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Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts

72 months ago

Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Please mention the "style" of paralegal that you are/were (corporate, government, etc.). And if you could mention how easy or difficult it is to get into that kind of position, availability

I'm trying to decide if going to school to be a paralegal is the right career move (as opposed to going to school for something else) and I've heard some differing views on this forum.

Maybe if I tell you what I want in career you might be able to tell me if being paralegal is a good job or may be able to suggest something better. I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

72 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

I'm trying to decide if going to school to be a paralegal is the right career move (as opposed to going to school for something else) and I've heard some differing views on this forum....... I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful;

Being a Paralegal is a very stressful job- I would suggest getting a degree in Business.

I am a retired Paralegal of 10 years.

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Alicia in New Rochelle, New York

72 months ago

If you are looking for a short cut, appreciation & a nice starting salary, Nursing is a great way to go. All you need is an associate's degree & the starting salary for most nurses is 50,000 & Up.

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Alicia in New Rochelle, New York

72 months ago

Well I don't know about Colorado, but here in New York, you are not forced to work over night. The standard hours are 7am to 7pm three days a week unless you choose to work over night.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

72 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: It's the same around here. I second wholeheartedly your comment about loyalty meaning nothing to lawyers and law firms. I second your recommedation about not choosing paralegal or law school, ever.

Hello DLP- a/k/a "retired"

I agree with "Boston" and you. Especially now, with the economic situation - those crazy "agency" people are all over the adds. AND all they want is to add to their list of inventory people, so that "if" an assigment come in, they have a selection. I know their game . No thank you.

There are only a few good agencies - and they are usually small organizations - again, with this economy - their is zich temp work.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

72 months ago

Alicia in New Rochelle, New York said: Well I don't know about Colorado, but here in New York, you are not forced to work over night. The standard hours are 7am to 7pm three days a week unless you choose to work over night.

Hi Alicia - HUM- abaout those hours. If you are a nurse working in a hospital, someone has to work the graveyard shift. And plenty of nurses have to work 1 weeend a month.

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vh in Dayton, Ohio

72 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Please mention the "style" of paralegal that you are/were (corporate, government, etc.). And if you could mention how easy or difficult it is to get into that kind of position, availability

I'm trying to decide if going to school to be a paralegal is the right career move (as opposed to going to school for something else) and I've heard some differing views on this forum.

Maybe if I tell you what I want in career you might be able to tell me if being paralegal is a good job or may be able to suggest something better. I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

Don't do it. It can be rewarding and working with clients most of the time is great, however, you will never, never get the appreciation you deserve from the majority of the lawyers you work with. They have too many problems with lack of ethics, laziness, arrogance, egotism, lack of caring for their clients, abuse problems, greed, et cetera. I spent 35 years in the legal field and am still doing some part-time work now that I'm retired, and when I look back on it I should have become a physical therapist. The pay is horrible with plaintiff attorneys. The stress is horrendous, and the office politics can be brutal. If you do everything your attorney bosses tell you to do without question, you can be in danger of losing your license but the jerk keeps on going. It will always be your fault when something goes wrong. I'm sorry I ever wasted my life trying to be David up against Goliath. I had to leave three law firms because of their lack of ethic

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Alicia in New Rochelle, New York

72 months ago

Well Like I said before, People choose to work overnight. In the hospital I work at, Most of the nurses work overnight because they want to & because of their kids. No one is forced.

