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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,” wrote Tracey Young, former president of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and now a board advisor, 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 writes, 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.”

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)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility fair Average
Stress Level fair Average
Flexibility fair Average

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 the documents that come out of a legal practice. By proving themselves through their work, paralegals can gain more autonomy and responsibilities at their firms. The workload can fluctuate drastically from week to week and practice to practice, but most in the field work full time. The same applies to the stress level paralegals experience. Large law practices offer greater advancement opportunities.

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Last updated by Harriet Edleson.

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