Contacting Law Firms Directly for Possible Paralegal Postions

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RCarter in Littleton, Colorado

54 months ago

I recently completed my Paralegal Certificate Degree, and I am now looking for work in the field. I have noticed that most of the job openings that are posted are seeking paralegals who already have a number of years of experience in the field. Given that reality, it would appear that the prospects for entry-level employment as a paralegal are not very good at this time. Prior to studying for my Paralegal Certificate Degree, some of the jobs that I held in other fields had not been advertised. That is, I sent cover letters and resumes to companies that were not soliciting applications at that time, and I was still able to get interviews as wells as jobs. How do law offices view such an approach, and can anyone tell me if it is likely to work? Thanks

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Jane Do Girl in Annandale, Virginia

54 months ago

The legal field has taken a hit with the recession the last couple years, so competition for any non-attorney position is fierce. That said, the majority of support staff positions are not advertised in conventional fora. Sending out unsolicited cover letters and resumes certainly can't hurt; however, if you do that, you should 1.) make sure that you tailor your cover letter specifically to the firm you're writing to and 2.) make sure your cover letter is stellar. Research the firm and/or attorneys online and make sure you explain how your previous work experience and study interests in school align with and will benefit the firm. Another tip, join your local paralegal association, join LinkedIn and the paralegal fora there. The best way to find a job in this field is via professional networking. Also, some other non-traditional venues for paralegal job searching: idealist.org and usajobs.gov.

Hope this helps.

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Donald_ in Ridgefield, New Jersey

54 months ago

Don't bother applying to any of the paralegal jobs on USAjobs.gov listed by the Dept. of Justice. They have a hiring freeze on.

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RCarter in Englewood, Colorado

54 months ago

Thanks to all of you for the very helpful replies that I have received in this forum.

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RCarter in Englewood, Colorado

54 months ago

Donald_ in Ridgefield, New Jersey said: Don't bother applying to any of the paralegal jobs on USAjobs.gov listed by the Dept. of Justice. They have a hiring freeze on.

That also is a major concern with a lot of state governments. Out here in Colorado, as in many other states, hiring freezes, layoffs, and huge budget cuts are the current reality.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

54 months ago

I would agree that agencies are a complete waste of time. I will never again knowingly send my resume to a recruiter.

I would think that networking would be the best way to obtain a new paralegal job, although this has not panned out for me despite knowing two people at firms where I interviewed.

The cold resume and cover letter suggestion seems a bit painstaking to me. I know it takes work to land a job, but with the way things are now sending out resumes blindly to firms who in all likelihood won't be hiring seems like a gigantic waste of time and energy. Sure, it would be great if this tactic led to a job, but all of the time and effort invested into such an endeavor with the paralegal job market as it is seems futile. I know that's a terrible attitude to have, but that's how I feel.

I will continue to utilize networking (when and if I can) or applying online directly to ads. There seems like there is no way all of this experience can be totally useless to every single firm in this city.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

Recruiters generally are a waste of time. For some reason, I sent out a resume to Kelly in response to an ad, and they called me up today and want me to fill out all their stupid paperwork and come in tomorrow to "interview." I asked the guy if they had anything available immediately, and he hesitated and gave me a bologna answer. It's resume stocking. I don't know if I can bring myself to that level just so he can pad his resume count when I know the chances of him having anything to send me on are not good. So frustrating.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

I'm amazed that recruiters are able to stay in business. I just don't get it.

The guy from Kelly sent me a bunch of forms to complete online. No way. I'm blowing off this interview without notice. My gut tells me this guy has nothing. I'm not playing that game.

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