I, myself, feel like an idiot for aiming for a paralegal career. However, I know that paralegals are more employable than attorneys, simply because they make less money while having the same set of skills.
How is it possible that someone passed the bar exam, but cannot find a job? It doesn't make sense. However, I don't believe that she would not have enrolled in law school had she known that some law grads have a hard time finding a job as an attorney. Many people become attorneys (instead of paralegals) because of the prestige. I, myself, feel like an idiot for aiming for a paralegal career. However, I know that paralegals are more employable than attorneys, simply because they make less money while having the same set of skills.
I wouldn't be so quick to laugh. While the skill sets are not identical, a good paralegal will have a lot of the same skills as an attorney. For instance, a paralegal knows how to research, read, and brief cases, draft memoranda, and so forth. Also, a paralegal will know the black letter in a number of legal specialities, for example, he'll know the elements and affirmative defenses for all intentional torts, negligence, statutory torts, and strict liability. Now, of course, if you ask a PI paralegal a question about securities law you'll likely get a "deer in the headlights" look in response.Naturally, an attorney will know more law than a paralegal, ceteris paribus, and will have a better understanding of the reasoning behind the law. But a paralegal who has worked in one area of law for a number of years will easily holds his own with most attorneys---especially a newly-minted attorney. A ten-year paralegal at V20 firm will run circles around most new, HYS attorneys.In addition to the skills a paralegal shares with an attorney, he will surpass an unexperienced attorney in many other categories. For example, most attorneys haven't the faintest clue how to go about ordering core medical records, e-filing pleadings, or inputing raw data into litigation software, such as Summation. A solid paralegal is a smart attorney's best friend. I wouldn't be so quick to discount the comparison of skill sets.