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Do You Have to Be Currently Employed to Get a Paralegal Job?

Do You Have to Be Currently Employed to Get a Paralegal Job?
But do you have to have a job already?

A recent post at reports that unemployment discrimination continues, with the National Employment Law Project recently revealing a new list of job postings requiring applicants to be currently employed.

In plain language, you can’t get some jobs unless you have a job. One of the job listings revealed by NELP included an executive assistant/legal secretary position in California.

In March 2011, I blogged about the introduction of The Fair Employment Act of 2011 (H.R. 1113), and asked my readers to send me any legal staffer want ads they find requiring applicants to be currently employed. So far, no readers have sent ads with that requirement.

Today I did a very quick search of Craigslist and Monster ads for legal staffers, and found only one employer in recent months seeking a currently employed PI Paralegal in Tampa, Florida. (Disclaimer: I definitely could have missed some ads with that language, and again, encourage you to email me any legal staffer postings you find with the “currently employed” requirement.)

I do have a unpleasant theory. Since the introduction of The Fair Employment Act, I suspect that some employers are leaving the “must be currently employed” language out of their want ads, and simply placing the applications of unemployed applicants at the bottom of the pile. After all, what prevents them from doing so?  Even if this practice was prohibited by law, how difficult would it be to police?

Readers, I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts and personal experiences. Do you think that not having a job is a serious obstacle to getting hired for a legal staffer position?

One Response to Do You Have to Be Currently Employed to Get a Paralegal Job?

  1. This seems like it would be nearly impossible to enforce for the reason you mentioned: Employers don't say it they just do it quietly on the side.

    It seems there are all sorts of unfair barriers tossed into the path of job seekers…either conscious or not. And almost all of them would be difficult to impossible to police.

    When the employment situation turns again, and job seekers don't outnumber jobs by hundreds to one, the practices will drift into memory.

    Alex Hardesty

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Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

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Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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