The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Or, How Not to Get a Job in the Legal Field. Ever.
But lately I’ve noticed a trend in paralegal want ads which state, “No JDs please” or “No JDs need apply.” A recent post from Above the Law, “A Mass. Lawyer You Don’t Want to Work For and a Law Student You Don’t Want to Hire,” may provide a clue as to why law firms are suddenly specifically excluding lawyers from applying for paralegal positions.
In a nutshell, a Massachusetts law student saw an ad for a paralegal on Craigslist and applied for the job. He advanced to an interview, which apparently went swimmingly, with the female attorney seriously considering him for the job – but asking for a month’s test run.
For many paralegals who’ve been unsuccessfully looking for work for a long time, getting offered a trial run might have been a step in the right direction.
But in this case, the request for a probationary period did not go over well, and an increasingly acrimonious email exchange (also known as a “digital hot mess”) ensued – with neither party apparently willing to let the other have the last word. The relationship turned about as sour as one can get between two professed “colleagues” (their word, not mine), with excerpts from their emails eventually appearing on one of the most widely read blawgs on the planet.
Published gems included:
If your [sic] not happy with your secretary, then deal with it one on one with her. Why would you think that I or anyone else would want to get involved with your internal affairs. What next? Do you want me to kiss your feet her Royal Highness?
You need to read the post and see the video (fodder for a whole separate post on why legal professionals should not “get stuff off their chests” on YouTube) for yourself. But they’ve got everything for the requisite pot-boiler: grammar snipes, secretly-shopped employees, misogyny, our founding fathers – and camera angles that made me a wee tad motion sick.
The good news for paralegals is that there could be a whole lot more “No JDs need apply” in future job postings…
P.S. Take it from an experienced litigation paralegal, shooting from the hip with your Blackberry can really come back to haunt you.