Legal Assistant

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Carla in Pearland, Texas

73 months ago

This business stinks. I have been either a legal secretary or legal assistant for 27 years (I am certified in both) and they will screw, blue and tattoe you. I can pratice law, although it is against the law, but they don't care. Ask any lawyer if if wished he hadn't gone into the legal field, 95% will tell you they wish they hadn't. I live in a suburb of Houston, Texas, am thinking about setting up a business to teach lawyers what it's all about. Ask them what the three day rule is, they have no clue.

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CEO in Watsonville, California

73 months ago

Carla in Pearland, Texas said: This business stinks. I have been either a legal secretary or legal assistant for 27 years (I am certified in both) and they will screw, blue and tattoe you. I can pratice law, although it is against the law, but they don't care. Ask any lawyer if if wished he hadn't gone into the legal field, 95% will tell you they wish they hadn't. I live in a suburb of Houston, Texas, am thinking about setting up a business to teach lawyers what it's all about. Ask them what the three day rule is, they have no clue.

What is the Three day rule?

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Kim in Camarillo, California

73 months ago

I agree that this business does stink, and out here in California, the pay is actually going DOWN, not up. They advertise on Craig's List, get tons of resumes, and pick the cheapest and most naive (and prettiest of course).

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Mary in O Fallon, Missouri

73 months ago

I was recently let go from a firm I worked for for over 13 years. The last partner I worked for was a real jerk (imagine that). I'm now looking for a new job and it won't be in the legal field. There has to be a better way of making a living.

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morganforms in Stockton, California

71 months ago

Thank you for being honest. I'm wondering why, when I was pristine in my honesty, a client insisted I was this illegal Paralegal trying to mislead him. I let him go as a client as soon as I finished his forms and found out that his fears I was an illegal legal secretary which led to him talking bad about me all over the place. After I called him on his games, he never bugged me again about his forms and went on his miserable way. The whole time I did his forms, he couldn't understand the process at all, even as I would explain it in writing and verbally. He acted stoned and often lied. He constantly thought I was messing up and trying to mess his case up on purpose. He thinks this when it wasn't true, then goes and tells all his friends what a liar I am. While he's the type who can't read well or take any action for himself, he tells me I should not be in business for myself, when being self employed has been the only type of employment that works for me. This guy really projected his hatred upon me while I completed his forms, so I would suggest all Paralegals first get all the insurance and protections they can before practicing. If you're not licensed, please get licensed or you can end up with a client that will be hateful and try to get you cited. There are a lot of them out there. You can get jailed in CA for practicing law without being an Attorney. Look in Business and Professions Code for CA

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morganforms in Stockton, California

71 months ago

Mary in O Fallon, Missouri said: I was recently let go from a firm I worked for for over 13 years. The last partner I worked for was a real jerk (imagine that). I'm now looking for a new job and it won't be in the legal field. There has to be a better way of making a living.

I'm thinking that maybe you're right. I have found success just by working alone and getting Attorneys as clients. I don't have a good feeling about working for an Attorney in the office. In the past, these ventures usually fail miserably. When I've worked for the public, I get clients, do their forms, and there is usually not too big of a problem, except some clients are not good clients to have. In this case, I first get the cleint to sign and agreement, and in this agreement, I include an area that addresses abusiveness. I say that I will refund money that wasn't worked for in the event, I become ill, the client wants a refund, or the client becomes abusive. Something along these lines without sounding too paranoid or off hand. Their are too many seriously disturbed people in the legal field, so this is why I included a phrase like this in my service agreements. The, I can fire a client with an service agreement specified monetary refund if they become a problem. If a client won't sign the service agreement, I won't work for them.

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Legal Assistant in Miami, Florida

67 months ago

Carla in Pearland, Texas said: This business stinks. I have been either a legal secretary or legal assistant for 27 years (I am certified in both) and they will screw, blue and tattoe you. I can pratice law, although it is against the law, but they don't care. Ask any lawyer if if wished he hadn't gone into the legal field, 95% will tell you they wish they hadn't. I live in a suburb of Houston, Texas, am thinking about setting up a business to teach lawyers what it's all about. Ask them what the three day rule is, they have no clue.