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hoosiergirl in Dallas, Texas

72 months ago

I, too, am interested in the paralegal field but my experience prior to this as a Registered Nurse. I can tell you that there are few nurses that are flat out forced to work certain shifts. There are A LOT of people who prefer night shift, it's not a big deal. Employers make night shift even more attractive by offering higher pay differentials. So, that all works out. Also, I have to disagree with the comment about people with two year degrees not being able to make 50,000 yearly. I know of PLENTY of people doing even better than that on their 2 YEAR DEGREES, such as myself and my brother who has a two year electronics degree. It's all relative to your region of the country and how much in demand your skills are.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

72 months ago

vh in Dayton, Ohio said: Don't do it. It can be rewarding and working with clients most of the time is great, however, you will never, never get the appreciation you deserve from the majority of the lawyers you work with. They have too many problems with lack of ethics, laziness, arrogance, egotism, lack of caring for their clients, abuse problems, greed, et cetera. I spent 35 years in the legal field and am still doing some part-time work now that I'm retired, and when I look back on it I should have become a physical therapist. The pay is horrible with plaintiff attorneys. The stress is horrendous, and the office politics can be brutal. If you do everything your attorney bosses tell you to do without question, you can be in danger of losing your license but the jerk keeps on going. It will always be your fault when something goes wrong. I'm sorry I ever wasted my life trying to be David up against Goliath. I had to leave three law firms because of their lack of ethic

Great post - I am a retired paralegal of 10years. The stress. And just how some of them talk to you sometimes.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

72 months ago

Alicia in New Rochelle, New York said: Well Like I said before, People choose to work overnight. In the hospital I work at, Most of the nurses work overnight because they want to & because of their kids. No one is forced.

Whatever you say Alicia.

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Overwhelmed in FL in Hudson, Florida

72 months ago

I must add my two cents. Do NOT do it!! I spent two years of my life in school and actually did get my AS in Paralegal Studies and was employed for about one year as a paralegal. I quit and am now preparing myself to invest one more year in an LPN program.

The stress of the legal field was overwhelming and unsettling. The stories of attorneys throwing chairs at their paralegals and tyrannical behavior was not a secret once I entered the field. If I had known about it prior, I may not have completed my paralegal education.

Keep in mind, many firms do not offer benefits; they are small businesses. The larger firms that do dangle benefits packages are often hiring individual paralegals with 10+ years experience or are hiring impoverished recent law school grads desparate for any work, even if it is as a paralegal, grunt-worker. I personally started in the field at just above minimum wage; pay is slow and hard earned.

Many in the legal field, myself included, are type "a" perfectionists who are working on severe deadlines and pressure from clients (Most are nasty, short-tempered, and wary of lawyers; some are nice and patient. It is often difficult to differentiate between the two). The whole scene is a volatile mix. And, you better beleive the attorneys will suck up your time! I often brought work home toward the end of my employment; that was a real wake up call. You give an inch they will demand a mile (even if it is a passive demand of leaving "post-it" notes with smiley faces, LOL).

Working as a paralegal is FULL of stress, deadlines, "post-it" notes, and serious disillusionment. I was completely disappointed with the legal field and am very excited (and nervous) to be starting on a new path in nursing in just one week!

So, if it is a non-stressfull, high-paying job you are looking for, working as a paralegal is not the path to take.

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Jennifer in Bellevue, Nebraska

72 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Please mention the "style" of paralegal that you are/were (corporate, government, etc.). And if you could mention how easy or difficult it is to get into that kind of position, availability

I'm trying to decide if going to school to be a paralegal is the right career move (as opposed to going to school for something else) and I've heard some differing views on this forum.

Maybe if I tell you what I want in career you might be able to tell me if being paralegal is a good job or may be able to suggest something better. I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

If you want a job that isn't stressful, paralegal work is not for you! I am a Litigation Paralegal and it can be extremely stressful!!!

I personally enjoy my job and the only time the stress makes me a little crazy is during trial time but that is to be expected when you are working 12+ hour days!

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Lindsay in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Please mention the "style" of paralegal that you are/were (corporate, government, etc.). And if you could mention how easy or difficult it is to get into that kind of position, availability

I'm trying to decide if going to school to be a paralegal is the right career move (as opposed to going to school for something else) and I've heard some differing views on this forum.

