Flunked out of law school, paralegal good route?

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needlawinmylife in Auburn Hills, Michigan

34 months ago

Only law school I could get accepted into was in Michigan.
Flunked out after 1 1/2yrs. Loved the material but couldn't test well I guess.
Going back home this Sept, at a crossroads in my life and I have to choose some sort of career. I still am interested in law and it kills me inside that I lost my chance to become an attorney.

I think that becoming a paralegal might make me feel somewhat satisfied. Any advice? I'm sure my background is not atypical but what are the chances of getting a legal assistant/paralegal job just with my law school exp and no certificate? I am already 50k in debt so I don't want to throw around 5-15k for no reason. However, I tried for 2 years after I did my undergrad to get any job, even in the mail room, but I was unsuccessful. Thanks in advance.

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BG in Carlsbad, California

34 months ago

You saved yourself a bundle of money and headaches, because unless you graduate from a top tier law school, the likelihood of securing a job as a lawyer is next to nil. The legal profession is on its way out and will gradually be replaced by virtual legal services, advanced legal software and alternative dispute resolution, minimizing litigation. As we move towards a deregulation of legal services, many professions will take on an increased role in legal matters, such as accountants, business administrators, real estate agents, government workers, and so on.

I would advise against becoming a paralegal since it's a vocation that will phased out - alongside of lawyers - over the next ten years. With the software that's out now, people with advanced computer skills can perform much of the work that is now being rendered by paralegals.

You will never be happy as a paralegal and will be reminded of not succeeding in law school. Instead, choose a field where you will be respected and earn a good living. You won't find either in the paralegal vocation or as I prefer to call a "degreed Girl Friday."

Write down all of your attributes and what you feel passionate about, yhen connect it to a profession that you mirrors what you write down.

Good luck.

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BG in Carlsbad, California

34 months ago

needlawinmylife in Auburn Hills, Michigan said: I'm sure my background is not atypical but what are the chances of getting a legal assistant/paralegal job just with my law school exp and no certificate?

Very few people list on their resume the schools and degree programs they have failed. I suggest you lose all references to law school, unless you thrive on embarassment.

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needlawinmylife in Auburn Hills, Michigan

34 months ago

Wow, ok then. Appreciate the honest response.

My other choice is getting an MBA, as I enjoy economics as well.
OR
Getting involved in body language identification. I really enjoyed former FBI agent Joe Navarro's book "What Every Body is Saying". I don't really know what field that would be considered, but I figure its related to psychology, but I already have a BA in Government.

Realize this is completely off topic.

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BG in Carlsbad, California

34 months ago

needlawinmylife in Auburn Hills, Michigan said: Wow, ok then. Appreciate the honest response.

My other choice is getting an MBA, as I enjoy economics as well.
OR
Getting involved in body language identification. I really enjoyed former FBI agent Joe Navarro's book "What Every Body is Saying". I don't really know what field that would be considered, but I figure its related to psychology, but I already have a BA in Government.

Realize this is completely off topic.

A degree in criminal justice will open more doors for you than an MBA. Factor in that thousands of executives with MBAs out of work. By comparison, your BA in government would make you an ideal candidate for that sector, which extends to criminal justice.

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mary in Tampa, Florida

34 months ago

I have been a legal assistant for twenty years. There is no such thing as flunking out of law school - only the concept of not meeting a certain criteria.

And YES, YOU ARE LUCKY!!!!! BG gave you some good advice.

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needlawinmylife in Auburn Hills, Michigan

34 months ago

Ironically, that's name of my undergrad; John Jay of Criminal Justice.

Never wanted to be in law enforcement though. However, deviant behavior and social control was my first major, but after I realized I wanted to go to law school I changed my major to government freshman year.

Should I get a masters in criminal justice then? It feels like I am going backwards in my life instead of forwards.

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BG in Carlsbad, California

34 months ago

needlawinmylife in Auburn Hills, Michigan said:
Should I get a masters in criminal justice then? It feels like I am going backwards in my life instead of forwards.

Yes, go for the masters in CJ. Get used to going backwards, since we're going to see more of it with the way the economy is going.

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

34 months ago

What kind of jobs require a Masters of Criminal Justice?

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ThereIsAlwayHope in Hollywood, Florida

22 months ago

If it my advise don't go back to school it's not worth it. The academic systems is obsolete. Work your way into getting a government job no matter how at the bottom you are. It's for a temporary basis until you can put your loan payments at bay and start saving. What ever you're saving start putting it to work. Meaning start your own little business. I don't care what anyone says either in the public or private, legal or medicine, working for people sucks. I run my own little business now. I to flunked out of law school TWICE! After that I work as a legal assistant for the sh*tyist personalities in Ft. Luaderdale and let me tell you I might not be making 6 figures now but I never been happier.

If the mythical academic so called elitist bug is still bothering you to get some kind of graduate/professional degree I suggest go cheap or online and go where they can transfer your credits. I've some across CJ masters programs that accept criminal procedure, criminal law, and other law school credits as transferable core credits. That if you passed those classes. Thus making your law school education not a loss rather than an extension of you're current and soon to be completed eduction.

