How to Get a Job as a Paralegal
"In a competitive job market, candidates can set themselves apart by becoming credentialed after completing their formal education," said Tracey Young, former president of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and now a board adviser, in an email. "By successfully passing a voluntary certification exam such as the Paralegal CORE Competency Exam, candidates demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the essential skills and concepts necessary to effectively work as a paralegal." To get a leg up on the competition, Young says, job seekers should "join a local paralegal association to network and get an inside track on employment opportunities, and to volunteer for pro bono opportunities with the paralegal association or bar association to get practical experience as well as network with the legal community."
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Paralegals
"How are you with high volume and a stressful environment?" - American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. Litigation Paralegal Candidate (Dallas, TX)
"Describe your knowledge of the bankruptcy process." - Allmand Law Firm Paralegal Candidate (Dallas, TX)
"If you discovered a mental patient was in the hospital and put there due to a mistake in a legal proceeding, would you recommend to an attorney that he/she be removed even if it was not in the best interest of the patient?" - Ohio Legal Rights Service Paralegal Candidate (Columbus, OH)
What is the Job Like?
Simply put, paralegals handle the grunt work for lawyers. The upside is freedom from personal liability. The presiding attorneys take credit and responsibility for all of the documents that come out of a legal practice. Proving themselves through their work, paralegals gain more autonomy and responsibilities at these firms. The workload can fluctuate drastically from week to week and practice to practice. The same applies to the stress level paralegals experience. Large law practices offer greater advancement opportunities.
Real Reviews From Paralegals
+ "Very consistent work. Easy enough to learn." - Lerner, Sampson, & Rothfuss Service Paralegal (Location Unknown)
+ "The people are friendly, laid-back and super smart. Good work/life balance and culture compared to other law firms. Interesting work as clients are exciting companies on the cutting edge." - Gunderson Dettmer Corporate Paralegal (Location Unknown)
- "Be prepared to cancel your dinner plans. Oh, and your weekend plans too. But you won't know these things until you're about to head out for the day." - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Corporate Paralegal (Location Unknown)
- "Very little feedback or guidance given by superiors. Assignments are doled out and you may not see the associate you're working with again until you receive new one." - Pepper Hamilton Paralegal (Philadelphia, AP)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.