th economy

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (1 to 50 of 249)
Page:   1  2  3  4  Next »   Last »

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California

87 months ago

Considering the economic downturn, awhat are the chances of finding a job as a paralegal in the near future? The large law firms are starting to layoff attorneys, but what about paralegals? Is it even worth it to get the certificate?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California said: Considering the economic downturn, awhat are the chances of finding a job as a paralegal in the near future? The large law firms are starting to layoff attorneys, but what about paralegals? Is it even worth it to get the certificate?

Great question Lynn. As a retired 10-year Paralegal, I do not see Paralegal as a growth job in this economy.

OT- Manhattan Beach is real nice. My sister lived there and worked for Hughes Aircraft.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California

87 months ago

The weather is nice here, period end of story. So then my question would be, as law firms size down with lawyers, they might use more paralegals (if there is work to be done). And,would there be a greater need for paralegals who specialize in bankruptcy? Thanks for your response.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California said: The weather is nice here, period end of story. So then my question would be, as law firms size down with lawyers, they might use more paralegals (if there is work to be done). And,would there be a greater need for paralegals who specialize in bankruptcy? Thanks for your response.

There is not much informtion that BKR has gotten HOT again. The bankruptcy is associated with the real estate market, and CA is a market with real estate problems. I would try and locate a Legal Newspaper in your county and read the articles and hopefully, in back there will be the legal classified. That is your best source of information on what is happening now.

In Philadelphia, it is The Legal Intellegencer. In S. FlA, it is the Daily Business Review.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California said: The weather is nice here, period end of story. So then my question would be, as law firms size down with lawyers, they might use more paralegals (if there is work to be done). And,would there be a greater need for paralegals who specialize in bankruptcy? Thanks for your response.

Your legal newspaper is the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California

87 months ago

Thanks for the response. I'm not talking about house foreclosures, I'm talking about businesses about to file for bankruptcy.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California said: Thanks for the response. I'm not talking about house foreclosures, I'm talking about businesses about to file for bankruptcy.

I do not think those BKR are going to make BKR law HOT at this time. Yeah some big NY or LA firms will be working on the BKR of Lehman Brothers Holding Inc.

The deal with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch is a merger and acquisition know as M&A. That will be handled by the big corporate law firms.

Again - what's up with legal trends is in the newspaper I posted for you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California

87 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: I do not think those BKR are going to make BKR law HOT at this time. Yeah some big NY or LA firms will be working on the BKR of Lehman Brothers Holding Inc.

Thanks for the advice.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

87 months ago

Denver is correct. The biggest problem in a job - is not knowing what you're entitled to.

Most likley your first job will be for a sole practitioner or a two attorney firm. They will pump you up on how great you are, how much they NEED you, you are a professional now, how they work many hours for a certain amount of pay, therefore, as a professional, you are expected to do the same (I was told that in my first job). Difference is - they're getting all the rewards, building a clientele, etc. All you're getting is a paycheck - you're getting experience and skills, but you're still just getting a paycheck.

If you work ten hours, you should get paid for ten hours, not eight. Unless you're in upper management or a very high salary, that is what the law is.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: There is not much informtion that BKR has gotten HOT again. The bankruptcy is associated with the real estate market, and CA is a market with real estate problems. I would try and locate a Legal Newspaper in your county and read the articles and hopefully, in back there will be the legal classified. That is your best source of information on what is happening now.

In Philadelphia, it is The Legal Intellegencer. In S. FlA, it is the Daily Business Review.

Correction: forclosure is what is going on in real estate market, not Bkr.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Denver is correct. The biggest problem in a job - is not knowing what you're entitled to.

Most likley your first job will be for a sole practitioner or a two attorney firm. They will pump you up on how great you are, how much they NEED you, you are a professional now, how they work many hours for a certain amount of pay, therefore, as a professional, you are expected to do the same (I was told that in my first job). Difference is - they're getting all the rewards, building a clientele, etc. All you're getting is a paycheck - you're getting experience and skills, but you're still just getting a paycheck.

If you work ten hours, you should get paid for ten hours, not eight. Unless you're in upper management or a very high salary, that is what the law is.

I disagree- 10 years as a Paralegal, at least 10 direct hire positions. Never had to work overtime. I received offers of employment stating my hours, pay, etc.
NO - I was never pushed for more hours. My jobs were 9-5 in Philadelphia and Delaware. In Miami, a 40 hour week,9-6, 8-5.

