The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Employer: Casey’s General Stores, Inc., Ankeny, IA
Years of Paralegal Experience: 10
Specialty Area: Real Estate
Career Highlight: I earned the ACP (Advanced Certified Paralegal) designation through NALA in 2006.
Favorite Internet Resource: Google!
Fun Fact: In a former life, I was a bartender!
Public LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/melissa/wickerath
I “met” Melissa through the LAT Listserv. In addition to being a full-time paralegal, she is a full-time student in Kaplan’s bachelor’s degree program, majoring in Paralegal Studies with a Real Estate emphasis. She is also very active in the Iowa Association of Legal Assistants, currently serving as the NALA Liaison. She recently posted the following great advice for locating your first job:
– Network, network, network. Join your local association and become active.
– Don’t limit your searches. There are lots of great legal jobs out there that don’t happen to be in private practice.
– Sign up for placement with a temp service (or two). Sometimes this can be the best way to get your foot in the door (I speak from experience).
– Consider membership in one or more national organizations. These can provide additional networking opportunities, as well as CLEs and certification.
– Know your market. Speak to others in the legal field and human resource departments, and develop an understanding of what credentials are at the top of the list in your area.
– Don’t limit yourself. Be prepared to accept other positions (secretary, clerk, etc.) to get started and also be willing to explore other areas of the law.