I have been a legal assistant since 1971 and have always had considerate bosses, the pay has always been better than my "college degree" friends who are nurses, teachers, it is an extremely interesting career and I have never had a problem getting a job and getting paid well. I moved to Detroit for a period of 6 years and the same was true there -- offers of jobs before I even wanted to start work -- and good pay. I think it is like anything in life -- it is all what you make of it -- be positive.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

67 months ago

My experience has been: My first law job (not paralegal) - I was literally harassed by a PI paraleal who thought I was supposed to put her on a pedestal. The end result came when the attorney was out and she gave me transcription of what I was to do every day (rather harassing in nature) and put it above my desk for everyone. I went to HR. They had a meeting. She was angry. She went outside and keyed by new Camaro. Second job: I was the paralegal. They hired a receptionist, Cuban, young, illiterate, and mean. She was starting fights with me and physically threatening me. When it got to the point I did not feel physically safe, I quit. Third job: A secretary who had worked for an attorney many years, she expected me to do all her filing; and when we located to a smaller office across the bridge, it was like being in junior high. All I heard was, Diane works for Jeff, Jeff brings in a lot of money, so Diane needs to be taken care of. No. 4 job, working for Frank (who had 18 secretries in one year), I should not have taken the job. I am now working on building my shorthand speed so I can pick up some court reporting work. Considering the budget cuts I am not going to plan on getting a teaching job this year.

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mary in Tampa, Florida

67 months ago

Heil no, I did not stay positive. One B attacked my car - all the way from one side to the other. One, I was physically afraid. I was screwing an attorney at that time (still am -25 years into it) and when he called she got aggressive with him. The Ruden job, I can't believe I tolerated the situation as long as I did. And I know I am not easy to walk on.

The one who attacked my car, that attorney died, and all she ever ended up with were puny PI paralegal jobs. The one who physically threatened me all the time, she got fired. The Ruden chick, after 20 years of working for Jeff, she got fired.

Right now, I am practicing my shorthand so I can pick up some court reporting work while doing school subbing. I am still hopeful of a teaching job.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

67 months ago

I did. I can't see how anyone who has worked since 1971 can say it has been positive. That's over 30 years. And even if someone had a GREAT JOB AND A GREAT BOSS, sheit still happens, stress gets out of control.

Furthermore, someone here said she never had a problem getting a job and many were available. Detroit??? Definitely not. I grew up in Flint, Michigan, not far from Detroit. Even in the '70's and 80's the job market had declined. When the car factories were on strike nobody was hiring - and I mean nobody. Detroit is not that big, there is not a big legal community - never was.

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Mercy Estevez in Miami, Florida

66 months ago

Carla in Pearland, Texas said: This business stinks. I have been either a legal secretary or legal assistant for 27 years (I am certified in both) and they will screw, blue and tattoe you. I can pratice law, although it is against the law, but they don't care. Ask any lawyer if if wished he hadn't gone into the legal field, 95% will tell you they wish they hadn't. I live in a suburb of Houston, Texas, am thinking about setting up a business to teach lawyers what it's all about. Ask them what the three day rule is, they have no clue.

I agree 100%, and if you think is bad in Houston, don't even try Miami, Fl (the worst),
I came to realized that here in Miami, the experience, honesty, and knowledge are not important anymore, its all about who you know that can get you the job, and how you look, specially being young and wearing short dresses and open shirts. It does not matter you releiable and efficient you are, and the experience and ability to perform the job well. I have been a Paralegal for 28 years, and I have been out of a job for 6 months, I had to update my resume 4 times to show less knowledge and ask for a lower salary, so after working in this field for all those years, working my brains off to get
to a salary of $60,000.00 yr., the same position with the same responsibilities is now paying $30,000. It this ridiculeous or not?

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Mary in Tampa, Florida

66 months ago

They're screwing us over. Everything is done under the supervision of an attorney. So they're hiring younger, less experienced - for a definitely much lower wage - and the attorneys are billing out more. With the economy, the younger people will work harder to please and be less mouthy. (LOL)

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Victoria in Toronto, Ontario

63 months ago

I am a 2007 law clerk graduate and have now worked for three firms. It is next to impossible to find a firm to train you (work with you) to develop your skills in preparation for a higher level job. Don't law students get an articling period? Why not legal assistants? Of course, I aim for the entry jobs and hope to absorb the information I need to build my skills and keeep my job.

The pace of this field is frantic and very harsh for a newcomer (and even the long time staff, so I am told).

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Lisa in Issaquah, Washington

62 months ago

Kim in Camarillo, California said: I agree that this business does stink, and out here in California, the pay is actually going DOWN, not up. They advertise on Craig's List, get tons of resumes, and pick the cheapest and most naive (and prettiest of course).

That's true! I live in Seattle and can make close to $50,000; I applied for a L.A. position in California and asked for $42,000 (because I was laid off), and the lady thought I was asking for the moon!

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abbie in Toledo, Ohio

61 months ago

so you guys are scaring me.. I have enrolled for legal assistant and hope to have better experience than you people did!!!

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

61 months ago

abbie in Toledo, Ohio said: so you guys are scaring me.. I have enrolled for legal assistant and hope to have better experience than you people did!!!