Maybe if I tell you what I want in career you might be able to tell me if being paralegal is a good job or may be able to suggest something better. I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

Looks like you are getting some negative feedback. I think a Paralegal career is a good one. Yes, it is stressful, however, you do need a positive attitude. One that complains all the time, won't get far. I have been working in the legal field for 25 years and I now work at a firm in St. Louis. The Paralegals here make GOOD money. One Paralegal is 28 and has an Assoc. Degree in Paralegal Studies and earns about $60,000 after 3 years experience. If you work in a large city...I believe you will always find work as a Paralegal.
Try to get an Assoc. Degree as a Paralegal, just a Certificate can be limiting. Find a reputable Recruiter, preferably one who HAS BEEN a Paralegal. I was most happy in Corp. Law (in-house) lots of interesting work. Litigation can be a drag. I also liked Estate Planning, lots of client contact. Real Estate is good if you like to read contracts. I hope this is helpful for you.

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Leigh in Fredericksburg, Virginia

71 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Maybe if I tell you what I want in career you might be able to tell me if being paralegal is a good job or may be able to suggest something better. I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

Jim, it has been my experience that in order to earn the salary you desire in the paralegal field, most of the mid- to large-size law firms will expect you to have at least a bachelor's degree, and will PREFER that you also have a paralegal certificate. As the other bloggers have stated, the job can be very stressful, but the level of stress can vary depending on what area of law you choose to work in and, of course, the personality of the attorney(s). I was in corporate and real estate, and I enjoyed it most of the time. There was some overtime, but not like the litigation paralegals. As for satisfying you need to feel appreciated, I found working in real estate (the residential side) very gratifying because the new homeowners were so excited (and apprehensive) about there purchase and appreciated the support I offered during this stressful time in their life. I even had clients send me a bouquet of flowers after the closing occurred. That made my day.

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ABC in Cincinnati, Ohio

71 months ago

I enjoy being a Paralegal. Right now work is really slow. If you want to be a Paralegal I suggest taking specialty courses in Bankruptcy and Foreclosure. I would also look into corporate courses and insurance courses. Those are usually the busiest fields. If you want to make a decent amount of money you have to work downtown in a large city. They usually pay the best and have the best benifits.

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Tara in Chicago, Illinois

71 months ago

I see that many of you mention that it is best to have a Bachelor's or an Associates degree, rather than a Certificate, in order to succeed as a paralegal.

Does that mean that you have to have a PARALEGAL Bachelor's or Associate's degree? I have a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology, and I was planning on just going for a Paralegal Certificate. Would it be better for me to get a Paralegal Associate's degree instead...even though, I already have a BA?

Thanks,
Tara

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Tara in Chicago, Illinois

71 months ago

Ha Ha! Thanks! Great news.

I am starting this new career at 35 years old. I need something that I can get into FAST...with a decent salary. Do you think that I can make $40k in Chicago to start? Does your salary increase with experience and years? I believe I saw on Monster.com that the average salary for a Paralegal MANAGER in Chicago was $90k...that sounds pretty great. At least, there is room to grow years later.
What do you think?

Are there paralegal programs that are considered to be the top or the best in the country? I am looking locally in Chicago at Roosevelt University, Northwestern Business College (not THE Northwestern), Robert Morris College, and Loyola University (all ABA-approved). I would assume that Loyola would be the best because of its "name"??? Are there more prestigious paralegal schools elsewhere that could offer me better job prospects?

Thanks again!

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HAPPYRN in Alhambra, California

71 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Please mention the "style" of paralegal that you are/were (corporate, government, etc.). And if you could mention how easy or difficult it is to get into that kind of position, availability

I'm trying to decide if going to school to be a paralegal is the right career move (as opposed to going to school for something else) and I've heard some differing views on this forum.