Point - get the hours of your job at the interview clarified [if this is a non-billable position] and get a written offer of employment. And you will have no problem. I worked my designated hours, and went home and there was never a problem. Your written offer of employment states the designated hours.

Anyone who has not done the above, puts themselves in a position of being bullied by the attorney to work longer hours. It is B.S. If you give an attorney or any employer an inch, they will take a mile.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Welllll....I'd hasten to disagree. As you know, there was no billing in my last job; we were paid on contingency. I worked more O/T than you can shake a stick at in that G-d forsaken place and I wasn't paid for it. .

First, I would like to clarify that there is no "we". The firm is paid on contengency fee, that means the attorney.

Second, the mistake made was not getting a Written Offer of Employment with your hours, and other employment pertinent information.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said:

Denver is correct. The biggest problem in a job - is not knowing what you're entitled to..

Again I disagree- you created your own problems of long hours by not getting a written offer of employment. I had such offer for every job, minus my first Paralegal job which hours remained at 9-5 as stated.

You should know to ask the proper questions and get the clarifcation at the interview. If you do not, who's fault is that. If you do not get or ask for a wrtten offer of employment who's fault is that. I for one want to be crystal clear on my hours and pay. It is the iterviewee's job to ask these questions, and then they will know . There will be no confusion as to "entitlement"

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

87 months ago

Not many firms give a Written Offer of Employment. Fowler White did - but Fowler White is an "up-there" law firm. For me, no one else did.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Not many firms give a Written Offer of Employment. Fowler White did - but Fowler White is an "up-there" law firm. For me, no one else did.

Then you ask for one when they extend the offer. Then you will have no problems as to hours, pay and benefits.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: That's just it about paralegal. Paralegal is basically a dead end. About the only thing you can look forward to is a paycheck. Paralegals can never be law firm partners. Attorneys cannot split fees with paralegals. Paralegals can advance to administration or management, but those opportunities are rare.
The vocation is not all what it's cracked up to be.

We know all of this when we go into the vocation.

Attorneys cannot split fees with paralegals. True. However, they can and do give bonuses, best example is Erin Brockovich.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

87 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: We know all of this when we go into the vocation.

Attorneys cannot split fees with paralegals. True. However, they can and do give bonuses, best example is Erin Brockovich.

Until I went to work at Fowler White, I didn't even know firms gave letter offers for work to paralegals and secretaries - I thought it was just for attorneys.

As far as bonuses, in Florida (and it is in the statutes), attorneys and law firms cannot give a paralegal a bonus based on the number of hours she worked or how much she has billed. A paralegal also cannot refer clients to an attorney (such as a PI attorney) and get a bonus or a contingency fee for it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Until I went to work at Fowler White, I didn't even know firms gave letter offers for work to paralegals and secretaries - I thought it was just for attorneys.

As far as bonuses, in Florida (and it is in the statutes), attorneys and law firms cannot give a paralegal a bonus based on the number of hours she worked or how much she has billed. A paralegal also cannot refer clients to an attorney (such as a PI attorney) and get a bonus or a contingency fee for it.

If you went to paralegal school and received your certifcate, you should know this. Yes, firms can give bonues to employees, paralegal, secretary, receptionsist. Did you see the true story [movie] of Erin Brockovich? If not , look it up on the internet. her bonus was $2milllion, she was not an attorney.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

87 months ago

Of course I saw the movie. Read what I wrote. I said firms can give bonus. HOWEVER

As far as bonuses, in Florida (and it is in the statutes), attorneys and law firms cannot give a paralegal a bonus BASED on the number of hours she worked or how much she has billed. A paralegal also cannot refer clients to an attorney (such as a PI attorney) and get a bonus or a contingency fee for it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

87 months ago

This could be one of your problems in keeping a job. Now, DON'T GO OFF ON ME. I'm just telling you what I'm getting from you.

(1) From what I see of you, you get a thought in your head - and there's no changing your mind. You misinterpret what you read; maybe your misterpret what you hear and what you are told to do.

(2) You work 9-5 - and you're out the door, no overtime. Working for an attorney is not comparative to a job at a regular 9-5 job. Why would an attorney hire someone to work just 9-5 - when he can hire someone who will work the hours he needs.

Even Frank, his expectations were, specifically, "I hired you to do my work. I may have something to do past 5:00. It is a common courtesy to tell me when you are leaving. Then I can tell you good night or what I need. If you have something going on where you HAVE to leave at 5:00, let me know in advance. Otherwise, I do not expect to come out here and find you left just because it is 5:00, and you didn't tell me." Okay, Frank.

