research other than looking in the FRCP.  It didn't help me at all in LS, other than having a real understanding of what it means to practice law, some ethics stuff, and killer computer skills. 

I think it depends on how intense your experience as a paralegal was.