Maybe if I tell you what I want in career you might be able to tell me if being paralegal is a good job or may be able to suggest something better. I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

RUN LIKE HELL AWAY FROM THE PARALEGAL PROFESSION. YOU ARE TREATED LIKE DIRT BY LAWYERS AND YOU WILL NEVER GET $50,000.00. IF YOU START GETTING OLDER AND LOSE YOUR LOOKS, BYE, BYE. I OBSERVED A DUMB, PRETTY GIRL GOT A POSITION AT A WELL KNOWN LEGAL FIRM DUE TO LOOKS ONLY (SHE WAS DUMB AT SCHOOL AND CHEATED ON ALL TESTS) AND SHE GOT THE JOB!!!!!SO, I WENT INTO NURSING AND NOT ONLY DO I LOVE IT, BUT IT OFFERS JOB SECURITY.

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Lindsay in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

No, I've been in the filed for 25 years and as long as you have a Bachelors Degree in any field I believe a Paralegal "Certificate" is fine.

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Lianne in Omaha, Nebraska

71 months ago

Can you tell me what industry you moved to? I'm looking to take my 9 years of experience and BA in paralegal studies to a different field. But I have no idea what my degree and skills can transfer to. Thanks.

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Lindsay in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

Don't bother sending a cold resume...get a good headhunter and word of mouth is the best way to let people know you are looking for a new career. Do some volunteering in the field you are interested in...I hope this has been helpful. You may be interested in Nurse Consulting...a Paralegal Cert and/or Degree is wonderful for this field.

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Lindsay in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

I've had wonderful experiences with headhunters in L.A, however, that was many years ago. I believe that many of the current "style" of headhunters don't know what they're doing. A good and reputable headhunter is hard to find.

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Lindsay in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

The headhunters that I worked with were in Los Angeles and extremely professional...they "owned" their own small firm. They fully tested each applicant and if you were weak in an area (including math), you didn't have to worry they trained and groomed you in your weak areas so that you "aced" every interview. I got 3 job offers in one day! Unfortunately, the owner has since retired and sold the firm. I think there is a strong need for this type of agency...again.

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Dean Suraci in Cornwall, New York

71 months ago

With Headhunters, you can use them, but!!!, don't expect a whole lot going in. And, always verify at the interview what the Headhunter has told you about the position. For ex., on the phone a young Headhunter told me a sales job covered one county. At the interview, the manager told me it consisted of four counties.

As one seeks more advanced work, the Headhunters do become more professional and better. USUALLY, the ones that find you temp work and perm work from approx. $1 to $70,000 lie and misrepresent. It's more about the money with these kinds than about morals. Ever notice the job postings about some firm looking for a Headhunter, alot of times it says, "Must be money motivated".

Lindsay, it's very hard to believe that the agency that you used actually helped job applicants in their few weak areas. I have never heard of such a thing. I guess if they felt that the applicant was intelligent enough, dynamic, had a great personality, and impressive enough resume, they wouldn't mind given ALITTLE time & training to the applicant.

Heads on Indeed always like to make the point, "Sorry but we represent the company, they are our client and they pay our fee". True, but it still never justifies treating potential applicants poorly.

Headhunter, Scumbag, Headhunter, Scumbag, Headhunter, Scumbag-Usually no difference at all folks.

In ending, remember, just be cautious when using Heads.

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Lindsay in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

I am telling you the truth about the agency...it was in 1986 in Sherman Oaks, CA. They DID everything I said. They had a marvelous client list and had been in business at least since 1955. It was BEFORE the big Internet craze...before the "Monster" board. I know the new breed of headhunters are ill mannered and out for as much money as they can get...they want it all NOW. Well, that's just the way it is sometimes.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

71 months ago

Dean Suraci in Cornwall, New York said:

Headhunter, Scumbag, Headhunter, Scumbag, Headhunter, Scumbag-Usually no difference.."

In ending, remember, just be cautious when using Heads.

Dean in corwall NY- Well said. I concur.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

71 months ago

Jennifer in Bellevue, Nebraska said: If you want a job that isn't stressful, paralegal work is not for you! I am a Litigation Paralegal and it can be extremely stressful!!!

