How Hard is it for a Paralegal to Land a Job at a Good Law Firm?

LawCrossing asked attorneys and legal staff members throughout the country how hard it is for a paralegal to land a job at a good law firm. I was interviewed along with lots of other professionals.

You can CLICK HERE to read the full article then tell us what you think in the comments below… how hard IS it to land a job at a good firm?


  • Betsy LaChance

    Linda: You were right on point with your statements. As you know, I am a very professional, mature legal secretary and I have been sending out numerous resumes and interviewed several times but always hear “we are still interviewing” and I never receive the courtesy of hearing back from them.

    It appears they do not want anyone with over 10 years of experience.

    I think you are an amazing lady, Linda and I adore you. Love, Betsy


    Much has changed since I became a paralegal back in the early 80’s. The partner I worked for recognized my talent and experience and decided he could bill clients for the services I was performing in the area of commercial real estate and title transactions. I was pirated away by Steel Hector, where I again had the pleasure of working for a partner who demanded I use my experience, writing, cognitive, analytical and other skills to handle tasks he would have given to an associate. I worked my tail off for a very stern task master and was then offered something entirely different when I joined a company where I eventually became a VP, organized and ran the legal department, did all the Corporate and SEC compliance, and played a significant role in three additional private offerings. Unfortunately, I chose to take a much needed break when that position was dissolved, stayed away for too long, and found myself at the bottom of the power curve when I decided to rejoin the legal work force.

    Be that as it may, I still managed to find some very interesting work at an international maritime firm where I was able to utilize my skills in the transactional arena as well as the SEC and corporate compliance, and then became director of corporate compliance for another publicly traded company. When they shut down their Miami operations in 2011, I got a real taste of just how hard it is to find yourself between today’s concept of a “paralegal” and what I had grown accustomed to over the years.

    The economy notwithstanding, I can tell you that only one of the lawyers I interviewed with was smart enough to hire me as a consultant, and none (whether in-house or at a law firm) has been able to look beyond my age and the breadth of my experience to offer me a position or give me a shot at one. I know I have all the skills, the talent, the willingness to work myself silly, ambition, the desire to learn and nearly everything else they could wish for in an employee (except that I am not presently fluent in Spanish) but the welcome mat has never been placed at an open door beckoning me to enter. All in all, I’m sure I expect too much after listening to all those verbal speeches in the HR classes about the value of talent regardless of one’s age.

    In addition, there is a tremendous amount of competition for the amount of billable work in the law firms. An attorney who has never utilized a paralegal with the real, true skills and knowledge to deliver work they are comfortable billing a client for will usually choose from the plethora of available law school graduates instead. While this seems natural and intuitive, it works against people like me and paralegals in general — regardless their level of experience, education, knowledge, ability and every other desirable trait in a valuable employee.

Leave a Reply