There were a few times when Ana (Frank's paralegal princess) left at 5:00, and he wanted something from her - and Frank exploded.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Not many firms give a Written Offer of Employment. Fowler White did - but Fowler White is an "up-there" law firm. For me, no one else did.

Even without the offer, one should be asking sufficient questions at the interview to determine what your hours are. Ask if there is going to be o/t.
How often. If so, am I paid o/t. An employer needs to answere these questions. IF employer does not at this point clarify your questions as to your hours, I would not want to work for him. Shady up front can turn to very shady once employed. THen again, it depends how bad you need the job at that point in time. And if you find that the hours are longer than you were told, oh well.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: This could be one of your problems in keeping a job.......Even Frank, his expectations were, specifically, "I hired you to do my work. I may have something to do past 5:00. ...There were a few times when Ana (Frank's paralegal princess) left at 5:00, and he wanted something from her - and Frank exploded.

Again - you created your own problems as to your hours. Ok, Frank told you at the interview, I hope, that he may have something to do past 5pm. Great. you ask how often will this happen? If you then accepted his terms of employment that you were to be working after 5pm- then you have no beef that you were worked to death.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said:
This could be one of your problems in keeping a job. Now, DON'T GO OFF ON ME. I'm just telling you what I'm getting from you.

No one is going off on you- that is in your head. This is a discussion and commentary on the benefits of obtaining a written offer of employment and the pitfalls of unexpected long hours without sai offer spelling out the terms and benefits you are entitled to, specifically the hours.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Of course I saw the movie. Read what I wrote. I said firms can give bonus. HOWEVER

As far as bonuses, in Florida (and it is in the statutes), attorneys and law firms cannot give a paralegal a bonus BASED on the number of hours she worked or how much she has billed. A paralegal also cannot refer clients to an attorney (such as a PI attorney) and get a bonus or a contingency fee for it.

Bonus are not based on the number of hours. They are given based on your performance and contribution to winning a big case.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said:

(2) You work 9-5 - and you're out the door, no overtime. Working for an attorney is not comparative to a job at a regular 9-5 job. Why would an attorney hire someone to work just 9-5 - when he can hire someone who will work the hours he needs..

Yes it is a comparable job to other 9-5 jobs, when you have your hours in writing.Extending common courtesy and staying an extra 30 minutes or so to finish up a necessity is something that may or wll happen. BUt it is noot the regualar practive, It happens occassionaly.

As stated ,all my jobs were in writing offer of employment hire with set hours and I was only expected to work those hours. Occassionaly a situation came up and i stayed late -these are exceptions. And they were rare.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

87 months ago

To clarify, Frank didn't work me to death. I got paid for the the time I worked. And I got a lot of extra pay for the overtime. Where I did get worked to death was the first job (for five years), straight pay, should have left at 5:30 - stayed past 6:30 many times, got same pay - AND NO MEDICAL INSURANCE, one week pay.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: To clarify, Frank didn't work me to death. I got paid for the the time I worked. And I got a lot of extra pay for the overtime. Where I did get worked to death was the first job (for five years), straight pay, should have left at 5:30 - stayed past 6:30 many times, got same pay - AND NO MEDICAL INSURANCE, one week pay.

Thank you for the clafication. The first firm took advantage of you and no benefits. Snaps for you, sticking it out for 5 years. You did what you had to do at the time.

Ok, so Frank, although is negative commentary was not entertaining, did pay you for the hours your worked, including o/t. Excellent. After 8 years, Frank did you dirty.

After 7 years, lots of unpaid o/t and no raise, DLP's employer did him dirty.

Horrible on both counts.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Actually, he gave me raises after my first and second years, and no raises thereafter. He gave me Xmas bonuses every year - but I suspect the firm gave everyone Xmas bonuses. Indeed (as it were), he did me dirty.

How many attorneys were in that so-called firm?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Welllll....I'd hasten to disagree. As you know, there was no billing in my last job; we were paid on contingency. I worked more O/T than you can shake a stick at in that G-d forsaken place and I wasn't paid for it. .

In all fairness to DLP, I suspect the word "we" was used loosely.

Fact, you did what you had to do - and in the end the employer did you dirty.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Denver is correct. The biggest problem in a job - is not knowing what you're entitled to.

