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Paralegal Job Fair 101: What to Wear

Paralegal Job Fair 101: What to Wear

After participating in the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division Job Fair last Friday, I’m going to share a few posts about the experience, geared toward paralegal students, as well as new paralegal graduates and job seekers. Today’s post is mostly a pictorial one, featuring a few of the terrifically and appropriately dressed attendees at the fair, most of them seeking their first paralegal job.

I want to add there were over a hundred attendees, and I saw very few that were not appropriately dressed for a job-seeking and networking event. I was manning the workers’ compensation table with fellow NCBA PD Council member, Joy Belk, NCCP. I also discussed my work supporting attorneys in the areas of immigration and Social Security disability. After my first outfit picture, Joy really got into the spirit of the career style mini-project, spotting, grabbing. and styling people who were really rocking the whole interview outfit look. (Sorry, about the yellow tint to the pics, all indoor under fluorescent lights).

Without further ado, here are some great ideas about what to wear to a paralegal job fair (in the order taken):

Margaret Powers, a student at the ABA-approved post-graduate Meredith College Paralegal Program, is wearing a suit dress from Pendleton, Naturalizer pumps, and her aunt’s pearl necklace.

Rebecca Davis, NCCP, is wearing a NYGARD blazer (we loved the terrific black trim), and a Jessica London lace-trimmed blouse. She’s also wearing a simple pearl necklace, which is a great accessory for an interview outfit.

Marion Young, NCCP, is a Past Chair of NCBA PD, and was volunteering, not job-hunting, but I loved her blue linen dress suit scored from a sale rack at Belk. When asked about her shoes, she said they were “100 years old”. When asked about the terrific long chain she’s wearing, she said, “My mama gave it to me because she loves me.” I love you, too, Marion.

Joy and I were gobsmacked by Veronica Rockwell, NCCP’s terrific herringbone suit, and even further gobsmacked when she told us she scored it at a bathing suit shop in Topsail Beach, NC, last year.

When I saw Debbie Burch approach our table, she was so stunning, I thought she looked like an editor of a high fashion magazine. Because of the indoor lighting (and my still rudimentary photography skills), this picture does not do justice to her well-cut suit and green short-sleeved sweater scored from a Talbot’s Outlet, the pretty necklace with green beads purchased from Ross-Simons online, and her chic but comfortable Easy Spirit pumps.

This is another photo that does not reflect how beautifully turned out Kathryn Wiegand was in person. She was just so wonderfully tall and elegant. She’s wearing the pants and jacket from a three-piece suit she purchased for under $80 at jcp, pearl jewelry and a drape-neck white blouse she bought at Target, and super-comfortable Merrill shoes. Her pulled back hair was the perfect touch.

I took several headshots for job fair participants who did not have a LinkedIn photo, including Kathryn’s, which again emphasizes how elegant she looked – and that you can get a great headshot for LinkedIn at home.

Joy and I probably frightened Wanda Wright a bit when we photo-jacked her, because we loved the ribbon detail on her suit so much, as well as her great brief case. Wanda purchased her suit on sale at Steinmart for about $70, her bag on sale at Target for $29.99, and her shoes at Off Broadway. She asked if she should remove her glasses for the picture, and we were all, “NO, they are awesome and perfect!”

Joseph Miller, a recent graduate of the Duke Paralegal Program, looked great in this gray suit purchased from Belk. What I really loved was his pale blue shirt worn with a pale yellow tie that had small flecks of gray in it. Here’s a closer view, but it still doesn’t reflect how the suit, tie, and shirt complemented his glasses and hair.

Again, the shirt was bluer and the tie while subtle, popped more in person. I liked his tie so much that I bought two yellow ties for Dear Hubby for Father’s Day.

Again, there were many people perfectly dressed to meet other legal professionals, but only so many within reach of my work station. Thanks to everyone who graciously allowed me to photograph them, as well as to everyone who volunteered, sponsored, and attended the event, with special thanks to fellow PD Council member, Denise Hargrove, NCCP, who does a terrific job organizing these job fairs.

Practical Paralegalism welcomes guest career-dressing posts from legal staffers and attorneys on a budget. All you have to do is email me (lynne.devenny@gmail.com) your outfit photo and purchase details (if you remember them), and a short 2-3 sentence bio about you. You know Practical Paralegalism is especially fond of the career recessionista, who shops at retail discount and/or thrift stores, and knows how to work a clearance rack and/or coupons.

One Response to Paralegal Job Fair 101: What to Wear

  1. Is that first suit seersucker? If so it totally wins my heart.

    I love how clean cut and tailored everyone looks, and still has tiny dashes of fashionable influences to their suits. I love suiting, even as a self-employed, student.

    Thanks for the awesome captures, and to everyone who let their picture be taken. They look great! The job market is such a difficult place, I think it's great to hear advice from people in the biz. Especially when it comes to the most effective way to get into the job you want to be doing.

Contact Info:

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

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]gmail.com

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

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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