Paralegal Majors - Advice Please!

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Comments (6)

fl-girl07 in Florida

27 months ago

Hello everyone, after careful consideration I have decided to go to college to become a paralegal. I already have my basic AA degree and will be going for my BA.
I might be moving to Jacksonville and I was considering going to UNF, but they don't have a legal studies program like I wanted.

So I've narrowed down my options for majors to:

Bachelors of Business Administration: Major - Finance, Minor: Political Science

PROS:
-Business is a versatile degree which could lead me to many potential job opportunities in the end
-If I decide to be a litigation paralegal or something of the sort, finance and money would be very helpful
CONS:
- It doesn't help with the legal aspect so when I get a job as a paralegal I'm afraid I will be lost and will deff have to be trained for everything
- I think I would be kind of bored learning about business and I don't want to end up being a manager or stuck in some kind of head retail position if paralegal work doesn't work out

OR

Major - Political science, Minor - Business Administration.

PROS:
- Politics somewhat interests me so I don't think I'd be too bored learning
- It kind of helps with a basic understanding of law issues
- The business as a minor could get me a job in finance somewhere if paralegal work didn't work out
CONS:
- The major itself I heard is not worth much and if paralegal work doesn't work out then I'm afraid it will be hard to find another job (VERY important to me)
- I don't want to work for campaigns or things like that if I end up having to

I understand that they're basically the same thing, but if I'm going to spend a majority of my time focused on my major I want it to be something that's helpful in the end.
PLEASE ANY ADVICE IS APPRECIATED! THANK YOU!

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my advice in Aurora, Illinois

27 months ago

I would suggest you look at a different university that offers a legal studies, criminal law major or law school program. Political science major or a business administration major will make it much harder for you to find a job at a law firm as a paralegal. A business administration major will more likely get your a job as a manager at a small business or retail store rather than a job as a paralegal. Also a political science degree isn't worth much these days. Look for a school that best matches your decided career path and your financial school budget.

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fl-girl07 in Deltona, Florida

27 months ago

My first choice is UCF, which offers a legal studies program. However due to some circumstances, I may be obligated to move to Jacksonville which means UNF would be my only option. I'm just wondering of the two majors, which would be most beneficial in the long run.

BTW, online school is NOT an option so please no one reply with that as a suggestion.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

27 months ago

Before you decide to go into the legal field and work as a Paralegal, I would advise you to do a bit of digging around so you know the reality of the legal job market.

The Paralegal field has been tagged as a high growth field for over 20 years. It's not. It's the schools that want to perpetuate this myth. There has never been a surplus of Paralegal jobs, and with this recession things are much worse.

The legal job market has been devastated by this economy. Many lawyers and paralegals have lost jobs that aren't coming back this time. Some of the work has been farmed out. Clients won't pay for certain work anymore. Everyone has been squeezed, especially paralegals. My old firm? Gone. The firm next door? Gone. My friend's firm? Fired all their paralegals and farmed out the work. Another similar firm? Farmed out almost all of their paralegal work.

You may not even have paralegals going forward in the not too distant future. But you will always have lawyers and legal secretaries (legal assistants).

Sorry for the rant, but you need to look around to see what people in the field are saying rather than the bunk the schools will feed you. Go look at the Paralegal section in this forum. You may change your mind altogether after doing so.

Good luck.

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jobsearch2 in San Diego, California

27 months ago

Yes, please do your research before going into the legal field/paralegal. I wish I had! It's a touch job and environment to work in - especially litigation. The last job I had I was doing the work of two paralegals, expected to complete all work, keep multiple attorneys on schedule, and they would not sign-off on overtime. This means you work on your own time, off-the-clock, to keep up on things. I thought I was going to have a heart attack from the stress. I too believe that the paralegal field is shrinking. Clients hate paying for our work. I actually enjoy the kinds of tasks that paras do, it's just the environment - attitudes, attorneys, lack of respect towards paras, perfectionist culture, and unrealistic expectations that make the job so unpleasant. It's really too bad.

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Average in Medford, Massachusetts

27 months ago

jobsearch2 in San Diego, California said: Yes, please do your research before going into the legal field/paralegal. I wish I had! It's a touch job and environment to work in - especially litigation. The last job I had I was doing the work of two paralegals, expected to complete all work, keep multiple attorneys on schedule, and they would not sign-off on overtime. This means you work on your own time, off-the-clock, to keep up on things. I thought I was going to have a heart attack from the stress. I too believe that the paralegal field is shrinking. Clients hate paying for our work. I actually enjoy the kinds of tasks that paras do, it's just the environment - attitudes, attorneys, lack of respect towards paras, perfectionist culture, and unrealistic expectations that make the job so unpleasant. It's really too bad.
I don't mean to derail the conservation ,but, I can't help but notice that this description fits the majority of well-paying jobs. Then, of course, managers sometimes have to answer to a boss that shows an even more disrespect, expects even greater perfection, and has even more unrealistic expectations. That boss, sometimes, has a boss who answers to another boss who answers another boss...and on and so. The ultimate bosses are probably stockholders.

Most Americans have some money in the stock market in the form of retirement funds...right? And those funds are seeking returns on investment. Is it us who have the unrealistic expectations?

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