Most likley your first job will be for a sole practitioner or a two attorney firm. They will pump you up on how great you are, how much they NEED you, you are a professional now, how they work many hours for a certain amount of pay, therefore, as a professional, you are expected to do the same (I was told that in my first job). Difference is - they're getting all the rewards, building a clientele, etc. All you're getting is a paycheck - you're getting experience and skills, but you're still just getting a paycheck.

They fed you a bunch of bunk. With no paralegal certificate at that time, you were a paralegal in training or a legal secretary with adminstrative duties, maybe some performed by paralegals. ANYwho- still bunk.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Actually, he gave me raises after my first and second years, and no raises thereafter. He gave me Xmas bonuses every year - but I suspect the firm gave everyone Xmas bonuses. Indeed (as it were), he did me dirty.

Absolutely concur.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California said: Considering the economic downturn, awhat are the chances of finding a job as a paralegal in the near future? The large law firms are starting to layoff attorneys, but what about paralegals? Is it even worth it to get the certificate?

Skip the paralegal cerificate, skip law jobs, be a receptionist at a Hedge Fund company. A gal in NYC, seeking information on legal careers on this site, commented that she makes $50k.

That is a great job and pay AND as you are exposed to a mecca of money. The employee who work there make good income, the clients make big income.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: Skip the paralegal cerificate, skip law jobs, be a receptionist at a Hedge Fund company. A gal in NYC, seeking information on legal careers on this site, commented that she makes $50k.

That is a great job and pay AND as you are exposed to a mecca of money. The employee who work there make good income, the clients make big income.

The gal was working in Chicago. She made $50k. Siad it was easy. Average pay was $30-50K for the positon. No degree required.

Go where the money is when you are young. YOu can always take classes at night for anything.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Where do I apply? Do they hire nearly-60 males? I'm in shape, finally!

I like your "mecca of money" crack, Cindy. :D

I know - is that a great job or what. Man, if I was twenty something - that is what I would do. -

DLP- I am all about the money.- Glad I made you laugh.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Where do I apply? Do they hire nearly-60 males? I'm in shape, finally!

I like your "mecca of money" crack, Cindy. :D

Great, bike riding got you in shape- give one a reason to wake up in the morning.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

Of course I would have liked to leave. It was not like I jumped for joy when I got up and bounded in to work every morning with a smile on my face while singing "Zippity Doo Dah at the top of my lungs. It was a paycheck, and I did the job as competently and professionally as I was capable of doing. Holding on to that job was the path of least resistance.

In the beginning of going to work in Miami, I played "Zippity Doo Dah" alternative happy music on my radio on the way to work, as I pulled out of my gated community to be bedazzled by the beautiful view of Biscayne Bay. That ended when I entered the building for work.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

87 months ago

Lynn in in Manhattan Beach, California said: The weather is nice here, period end of story. So then my question would be, as law firms size down with lawyers, they might use more paralegals (if there is work to be done). And,would there be a greater need for paralegals who specialize in bankruptcy? Thanks for your response.

Again, read the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

86 months ago

Bankruptcy work is busy busy. You don't have to be at a big firm to do business bankrutpcy. Small businesses go belly up every day. You do have to have experience. It's almost impossible to find an entry level bankrutpcy paralegal job.

I don't see this theory that fims will lay off expensive attorneys and have paralegals do the work at all. It's better to have an attorney do the paralegal work (or the secretary do it and the attorney bill for it) than it is to shift the work to a paralegal. Firms make money off of attorneys, but only break even with paralegals.

The trend I see are secretary/paralegal combo jobs and a secretary can do it all just as easy as a paralegal can. Paralegal jobs are going away. Clients are willing to pay for less and less of paralegal work. They call it all "clerical" and expect a secretary to do it. The attorneys have already taken away the "real" paralegal work for themselves to increase their billables. It leaves paralegals with not much to do.

You will never be the boss if you are a paralegal. The only people who matter at a law firm are the attorneys. Period. No one else matters.

It helps (a lot) to have a 4 year degree. I have one. But then you only make about $50k a year and you have a four year degree!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

86 months ago

Paralegal jobs are going away. Clients are willing to pay for less and less of paralegal work. They call it all "clerical" and expect a secretary to do it. The attorneys have already taken away the "real" paralegal work for themselves to increase their billables. It leaves paralegals with not much to do.

You will never be the boss if you are a paralegal. The only people who matter at a law firm are the attorneys. Period. No one else matters.

