Paralegal Grad Having Trouble Finding Work

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Comments (11)

Donald in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

64 months ago

Hi everyone,

I am only a few weeks away from earning my BS in paralegal studies from Kaplan Univeristy. I'm in New York City, and I am having a ton of trouble finding an entry level paralegal job. Almost all of the job postings I see want soem sort of experience. I applied for a few jobs, but heard no response. I'm just curious, is having an online degree a major disadvantage in the paralegal field?

Right now I don't know what to do. I am deciding whether I should apply for government work in the DAs office, US attorney's office, etc. or if I should take a part time job while I do my MBA.

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Donald_ in New Jersey

64 months ago

Thanks for the reply. So is my main problem that I got my degree online, or that it is not ABA-approved? Because I would imagine that someone with a BS in paralegal studies would be more attractive than someone with a completely unrelated degree and a paralegal certificate.

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Donald_ in New Jersey

64 months ago

Do you know how I can get a part time paralegal job? I wanted to have a part time job while I do my MBA.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

64 months ago

Do you know how I can get a part time paralegal job? I wanted to have a part time job while I do my MBA.

Sure: DO A JOB SEARCH.

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Donald_ in New Jersey

64 months ago

I was just wondering whether an ABA certificate is really that important because when I search monster, career builder, etc. I have only seen one or two jos specifically require an ABA certificate. In fact, I have actually seen more jobs require fluency in a foreign language than an ABA certificate.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

64 months ago

Don, you're beginning to be a pain in the butt.

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Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida

64 months ago

DON:

An ABA certificate is a regional preference. Look at the specific job postings in your area, join your local paralegal association, network - and see what credentials are being asked for. In my region, ABA certificate is a nice 'extra' but certainly not required. The 2 paralegals I knew who had ABA certificates, weren't even such great paralegals. An ABA certificate merely means that the school went though a bunch of hoops and paid a bunch of money to get ABA accreditation. There are many quality paralegal programs that are not ABA approved. I would go further to say that obtaining the CLA/CP or RP certification is a higher-grade credential than ABA certification.

Your biggest disadvantage right now is lack of actual legal work experience. In my experience, one of the best ways to deal with that is to look at solo practitioners and small firms, and/or even for legal secretary jobs. This will get your foot in the door where you can learn a lot and work your way up. The strict division between secretary and paralegal is becoming a thing of the past. Especially in smaller firms where they need 'all hands on deck'. If you show initiative and motivation, they'll teach you, then you can take that experience and move on to a larger firm for a dedicated paralegal position.

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

64 months ago

The market just has to be flooded with unemployed paralegals with all of the layoffs that have been happening.

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Brenda in Houston, Texas

43 months ago

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Finance, paralegal certification, graduation from the University of Florida Legal Studies Program, and five years' experience (although three of those years are in Florida, not in Texas) in the legal field. I also have excellent references. I cannot get a decent job as a paralegal in Houston, Texas. What gives? Is anyone else having this problem? I do have some short-term employment due to my husband transferring first from Texas to Florida and then back as well as one firm dissolution. However, previous non-legal employment is long-term. And recruiters are no help.

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Brenda in Houston, Texas

43 months ago

Well, that's why I am now pursuing nursing. Surely that is not going away!

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Name in Kansas City, Missouri

43 months ago

Donald_ in New Jersey said: I was just wondering whether an ABA certificate is really that important because when I search monster, career builder, etc. I have only seen one or two jos specifically require an ABA certificate. In fact, I have actually seen more jobs require fluency in a foreign language than an ABA certificate.

Donald_ in New Jersey said: I was just wondering whether an ABA certificate is really that important because when I search monster, career builder, etc. I have only seen one or two jos specifically require an ABA certificate. In fact, I have actually seen more jobs require fluency in a foreign language than an ABA certificate.

I have been told by the directors of paralegal programs and many lawfirms I have talked to really the only place ABA certification is a concern is for the state of California. They are the only state that requires you to be ABA certified. Others it just may look good. I know in the midwest mayb ABA certified programs are not even offered, so it is not an issue there really.

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