I personally enjoy my job and the only time the stress makes me a little crazy is during trial time but that is to be expected when you are working 12+ hour days!

Hello Jennifer in Nebraska-

I am a retired Paralegal of 10 yrs experience. And- I was in Litigation - lots of stress. I wa ok with it except - The worst stress however came from the attorneys with the most "personality disorders et al"

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ali in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

i was a paralegal for 9 years. it is not an industry to enter if you do not like stress. i was treated badly and unappreciated, so i went to law school. it was a good foundation for law school procedure courses and i was prepared for the research classes too. law at any level is a stressful career.

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ali in Saint Louis, Missouri

71 months ago

i moved to another city, really, the lawyers i previously worked for had a VERY hard time accepting a former paralegal among their ranks, and i took all paralegal work off my resume. i do try very hard to treat all staff with respect because i know how impatience can be perceived from the other side. but i do see now why the stress is so high and so is the anxiety. unfortunately, the legal climate in large law firms is such that a lawyer is under huge pressure to perform -- unreasonable and high billables which create a cranky, stressed individual who has to rely far too much on staff to perform, and then becomes even more stressed that their name, and ultimately, their license is on the line. a paralegal can be fired for bad work, and go to another firm or industry, but when you have spent in excess of $100000 (as i have) on a law degree, your very life is on the line every time you sign a pleading. i used to believe that all lawyers were jerks, but now i see that they are overworked, and that the pressure is 100x times that of staff, something that i didn't see and would not have acknowledged before (because i was so stressed myself). that being said, i don't excuse any lack of common courtesy and appreciation for a job well done, and i do believe that a thank you goes a long way and i don't forget it.

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Truth Hurts

71 months ago

Are other paralegals finding that there are no paralegal jobs. The only openings I see are from recruiters, revolving door firms, and job openings posted from last February.

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Allison in Stoughton, Massachusetts

71 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Jim, I am a paralegal in downtown Boston. I have worked as a paralegal for about four years now. I have experienced a real mixed bag in the industry. Since I was 19 I worked in law offices, I have my bachelors in legal studies as well as a paralegal certificate. I worked in Stoughton for awhile and the job was low stress, high reward in terms of the work and clients, and the attorney treated me well, however I reached a ceiling and looked to move on. I then went to work for a firm in Newton and it was a horror show. The firm was short staffed, the partners were arrogant to a toxic degree - specifically, they thought it was acceptable to sexually harass the staff, and to boot the staff were treated like toddlers - sign in and out, etc. In the time I worked there 3 people (in this office that totaled 13 people when I started) quit. I then went to work downtown and I have found it to be another terrible experience. The work here is unbelievably high stress. Again the office is substantially understaffed creating a lousy work environment. I've found these jobs to be grossly misrepresented as well, everything from the tasks to the salary.

I do not believe that this will be the case in every firm but I know our locations are nearby to one another so I wanted to let you know what I've experienced. I'm currently looking for another job again. I have found it's very difficult to find an office where the attorneys are respectful to the staff more often than not.

Anyway, hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask me if you have any further questions.

(Sorry to rant)

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Needing A Change ! in Charlotte, North Carolina

71 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?

Please mention the "style" of paralegal that you are/were (corporate, government, etc.). And if you could mention how easy or difficult it is to get into that kind of position, availability

I'm trying to decide if going to school to be a paralegal is the right career move (as opposed to going to school for something else) and I've heard some differing views on this forum.

Maybe if I tell you what I want in career you might be able to tell me if being paralegal is a good job or may be able to suggest something better. I want a job that
pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

I have been working as a legal secretary for almost 10 years now. And depending on the firm, the secretary does more and makes more money. I have a Paralegal Certificate and a B.S. in Criminal Justice and can't get a job as a paralegal...because I have no experience,,,,mind you, I know just about all that they do...different firms have different responsibilities..
I would say if that is your desire, go for it, just make sure you are in an area of your interest.