It helps (a lot) to have a 4 year degree. I have one. But then you only make about $50k a year and you have a four year degree!!!
_________________
This is very true. I also have a four year degree, and an ABA paralegal degree.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

86 months ago

I recently became acquainted with a young woman who was hired as a recruiter for a firm straight out of college. I don't know how long she held that job, but I know it's been years since she left, and she's 27 now. She told me the job was hard because "no one wants to do it." She was referring to legal secretarial positions. It was hard finding someone to fill the positions. She said it's a dying field. I would think the same would be true of paralegals???

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

86 months ago

I don't see legal secretary has a dying profession although it's more common to see the job called legal assistant which is what paralegals are sometimes called, too, and just illustrates, again, the overlap of job duties.

There will always be attorney work and non-attorney work. True, the younger attorneys are more self-sufficient than the older ones who barely use a computer and dictate all their work into a dictaphone, but there are still plenty of office activities attorneys should not be spending time doing, such as certified mail.

What this non-attorney job position looks like may evolve into something we haven't seen before. Maybe it will be a small pool of legal assistants who don't work for any particular attorney and maybe just do the next job in the que. Right now legal secretaries support 3 or 4 people when they used to support 1 or 2. It's already changing.

There are fewer pure paralegals, though. Firms now will have 25 attorneys, 8 secretaries and 2 paralegals. It's the attorneys that matter - they bring clients in, they bill at a high enough rate to make a profit, their law license is always on the line, they are the only ones that can practice law.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

86 months ago

Well, my billing rate has ranged from $85-120/hour depending on the client. I probably cost the firm $50/hour, just guessing, maybe more when you consider salary, overtime, benefits, bonuses, office space, computers, software licenses, CLE, lunches, phone extension, business cards, etc.

When you have to bill time, you have to keep in mind the clients' billing guidelines, what they will pay for and what they won't pay for, and you have to compete with other employees who are also billing. People need to make their quotas.

I have worked at a firm where paralegals were not to do any activity that was not billable even if it helped the firm move the case along. I have sat at my desk with nothing to do, because there was no billable work to do, but plenty of non-billable.

And I have worked for a place that felt like anything a paralegal could do to move a case along, or to help the firm, or to help an attorney was good, whether it was billable or not, personal or not. Course, you had to answer questions later on like, "Why aren't you billing 150 a month?" And you have to answer, "My partner sent me out to pick up his dry cleaning." Just depends on the firm. I prefer the latter, because I can always find something to do, although it is usually not billable (or I would have already done it).

In this economic environment now, most paralegals I know, except for bankruptcy paralegals, are very slow. The attorneys are slow, so they are taking on more paralegal work. The clients are quicker to settle cases. It shortens the case work-up considerably.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

86 months ago

Well, everyone, let's look at the bright side. Obviously, we're going to use this next week to eat and drink(probably cheap beer and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches). Might as well make the best of it and enjoy it.

THEN, we start a brand new year. We can start out with brand new hopes, starting job shopping again - to find that perfect legal job. Why, right now, I am typing, I see some new agencies, www.celebritystaff.com; the planetlawgroup.com, careers.findlaw.com, www.business.com.

I can't wait!!! I'm sure www.celebritystaff.com and theplanetlawgroup.com will bring me success. :) Otherwise, I'm going to go on to Plan B ... I am supposed to start an online tutoring position with a company that has a contract with a school ($12.00 an hour, nights and weekends), and I can do substitute teaching too. I'm a great writer!!! Maybe I can do freelance writing for PlayGirl and a dirty man magazine. If I was a little younger, prettier, and firmer parts, I could go do freelance ho'ing. :)

I'll keep you advised.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

86 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

Most everything you've mentioned are fixed expenses. The firm would have to pay those expenses whether or not you worked there...... Business cards are an expense. So is CLE. Most if not all of these things come off the firm's taxes. ..

The hell of it was the shareholder said that despite the time spent (wasted) on this stupid committee billers still had to generate enough billable hours. That meant even more longer hours of toil at that place.

Yeah- I picked up on the first part myself.

DLP- why did you have a billable hour requirement on a contengency firm, bing WC law. Or are you talking about first job?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

86 months ago

Ah! My employer lies to me! I needed Summation on my machine to do some work and they told me 3 people already had it and they would not pay for another license for me to have it, too. So, one of the 3 had to do the work (lost billables for me). Grrr....

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

86 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Well, everyone, let's look at the bright side. Obviously, we're going to use this next week to eat and drink(probably cheap beer and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches). Might as well make the best of it and enjoy it.

