Whoo boy, here we go again....
So you're finishing college and your life plans don't extend much beyond dinner. Join the club. If you wanna kill some time before applying to grad school or just make enough money to avoid moving in with your parents, you should consider working as a paralegal for a few years, because if you have a college degree and decent grades, you're qualified to be an entry-level paralegal.Umm... yeah... 'cause that's how all of us end up "living the dream" in the lower half of Big Law. Truth be told, I fell into this profession after other plans collapsed. But many of us didn't serve in the purgatory of college. I immediately resent the implication that being a good paralegal requires a particular level of education. All it REALLY requires is intelligence, patience, and more than a little anal-retentive organization skill.
Some paralegal positions require a paralegal certificate, a diploma you get after taking an accredited course in paralegal studies. But these certificates, and the positions that require them, are mostly for people who wish to be career paralegals. So don't fear -- there are plenty of positions available for recent college grads that don't require a paralegal certificate.True, some firms will require a certification before you can work there. Those firms should be avoided unless you have no other choice for employment. A firm requiring formal certification prior to employment is being unfairly discriminatory. Speaking from experience, it is possible, nay likely, that great candidates could slip through their fingers because they value certification over education and/or experience.
1. Make Sure You Really Want The Job.Duh. I really wanted to be a male stripper, but since those jobs are hard to come by I'll apply for a low-paying menial job shuffling some overpaid asshole's papers instead, since that's nearly as good.
Legal work can be thrilling, spiced with the intrigue of courtroom drama and back-room dealing -- but not for a paralegal. Let's be serious. Paralegals exist to make lawyers look good.Wow. A kernel of truth at last.
As a paralegal, you will perform administrative tasks such as filing, retrieving and organizing documents, photocopying, and the ever-popular numbering of pages. Depending on the employer, when taking a break from hole-punching, you may get to participate in more glamorous tasks such as interviewing witnesses or drafting legal documents.
What are the benefits of being a paralegal?
First of all, the experience may help you figure out what to do with your life. For instance, it might help you decide:
Second, being a paralegal might help you get into law school. Admissions officers may think that your experience as a paralegal demonstrates that you have carefully considered your decision to enter the field.
Years of reading Above the Law have taught me that law schools will admit pretty much anyone with a pulse.
The article goes on for a while longer to tell us some of the obvious things we all know. Like not blowing the job interview. (Wow, that never crossed my mind.)
To be fair, there's some good advice in there for those brand-new to the profession. Overall it's one of the better variants on this theme. They oversimplify things, but don't sugar-coat them too much. I'd certainly send this link to anyone interested in this profession.