The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
A lot of law firms may be pinching pennies, but don’t let them pinch the ones that you’re legally entitled to. I don’t know why I’m still surprised when I get email or see listserv queries from paralegals and legal assistants wondering if they should be paid for their overtime hours. A significant number of them report they have been told that since they are salaried, they aren’t entitled to overtime, which just isn’t true.
She noted that a Department of Labor advisory opinion from 2005, FLSA 2005-9, specifically addressed the issue of whether a paralegal with a four-year degree, a paralegal certificate, CLE and 22 years’ experience could fall under the professional exemption, and concluded he or she could not.
Rather, the exemption is only available for paralegals who possess advanced specialized degrees in other professional fields and apply advanced knowledge in that field in the performance of their duties. For example, an engineer, hired as a paralegal to provide expert advice on product liability or patent cases, could qualify.