THEN, we start a brand new year. We can start out with brand new hopes, starting job shopping again - to find that perfect legal job. Why, right now, I am typing, I see some new agencies, www.celebritystaff.com; the planetlawgroup.com, careers.findlaw.com, www.business.com .

I can't wait!!! I'm sure www.celebritystaff.com and theplanetlawgroup.com will bring me success. :) Otherwise, I'm going to go on to Plan B ... I am supposed to start an online tutoring position with a company that has a contract with a school ($12.00 an hour, nights and weekends), and I can do substitute teaching too. I'm a great writer!!! Maybe I can do freelance writing for PlayGirl and a dirty man magazine. If I was a little younger, prettier, and firmer parts, I could go do freelance ho'ing. :)

I'll keep you advised.

Don't laugh, but I'm seriously considering bartending school. I kid you not. I had heard about it several years ago. Recently on the radio, I hard an infomercial "recession-proof your career." Well, they had a point. Not that I would consider bartending a career. So I looked online and called the 800 number. I know that vocational schools are usually a ripoff - tens of thousands of dollars for training that gets you a job that pays $15-$18 hour. I expected them to tell me a few thousand, but it's $200 for a 32-hour program.

I like my job and don't plan on leaving it - I've been there 18 months - but I am just a temp. I can be dropped at any time. So I would see the bartending thing as back up, a plan B.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

86 months ago

I've been a bartender, too. Second hand smoke and the late hours can really get to you after awhile. I did not take a class or anything. I just figured it out on the job. Got a book. Made about $100/night. It is a dead end job. I would only do it while in college, not as a career. It's hard to move from that kind of work to office work. When you get older you will want to sit down at work, versus standing up all day.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

dh in Northern CA, California

86 months ago

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas said: I've been a bartender, too. Second hand smoke and the late hours can really get to you after awhile. I did not take a class or anything. I just figured it out on the job. Got a book. Made about $100/night. It is a dead end job. I would only do it while in college, not as a career. It's hard to move from that kind of work to office work. When you get older you will want to sit down at work, versus standing up all day.

I was a cocktail waitress one summer after my daughter was born. I remember the late hours and second-hand smoke. In Cali, however, laws have been passed, and smoking is not allowed inside of any public building. There is no longer the "no smoking" section in a restaurant because it's against the law to smoke in there period. It was weird at first, but now it's been probably 12 years since the law passed. Now when I go to Vegas and smell smoke inside a restaurant, THAT seems weird.

You're right about bartending being dead end, but so is legal secretary. If I had to choose between the two evils, I would rather tend bar. I think it's a decent back up plan, but I need to talk to people who've done it first. I learned a lot from a waitress when I was out at a restaurant the other night. Now I know don't do anything without asking others who've done it. I learned that the hard way.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

86 months ago

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas said: Ah! My employer lies to me! I needed Summation on my machine to do some work and they told me 3 people already had it and they would not pay for another license for me to have it, too. So, one of the 3 had to do the work (lost billables for me). Grrr....

Hum- I gather you are a billable hour paralegal, hence longer hours for same pay.
I was fortuante to get 9-5 jobs (8:30 to 5:30) and I was expected to leave at 5pm- barring some emergency which were pretty much non-existent.

A lot of paralegals never get the opportunty to be hired as "paralegal." Instead they end up as legal secretaries. Pay is still pretty much the same.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

dovey in Saint Louis, Missouri

86 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I'll just advise at the outset to stay out of law. The stress, pressure, abuse and long hours simply aren't worth it.

That said, years ago paralegal schools sold the notion that paralegal was one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., etc., ad nauseam. Perhaps ten or fifteen years ago paralegals were in demand. The schools did a great job selling that notion. Since that time, training programs have pumped out legions of paralegals. Firms, companies, etc. sopped them up. Now, markets are oversaturated with paralegals. Paralegals may not be in as much demand as they were, if they are in demand at all.

At least around here, historically there have been few paralegal openings. Many excellent sharp, experienced people, along with entry paralegals, have competed for these openings. During at least the past year, paralegal openings have declined around here. I think the Denver legal market, at least, has been in recession during that period or longer.

The point is entry paralegal jobs are rare. Snagging one is more rare. Get the certificate if you want - it's good training - and non-legal businesses may find it attractive. But IMO don't count on getting a traditional type of paralegal job any time soon.

Dear Displaced:
What do you do "now" for a living?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Page:   1  2  3  4  Next »   Last »

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.