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Needing A Change ! in Charlotte, North Carolina

71 months ago

Lindsay in Saint Louis, Missouri said: Don't bother sending a cold resume...get a good headhunter and word of mouth is the best way to let people know you are looking for a new career. Do some volunteering in the field you are interested in...I hope this has been helpful. You may be interested in Nurse Consulting...a Paralegal Cert and/or Degree is wonderful for this field.

What does Nurse Consultants do ?

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Needing A Change ! in Charlotte, North Carolina

71 months ago

Alicia in New Rochelle, New York said: If you are looking for a short cut, appreciation & a nice starting salary, Nursing is a great way to go. All you need is an associate's degree & the starting salary for most nurses is 50,000 & Up.

Hey, I have also thought about going to school for nursing, but was afraid that it would take forever....any advice ?
I have been working as a legal secretary for almost 10 years now, I got a Para Certificate but can't get anything becuase I don't have the experience as a paralegal, well duh ! we do almost the same thing ! depending on the firm !

I am tired of the nasty attitudes lawyers have, and just want something different.

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Truth Hurts

71 months ago

I would first believe in the tooth fairy than believe that a cash strapped law firm in today's weak economy is willing to pay a finder's fee to a crooter to find someone to "fill" a position. As I say to crooter's, who pose as direct hiring firms in ads, I would send my resume but believe they already have enough TOILET PAPER.

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Truth Hurts

71 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

If I may say it, your Anthro background may be valuable in helping you understand the Neanderthal personality types you will encounter in the typical law office.

I needed a good laugh. True but funny !!!! Thanks.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

71 months ago

Allison in Stoughton, Massachusetts said:

You speak the truth Allison. In a weird way,I am glad to hear that some one else, who started their paralegal career auspiciously, then moved to another firm - and saw and experienced how insane it can be and had to move again because of the toxic nature of the environment - I too had to move, actually was terminated ( no special reason), and was able to get a another job - and yu can fall into a good place that works , which I have, and you can fall into another nightmare. I am now a retired paralegal with 10 years under my belt. You speak the real real. thank you.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

71 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: At least one headhunter around here has given the impression in its Craig's List ad it is a direct-hire firm.

I'd like to think my resume has more worth than toilet paper, but I appreciate your point.

DPL- Hello- Of course your resume is worth more than TOILET PAPER- the point which you have made before- are they real jobs these head hunters are advertising - or are they just trying to collect resumes SHOULD they get a job request- hence they are the TOILET PAPER collectors - because they have nothing else to do.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

71 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Hi, Cindy, I got "truth's" point. LOL. I guess headhunters need such supplies because they work in toilets.

Dpl- LOL,LOL- got to have this in our lives. - LOL- Thank you - cool compadre.

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kak in Phoenix, Arizona

70 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I don't buy it. Most people don't want to work overnight. So how do hospitals, nursing homes, etc. find nurses to work overnights if they aren't forced to?

Hospital nurses I've met here work three 12s a week.

I am a hospital nurse looking to go into paralegal because i hate patient care. pts are normally stupid and rude! its very stressful. you have to work weekends and holidays. most states it is pretty easy to get into a day shift. a lot of people love the night shift. pts are sleeping and there is no management around.

so i heard a paralegal with a nursing background would make a goldmine. was i misinformed??

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dh in Northern CA, California

70 months ago

Jim in Braintree, Massachusetts said: Do you like being a paralegal? Why or why not?...Maybe if I tell you what I want in career... I want a job that pays at least 50k (not at the start but after 5 years); that requires only an associates degree or no degree; that isn't super stressful; but that also is challenging and rewarding (meaning that my work makes a difference to my clients and they appreciate my effort). I don't know how well a paralegal job holds up to these standards but I'm interested to see what you think.

