Does anyone have knowledge about the Paralegal field? I am considering it as a new career, if things continue to get more miserable at my job. Specifically, what salary range could I look for? What about online degrees? Are they acceptable to employers and just as good as a degree from a brick and mortar classroom? I am very interested in this type of work, and curious if the money spent on internet universities would be a good investment. I would take the classes in spare time, while continuing to work.
I was hired into an office as a legal secretary and proceeded to be trained as a paralegal. Its not easy but is extremely interesting...... depending on the office you get hired into. Over the internet.....?
Get in as a legal secretary somewhere and let them train you. Nothing like on the job training. After I had been there a year and 1/2 I was offered a job, (sight unseen) $40,000.00 a year by a company in Denver no paralegal needed just the Legal Secretary experience.
A Legal Secretary job, is basically like any secretarial job, just very fast typing needed...at least 60 wpm....and the ability to tolerate a bunch of over inflated egos.......I can tell you some hilareous stories with a top attorney I worked for.........I quit him....but we are now good friends.
I work for an attorney's office and there are quite a few who are hard to work with. But I enjoy the work. We handle child abuse case so I feel like we are making a difference in the world.
I do not have a title as Paralegal but I do a lot of paralegal work. Too bad I do not get the pay.
Look ino your state's laws. Here in CA to get descent pay you need professional training; the school needs to be approved by the State Bar.
I'm the manager of a law firm, and I was a legal secretary/paralegal for 25 years (at least; feels longer). In my experience, it is very difficult to get a paralegal degree and then jump right into a paralegal position. The advice to start off training as a legal secretary is good. That way you make contacts, get experience (the courses don't teach you the mechanics of actually doing the job) and then see if you want to do it. You'll have better options that way.
Depending on what branch of law you want to go into, you can either find a nice niche job or work yourself to death. But I guess you could say that about any profession!
If you do get a degree, I would check with the national associations to see if accredation matters to obtain membership. Some schools have it (usually involves their legal library as well as coursework)and some don't. Online degrees are not that well respected in most fields. I would think less so in that field. Experience is probably going to be the best thing. The secretary route is good, OJT and you may be able to get firm to pay for off hours courses or training.
Virgochik I sent you a PM
Employers are reluctant to hire people who have earned online degrees or certificates. Be warned
In my experience, it is very difficult to get a paralegal degree and then jump right into a paralegal position.
Very true. Our youngest son finished college about 7 months ago, where he studied to be a paralegal. He has been working at several different law firms since then, as a law clerk, temporary jobs while someone is on maternity leave or having surgery, etc.
All the law firms hiring paralegals want experience, so he is gathering that part for his resume doing the mundane jobs.
He just applied for a job as a paralegal at the county prosecutor's office where he has a good chance of getting hired. He is hooked up with a job search place, for the state (free), where they send him on interviews. So far he has gotten every job they've sent him for, but this is the first paralegal job. The salary, if he gets it, is between $3,000 and $4,000 a month. I saw the paperwork for this job, and was very surprised at the pay.
The jobs he has had as a law clerk have paid $14.00 an hour.