You are young - so you will definitely be a more "desirable" employee than us "over-40" experienced workers. After this recession/depression is over you will definitely be in a better work force than what we left.

Best advice I can have: Do not devote yourself to an employer or to an attorney. They could turn on you at any time. Make your decisions with your head, not your heart.

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abbie in Toledo, Ohio

61 months ago

i am wondering if i can even land a job with an associates degree in legal assisting? will i be able to get a job untill i get a b.s cuz im only taking the assoc right now. is it even worth it..... HELP

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

61 months ago

Abbie, if you have NO DEGREE, don't use a Bachelor's on Legal Assisting. If you have a choice of classes, do a minor in legal assisting and use your major for a more prominent background - like English, Journalism, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Education.

If I could do it over, I would do a Bachelor's in Education with an associate or minor in legal assisting. I got my Bachelor's in Business Administration, had worked for 20 years as a legal assistant, and spent three terms in a legal assisting program and got an AA. I am still unemployed. I hope to go back to court reporting withina few months (when my speed is high enough and I can make a transcript on a computer.

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abbie in Toledo, Ohio

61 months ago

ok maybe you can help a little more. I enrolled JUST for legal assistant at Ohio Business College. A 2 year course that gets you an associates degree in legal assisting. would i qualify for other jobs with that and if so what? how long does it take to land a job with it actually legal assisting? and most important do i need to move to make more money? thank you so much for givivg me the time of day.... i have noone else to ask and i need to care and support my kids!!!!

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Joyce in Auburn Hills, Michigan

56 months ago

It is so refreshing to read these remarks. I have been a legal secretary for over 30 years now. I am getting ready to semi-retire and am looking for part time work, not necessarily in a law firm. I agree with the majority of you regarding law firms and attorneys. I have met some very nice attorneys but the bad ones are more predominant. I worked at a large firm for 13 years and was demoted to the floater pool because I had breast cancer and a bad reaction to the radiation treatments. I worked for one partner for these 13 years, no loyalty, no apology, nothing. My motto is "there is no loyalty among thieves" which basically is what attorneys are. Sorry out there to any attorneys who don't fall in this category.

Good luck everyone with your job hunting. Just remember age discrimination is alive and well.

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legal dorkina in Prescott, Arizona

54 months ago

I just got my last paycheck from a firm in a small town, start up, and busy. I have over 20 years of experience, good lookin (if I say so myself) and smarter than most of the partners. The assumed professional and ethical responsibilities that attorneys owe their clients does NOT apply to their employees. In states with liberal employment laws, like Arizona, it is a come and go transaction: don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. No matter what contribution you feel you've given, no matter how hard you work nor the achievements you've reached, you are NOT going to win an award for your hard work nor receive an atta gal for your willingness to subject yourself to that environment. The worst part? I got replaced by a data entry clerk who made 1/2 the salary I did which wasn't exactly lighting the financial world on fire anyway. I recommend to all in this thread to contact me so that we can become a strong networking force who can turn on leads to each other and support those, like myself, who are unemployed and dejected due to the years we've contributed. I love the field because I am good at it - God gave me the ability to deal with freaks like attorneys. I hope that doesn't screw me for my next endeavor (which will not be legal). I'm 40 and hope to be happy at 41 LOL.

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legal gal in Rochester, MI in Rochester, Michigan

54 months ago

Hi legal dorkina: I love your comments about attorneys. I have worked for attorneys for too many years. I recently left a law firm, on my own, after working for a partner for 12 years. He always used to say how we would retire together from that firm. Well I developed breast cancer, had to have surgery and radiation treatment. I had a bad reaction to the radiation treatment so I needed to take some time off, that sounds reasonable doesn't it? Upon returning to my job I was told that I would no longer be working for him and I was dropped into the "floater" pool. I'm sure you know what that is. You are so right, there is no loyalty among thieves. I constantly had to tell myself that in the year that I worked there in the "floater" pool. The HR person was looking for any way to fire me for a number of years and I knew that. I decided to get out -- I found another job in a much smaller law firm doing the same type of work. I am about 20 years older than you but I know the work ethic today is nothing like it was 20-30 years ago. The only people that attorneys respect are their clients WHO ARE BRINGING IN THE MONEY. I doubt that they respect their family members or staff. This new job was great for a while but then I began to see who the back stabbers were and it was all coming down on me. Getting blamed for mistakes I didn't make, etc. There is a new generation in the workplace. I'm just waiting until I can retire and get out of this rat race. I also believe, and this may help you, these fancy, booksmart, backstabbing attorneys have to meet the same maker when their life is over just like you and me. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. I personally will give you an ATTA GIRL -- it takes courage and strength to send an email like yours and I applaud you for it. Many of us would like to do it but never do. I wish you much luck in your future endeavors. Sincerely.