NO!!! I STRONGLY RECOMMEND AGAINST ANY NONLAWYER PROFESSION IN THIS INDUSTRY. I agree wholeheartedlh with DLP's comments that this profession will not measure up to your demanding standards. First of all, this profession is anything but rewarding. It is, however, very demanding, and while the pay may be better than other office jobs that people without 4-year degrees have, it is not close to being worth it. What makes the job challenging is the people for whom you will be working - attorneys. They are demanding, ungrateful, and sometimes downright mean. They will expect you to pull of the next-to-impossible and not thank you for it. They have a false sense of entitlement that needs to be squelched. Their attitudes are, "You owe me." They treat you terribly while acting like you are really lucky to be working for them.

I could no longer stand the legal industry. I left at 39 w/6 years' experience. I returned to school full time to effect career change. I will be 42 when I graduate with my Economics degree next spring. I had to move back to my hometown, where the cost of living is cheaper so that I could afford to live on 20 hours a week. I was willing to do anything to get out of this God-forsaken industry.

The job IS stressful because of the attorneys. Listen to VH in Dayton, DLP in CO, Overwhelmed in Florida, and a few others on this thread.

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Paralegal in Stoughton, Massachusetts

70 months ago

So why stay with it? To work long hours in a thankless job for crappy money? I don't see anything positive noted. Is there a positive side?

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Paralegal in Stoughton, Massachusetts

70 months ago

I have had very differing experiences thus far. I've worked in law since 1998 - part-time and summers while I obtained my bachelors and full time since then.

My first job post graduation was fabulous. I worked for a great guy and learned a tremendous amount. I was offered decent benefits and although the pay wasn't fabulous, he would often supplement my pay with bonuses. There were a variety of perks with this office, that included flexible hours and extra paid vacation days here and there. Everyone asks why I left this office. The answer is I reached a point where it became evident that there was no room left to grow and I wanted to make a move that would create a career for my future.

I switched into a position in downtown Boston. I've found this position to be the exact opposite of what i had previously experienced. This job is the thankless, overworked, underpaid that has previously been discussed. I have been disrespected regularly by the associate attorneys, and found the partners will show more respect than any staff member. The benefits are mediocre and the management in nonexistent. As a result the work-life balance sucks and the job has made me pretty miserable. In Boston, paralegals can make upwards of $70k depending on the field and experience. Needless to say, I'm not making anywhere near that figure.

I am currently seeking positions elsewhere that hopefully will provide me with a happy medium. I would like to work more "normal" hours and genuinely feel like I'm contributing to a positive environment. I would like to feel respected and like part of a team.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to wonder if this is really difficult to find in law. If this office proves to be as terrible as the one I'm in now, I'll likely look to switch fields altogether.

Sorry for the novel here!

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Undecided in Farmington, Minnesota

70 months ago

I've been reading all of your comments. I am an LPN making 40,000 and I need to make more money..my husband and whole family tell me that I have to get my RN. Great idea! More money but I hate being a nurse. I want to be a paralegal but the pay is not great. I'm torn between money and doing something I could potentially like. All I have heard are negative comments about being a paralegal so perhaps I should just stick with making more money as an RN?

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dh in Northern CA, California

70 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I would. But many personal injury, Workers' Comp and med mal firms employ nurse-paralegals. The pay may not be much more than for straight paralegal. And beware that attorneys are some of the most noxious, toxic personalities you'll encounter. I'd submit doctors are a day at the beach compared with attorneys.

Good luck with whichever direction you take.

I met a woman last week who feels about doctors the way I do about attorneys. She used to work in the medical field, but I'm not sure exacty in what capacity. I'm curious; so I'll ask her next time I see her. I was curious and wanted to ask why she hated the field so much but didn't get a chance to ask.

I've never heard anything bad about doctors, but I've never been acquainted with anyone in nursing.

