Law School Discussion

Will paralegal job help?

Will paralegal job help?
« on: June 02, 2008, 12:50:21 PM »
Ok, so I just started as a paralegal at a public interest law firm in Kansas.  I was just wondering if people feel this might help me out in the 1L job search?  I have been accepted to UMich and by the time I attend will have about a year of paralegal experience (working social security disability cases).  I think that I may be most interested in looking at coming back to Kansas after law school (and possibly looking for a bigger law (because nothing is big in Kansas) job after 1L).

Re: Will paralegal job help?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 02:29:42 PM »
I doubt it... It will look good that you have any work experience at all, but your grades are really going to be the biggest factor in your 1L summer job.

Re: Will paralegal job help?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2008, 11:08:47 PM »
As a paralegal for three years prior to the start of law school, I can tell you that my paralegal experience was #1 mentioned in every interview and #2 looked on favorably.

But, it wasn't the be all end all of the conversation and certainly didn't get me interviews for any jobs I wasn't already competitive for.

I feel that it was a good closer, but not a good opener.  I don't feel it opened any doors to me, but certainly helped me close the deal since I was able to discuss the mechanics of a lot of the jobs I interviewed for.


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Re: Will paralegal job help?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2008, 09:35:01 AM »
Being from Kansas and going to UMich will help you more than being a paralegal.  Many (most?) of the people I know who applied to smaller markets and had clear ties to the markets got firm jobs.  You have a good chance of getting a firm job in Kansas, especially if you use the rest of the summer to network your ass off.

Re: Will paralegal job help?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 10:08:50 AM »
I'm speaking from the perspective of an 0L, so I can't comment how useful your experience will be in your 1L interviews.

I've been working as a law clerk (doing a lot of "paralegal" work) for the past year, and I can certainly say that this experience help solidify my desire to want to become an attorney.  I think more than anything, this experience will help you the most because it will give you insight into the profession and how it runs on a day-to-day basis. 

I've learned a lot about the law just through working: learning about how discovery works, "Proof of Service," researching on Lexis-Nexis, and I've even done document review (not fun, just thousands and thousands of pages, and you looking for keywords/ideas).  I've learned about how to choose clients, or why we choose the clients we do. I've even had to learn how to bill my time (it's not complicated, but it does take some getting used to).

I don't know what firms will think of the experience, but I can't imagine it'd hurt.  It may be seen as a positive since you'll already know how a law office runs, and maybe, you'll be able to get into the swing of things a lot faster.

It's a great experience working at a law firm.  i'm sure you'll enjoy it.