Want to be a paralegal before law school, questions for paralegals?

If you are currently a Paralegal or legal assistant, I'd appreciate it if you could provide some insight on your career and the steps you had to take to get there.

I want to go to law school at some point, but since it's not in the immediate future, I'd like to be a paralegal or legal assistant. I've been out of college for three years now and haven't been on my career path, just some unrelated jobs here and there. I've never worked in a law firm or a legal department, although over four years ago I did intern in adult probation. I didn't finish my degree and would like to get into a paralegal training program to get many of the skills I see in job postings for them.

How did you get your foot in the door to become a legal assistant? Were you a receptionist or clerk or secretary at first? What did you do before that? What is your education level, what skill set did you have when you first got into it, and did you get your first job in the field by knowing others already in it?

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    That was the path I took, and it was a mistake. If I had it to do all over again, I would go into the vocational field of Healthcare <THAT's where the jobs are. There are NO jobs in the vocational field of Law.

    The only way somone is successful in the vocational field of Law today, is if they have a mommy or a daddy who is already a partner in a law firm.

    Warning> Jobs in the field of Law are drying up fast!! This no longer is a good field to invest time and/or money into. This is a SHRINKING, crumbling, and dying vocational field. Many, many reasons. Also, we simply already have way too many Legal Professionals - we just have an absolute glut!! ("Legal Professionals" includes, but is not limited to: Attorneys/Lawyers, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Legal Secretaries, Bailiffs, Court Reporters, etc, etc) And, every year, more and more people graduate from law school, but there are fewer and fewer jobs. Even the largest and most reputable law firms are experiencing unprecedented cutbacks. I don't expect the situation to improve in the coming years.....

    http://abovethelaw.com/2010/01/this-week-in-layoff...

    The field of Law has a mystique that actually exceeds reality. The field of Law is a vastly overrated career - especially by television.<< There are many myths regarding the field of Law. Law is a more demanding profession than most people realize. It is not like what you see on TV.

    Cost of law school to be lawyer, approx $150,000+. Be prepared to take on a LOT of debt, if becoming an attorney is your "true", ultimate goal!!!<<<

    Regarding being a Paralegal: Employers (usually law firms) in the field of Law TODAY want employees with >>>BACHELORS<<< degrees from traditional (bricks and mortar) colleges/universities. Those "certificates" you see advertised aren't worth the paper they are printed on - they are generally SCAMS. (>>I found this out the hard way.) Also, the law school's program needs to be accredited by the American Bar Association - if it isn't, you are just wasting your time/money.

    Even if you do finish law school, you won't be able to find a job when you are done. Since this vocational field is shrinking (at an alarming rate), many new attorneys/lawyers are, themselves, having to work as Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Legal Secretaries, Bailiffs, Court Reporters, etc, etc, to simply try to keep some of their bills paid <<this would be your competition. And the competition is fierce in TODAY's job market!!

    Now... the law schools know this, but they won't tell you the truth >that the job market/economy is just SATURATED with way too many Legal Professionals. Instead the schools will feed you a fairytale and will LIE to you. The root of the problem is we already have too many law schools. We are STILL in a Recession, and the schools are fighting for their own survival - they will tell students anything to get to the students' money. (Which is why they won't tell you the truth about the job market for the field of Law.) And these schools continue to recruit and churn out even more graduates.............Remember>>> law schools are BUSINESSES - their TOP concern is making money for themselves. Law schools are cash cows.

    >>>>>THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING (and I can't stress this enough>>>): You ESPECIALLY have to beware of the BOGUS, INFLATED law school salary/job stats given out by >law schools< (AND by the U.S. Bureau of Labor)!!***<<<<<

    If you don't believe me, then:

    **Check out these websites:

    http://shillingmesoftly.blogspot.com/2010/09/meet-...

    http://subprimejd.blogspot.com/

    http://lawandletters.blogspot.com/2007/11/why-you-...

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transit...

    http://www.abanet.org/lsd/legaled/value.pdf

    http://beingaparalegalsucks.blogspot.com/

    (A link to a website does not constitute endorsement.)

    **do a SEARCH here on Yahoo Answers to see what other posters are saying about the current status of the field of Law.

    If you want a JOB when you are done with your studies, consider and look into the fields of: >>>Healthcare<<<, Information Technology, Law ENFORCEMENT, environmentalism, emergency planning, accounting, education, entertainment, utilities, home-car-commercial-industrial repairs, vice industries, clergy, and/or debt collection. I spoke to a career counselor from Jobs and Family Services, and HE told me that these areas are where the jobs are, and future job opportunities/availability....and scholarships.

    Good luck.

    (This is based on my current knowledge, information, belief, and life experiences. This was intended as personal opinion, and not intended to be used as legal advice. Please be careful and do your research.<<< You DID ask the question here on Y/A. I am just trying to help you.)

    Source(s): life have actually worked in the field of Law for twelve years started at the very bottom rung and clawed my way up now actually am a CURRENT employee of a law school, so I KNOW and see (too much?!?) don't have time to watch those TV law shows - the couple that I did watch weren't realistic, at all TV glamorizes the field of Law - Reminder: TV is FICTION!!! - do your research first! - the field of Law is actually a lot of paperwork and politics - and law school is VERY expensive, so know what you are getting into wish someone would have warned ME sooner so now I TRY to warn and help others (that actually want to know, will listen and not get defensive) I am simply tired of watching students getting ripped off by law schools so many students have come to me- upset because they could not find employment- I am just trying to warn as many as I can, and trying to fulfill a promise I am answering you in good faith.
  • sesser
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    How is it that undergraduates nonetheless have not gotten the message approximately regulation college, have not you learn a newspaper within the final four years? The least you would do is cross to the NY Times internet site and browse the articles they wrote approximately how NONE of the regulation college graduates have become jobs, or learn the ABA's possess record that almost all graduates even from best tier colleges wouldn't have jobs. Whatever you do..do not cross to regulation college, the following time you log in to Facebook verify out web page known as Don't Go to Law School

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