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Experienced IP paralegal in Washington, District of Columbia

70 months ago

I've been a paralegal in intellectual property for 18 years. It's a stressful profession and at times I really envy legal secretaries mainly because they don't have to bill their time. I really hate billing my time; in fact, I advise anyone not to go into any profession where you have to bill. It gives you a totally different view of time (and not in a good way) and makes you realize how much time most people spend goofing off at work.

I've stayed in this profession because the money is good (at least in DC). Benefits and bonuses definitely aren't what they used to be. And I've experienced the crap others have mentioned (abusive attorneys, associates stealing paralegal work).

I'd caution anyone on paying too much for a paralegal certificate. I think a lot of these programs are scams, taking advantage of liberal arts grads who have no idea what to do with their lives. I have a certificate but the coursework was pretty unrealistic as far as what paralegals actually do. Legal research? Not so much.

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dh in Northern CA, California

70 months ago

Overwhelmed in FL in Hudson, Florida said: I must add my two cents. Do NOT do it!! I spent two years of my life in school and actually did get my AS in Paralegal Studies and was employed for about one year as a paralegal. I quit and am now preparing myself to invest one more year in an LPN program...working as a paralegal is not the path to take.

Hi Overwhelmed. I just now noticed your post. I'm a criminology dropout from UC Irvine (Calif). I wanted to be a criminal law paralegal.I dropped out because I was working as a part-time legal secretary while attending school full time. It didn't take long to realize that the legal industry is a total $hithole and that attys are the worst people on the face of the earth with whom to work. Law firms are very tense and often hostile environments. I never had a coworker who liked her job. what can you do with a CJ degree? Nothing unless you work in the legal field or law enforcement. Since I decided I wanted nothing to with the legal industry, I knew I was wasting my time and money with a Criminology degree-I dropped out. Besides, if I no longer have an interest in law, what would I do with the degree?

I went into the legal industry totally excited about a career in the legal field. I transferred in to UCI with a 3.85 GPA, and I already had my paralegal cert from UCLA. Working for attys killed all the ambitions I had regarding a career in this field. UUGH!! I can honestly say it was one of my worst life experiences. I quit school then floundered thru life a couple years wondering what to do. I was working as a full time legal sec during those years, and my hatred for the field intensified.

I have again returned to school full time. I'm an Economics major and graduate next May. I'll be 42 then. I moved to Northern CA so that I could afford to work 20 hours a week and focus on school. I was willing to do anything to get out.

Good luck with your LPN program. Undoubtedly, you'll be much happier.

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Experience IP Paralegal in Washington, District of Columbia

70 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Excellent post. Thank you.

Is IP interesting? It sounds like it would be from my perspective as someone who likes mechanical things, high-tech, contraptions, etc. At the same time, I've no doubt that patent infringement litigation, etc. can be as nasty and stressful as PI and WC.

************
It can be interesting but you're right about patent litigation being stressful. I've known patent paralegals whose lives were practically consumed by a case (I'm talking practically living at the office).
Patent prosecution is a little odd when it comes to paralegals because at a lot of firms, that work, especially US patent work, is really done by the secretaries. Secretaries with a lot of specialized knowledge and experience, but still. Before I got into trademarks, I was a foreign filing patent paralegal. It was pretty boring, mainly centered around forms, but the billing was standard fee rather than hourly, so that part I liked.

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LL in Livonia, Michigan

70 months ago

Truth Hurts said: Are other paralegals finding that there are no paralegal jobs. The only openings I see are from recruiters, revolving door firms, and job openings posted from last February.

I agree 100%. Of course I live in the highest unemployment state in the nation so that doesnt help much. But i cant get a job in the legal field to save my life. I graduated in 2005 and started to work at Ford Motor Co in their legal department. After I was laid off in 2006, I had over 70 interviews and within the last 6 months zero interviews. No job offers, tons of competition and they are paying 10 hr for what they are advertising. Now all I see is Robert Half Legal posting and thats it. Im quite frustrated with the job hunt by now.

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