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Awayout in Miami, Florida

22 months ago

I work as a paralegal and I have my BS in Legal studies, and I obtained my Masters in CJ last year. I just wish I knew the trick to getting a new position. I have been mainly applying for government positions...so far nothing and I have been sending out resumes like crazy for the last 8mths. I will tell you it has been disheartening, because I have invested a lot of time in my education and I am still in the same place. I know the economy is bad, but I wish there was some way out to better things.

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Searching in San Diego, California

22 months ago

ThereIsAlwayHope in Hollywood, Florida said: If it my advise don't go back to school it's not worth it. The academic systems is obsolete. Work your way into getting a government job no matter how at the bottom you are. It's for a temporary basis until you can put your loan payments at bay and start saving. What ever you're saving start putting it to work. Meaning start your own little business. I don't care what anyone says either in the public or private, legal or medicine, working for people sucks. I run my own little business now. I to flunked out of law school TWICE! After that I work as a legal assistant for the sh*tyist personalities in Ft. Luaderdale and let me tell you I might not be making 6 figures now but I never been happier.

If the mythical academic so called elitist bug is still bothering you to get some kind of graduate/professional degree I suggest go cheap or online and go where they can transfer your credits. I've some across CJ masters programs that accept criminal procedure, criminal law, and other law school credits as transferable core credits. That if you passed those classes. Thus making your law school education not a loss rather than an extension of you're current and soon to be completed eduction.

May I ask what type of business you started?

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Awayout in Miami, Florida

22 months ago

Searching in San Diego, California said: May I ask what type of business you started?

Yes, I would also like to know.

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attyy1chgo in Tinley Park, Illinois

10 months ago

Hey, I flunked out of law school twice too. Then I went to Cooley Law School, where you probably went as well. I barely got through, but I did. Passed the bar on the first try and am in my 17th year practicing law. I would not give up hope completely. I know the debt is an issue, but if you are young, there is still hope. I finished when I was 39 years old.

needlawinmylife in Auburn Hills, Michigan said: Only law school I could get accepted into was in Michigan.
Flunked out after 1 1/2yrs. Loved the material but couldn't test well I guess.
Going back home this Sept, at a crossroads in my life and I have to choose some sort of career. I still am interested in law and it kills me inside that I lost my chance to become an attorney .

I think that becoming a paralegal might make me feel somewhat satisfied. Any advice? I'm sure my background is not atypical but what are the chances of getting a legal assistant /paralegal job just with my law school exp and no certificate? I am already 50k in debt so I don't want to throw around 5-15k for no reason. However, I tried for 2 years after I did my undergrad to get any job, even in the mail room, but I was unsuccessful. Thanks in advance.

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atty1chgo in Tinley Park, Illinois

10 months ago

Lawyers will be phased out in ten years? Give me what you are smoking. That's a ridiculous comment.

I would advise against becoming a paralegal since it's a vocation that will phased out - alongside of lawyers - over the next ten years.

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Displaced Legal Professional in Arvada, Colorado

10 months ago

Hopefully the OP realizes the difference between attorney and paralegal because he/she, having tried law school, still may want to be a lawyer deep down and may be unhappy as a paralegal. The long and short of it is the attorney gives the orders, and the paralegal takes the orders and carries them out.

Paralegal is a support position with a lot of responsibility but no actual authority. IMO one has to be okay with doing what she/he is told to be happy as a paralegal. Good paralegals often have skills attorneys underuse or never use, and they have to be okay with that as well.

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TMF

10 months ago

attyy1chgo in Tinley Park, Illinois said: Hey, I flunked out of law school twice too. Then I went to Cooley Law School, where you probably went as well. I barely got through, but I did. Passed the bar on the first try and am in my 17th year practicing law. I would not give up hope completely. I know the debt is an issue, but if you are young, there is still hope. I finished when I was 39 years old.

Not for anything, much has changed in 17 years. Only thing which has not changed is that Cooley is still a joke and considered to be one of the worse law schools in the US.

If one opts to go through the 3T and 4T law school route, that person MUST have contacts at law firms who are willing to take the grad on as an employee. Most 3T and 4T law grads have connections, or money to start their own solo. If you do not have the funding to start your own practice, or do not have a chance in landing a position in a decent regional law firm, be prepared to have a long process in job hunting.

As far as the paralegal profession phasing out, the opportunities are not as great as they were. Recently in NY, there is a panel which is researhing the possibility in using paralegals to close up the affordable legal services gap in representing people in lower court matters. However the deal is that no one really knows what is going on in the legal field these days as much needs to be fixed in this profession.

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TMF

10 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Arvada, Colorado said: Hopefully the OP realizes the difference between attorney and paralegal because he/she, having tried law school, still may want to be a lawyer deep down and may be unhappy as a paralegal. The long and short of it is the attorney gives the orders, and the paralegal takes the orders and carries them out.

Paralegal is a support position with a lot of responsibility but no actual authority. IMO one has to be okay with doing what she/he is told to be happy as a paralegal. Good paralegals often have skills attorneys underuse or never use, and they have to be okay with that as well.

Hands down this is the best post. Some paralegals do move onto management positions, however those positions are few and wide out there. If one is OK in being in a support role, then go ahead. However most states have restrictions on the paralegal profession and only a few states allow paralegals to be licensed/professional certification.

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