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jsinfla in Delray Beach, Florida

47 months ago

And, BTW, what is the three-day rule? The closest thing I can think of offhand involves mailed Notices, etc. in which you must allow three mailing days when calculating deadlines, etc.-DLP
=============================================================================
Here is a link that explains the three day rule:

realestate.findlaw.com/home-equity-loans-reverse-mortgages/home-equity-loans-cancellation.html

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Aspired2 in Homosassa, Florida

38 months ago

Mercy Estevez in Miami, Florida said: I agree 100%, and if you think is bad in Houston, don't even try Miami, Fl (the worst),
I came to realized that here in Miami, the experience, honesty, and knowledge are not important anymore, its all about who you know that can get you the job, and how you look, specially being young and wearing short dresses and open shirts. It does not matter you releiable and efficient you are, and the experience and ability to perform the job well. I have been a Paralegal for 28 years, and I have been out of a job for 6 months, I had to update my resume 4 times to show less knowledge and ask for a lower salary, so after working in this field for all those years, working my brains off to get
to a salary of $60,000.00 yr., the same position with the same responsibilities is now paying $30,000. It this ridiculeous or not?

There are more people looking for legal assistant jobs than there are openings. I have been looking for the last three months and nothing. On careerbuilder you can see how many other people are applying to the same job and one of them had over 1500 applicants. After reading all the comments I am getting discouraged.

How do you get your foot in the door? I have two associates degrees one in Paralegal Studies and one in Buiness, five years in law enforcement. Any suggestions?

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Natasha in Naperville, Illinois

36 months ago

Joyce in Auburn Hills, Michigan said: It is so refreshing to read these remarks. I have been a legal secretary for over 30 years now. I am getting ready to semi-retire and am looking for part time work, not necessarily in a law firm. I agree with the majority of you regarding law firms and attorneys. I have met some very nice attorneys but the bad ones are more predominant. I worked at a large firm for 13 years and was demoted to the floater pool because I had breast cancer and a bad reaction to the radiation treatments. I worked for one partner for these 13 years, no loyalty, no apology, nothing. My motto is "there is no loyalty among thieves" which basically is what attorneys are. Sorry out there to any attorneys who don't fall in this category.

Good luck everyone with your job hunting. Just remember age discrimination is alive and well.

Hello, my name is Natasha. I am 41 and just got my Paralegal Certificate. I came from Russia and it took me a while to learn English. Now I am in a situation when I am a new graduate looking for a job with a 3 years old child. Nobody ever called me back yet, and I am getting more and more dissapointed. I graduated 3 months ago and already feel that I partially forgot things that I have learned. It makes me really depressed and I am trying to read my school notes again and again. Plus, there are problems with my child's daycare. Plus, I am 41. Thank you for listening, I am just very nervous about my future. Natasha

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MeMe in Gulf Breeze, Florida

29 months ago

Carla in Pearland, Texas said: This business stinks. I have been either a legal secretary or legal assistant for 27 years (I am certified in both) and they will screw, blue and tattoe you. I can pratice law, although it is against the law, but they don't care. Ask any lawyer if if wished he hadn't gone into the legal field, 95% will tell you they wish they hadn't. I live in a suburb of Houston, Texas, am thinking about setting up a business to teach lawyers what it's all about. Ask them what the three day rule is, they have no clue.

Amen sister! You speak the truth!!!

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Joyce in Rochester, Michigan

29 months ago

I agree with all experienced legal secretaries. These law firms are looking for young, inexperienced, low cut, big boobs and blond hair with air for a brain. I have been unemployed for a year. I have an interview with a law firm tomorrow, which I'm not looking forward to but have to pay bills. I would love to work part-time as I am collecting social security. For the young gals starting out, these on-line courses or colleges are luring you into paying for legal degrees that you don't need. I have over 30 years experience in law and never took a college course. Problem is that's all I'm qualified for, a legal secretary. Been trying to get into the medical field, no luck there. Don't let these technical institutes take your money. Experience is always the best.

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Joyce in Rochester, Michigan

29 months ago

I agree, the law firms stink and whether you are there one year or 30 years you will eventually be booted out because you are either too old, not attractive enough or are making too much money. Now I know why people don't like lawyers.

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mary in Tampa, Florida

29 months ago

New job posted in Tampa, Florida:

Immediate Hire - Entry Level Assistant/Model (Tampa)

Immediate Hire! Looking for an attractive entry level assistant/Model for dynamic Executive Office. Candidate must be smart, professional, outgoing and reliable.

Please respond with resume and recent photographs for immediate consideration.

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