Is being a paralegal that bad?

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

52 months ago

Actually real estate is huge right now for paralegals. Lots of lawsuits surrounding real estate with the housing bust.

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Tess in Chicago, Illinois

19 months ago

I started working as a paralegal about 3 months ago (part-timed prior to that at other jobs while in college) and I think, as with everything, there are two sides to every coin. I get paid a decent entry-level wage of $30K plus health insurance and 2 weeks vacation (we'll see if that latter part ever happens). There are days at the office that are awesome and make me think that I should keep pursuing that law degree so that I have a reason to stay with the firm and there are days when walking out rightthisveryminute seems like the only logical option for keeping my sanity and a remote level of happiness. I try not to think about the fact that I have two bachelors degrees because that can make surviving the paralegal world very depressing.

I think anyone who wants to be a paralegal should have a very realistic idea of what's this job entails. It is stressful, you will be treated like you are the gum on the bottom of the lawyer's shoe, and there really is no way to move up the ladder without spending the 100k+ to become an attorney (and hopefully not treat paralegals like crap once you do).

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Mairmoni in Columbus, Georgia

6 months ago

Donald_ in New Jersey said: The LSAT is only if your applying to law school. If you just want to be a paralegal, there is absolutely no need to take it. ALso, since you don't have a paralegal degree, you will need a paralegal certificate.

As an older retired school teacher (57) taking abuse from an attorney can not possibly be as frustrating as the verbal abuse from an elementary school student. As a school teacher we must always use positive reinforcement and positive disciplinary actions to redirect student behavior. Maybe that is why schools are locked down with very high security measures in place to protect everyone at school. I would rather take verbal abuse from an attorney than a middle schooler any day.

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LS in Edmond, Oklahoma

6 months ago

Mairmoni, the issue isn't so much whether or not an elementary school student is more abusive than an attorney, but why a person would place themselves in such an abusive situation, when there are better jobs out there. Any type of abuse is unacceptable.

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JF in CA

6 months ago

Being a paralegal can really be that bad depending on the type of law you're doing and where you're working. I've worked as a paralegal at a government agency, a large corporation and two gigantic business law firms. Law firms are terrible to work for and most of the stories about nightmare attorneys and nightmare working conditions probably come from people employed there (other forum posters can set me straight if I'm wrong about this.) Government agency and corporate jobs are much better and more humane places to work because there a way more non-lawyers than lawyers and that tends to humble and humanize them and because their arrogant,abusive behavior simply won't be tolerated the way it is in private practice. I think the fact that you also have plenty of other places to go in government and corporate jobs tends to check the behavior of the attorneys as well. Unfortunately, the vast majority of jobs are with private law firms and the competition for corporate jobs is fierce.

Like you, I have a short temper. I also have a pretty sharp tongue. Attorneys will provoke you nearly everyday and you'll have to battle with your temper frequently. I have lost my temper with an attorney once, and told her exactly what I thought of her. I didn't get fired, but that's only because it was an associate I blew up at, not a partner.

There are some hard facts you will have to accept if you decide to pursue this line of work. The attorneys will not respect you or appreciate you. Period. Whatever you do, it won't be good enough, fast enough, complete enough, etc. When, heaven forbid, you make a mistake, count on the attorney coming down on you for it like the wrath of God. Mistakes the attorneys make? Those are you're fault
too. It's not an easy path. If you don't have a strong interest in the subject matter you'll be working in then being a paralegal probably won't be worth it.

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Yup in San Diego, California

6 months ago

"There are some hard facts you will have to accept if you decide to pursue this line of work. The attorneys will not respect you or appreciate you. Period. Whatever you do, it won't be good enough, fast enough, complete enough, etc. When, heaven forbid, you make a mistake, count on the attorney coming down on you for it like the wrath of God. Mistakes the attorneys make? Those are you're fault
too. It's not an easy path. If you don't have a strong interest in the subject matter you'll be working in then being a paralegal probably won't be worth it."

True that. Type "A" on steroids. No matter how much you try to explain this to someone who hasn't worked for an attorney, they just can't understand until they've lived it.

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