The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
If you follow the dismal news regarding prospects for new law school graduates, it’s not hard to imagine investing three years of your life in law school, accruing $150,000.00 in student debt, and then not finding work as a lawyer – or as anything else. As a paralegal, you may not give this situation much thought – until you realize that some of these unemployed lawyers would be happy to have your job.
MinnPost.com published a story about the struggle recent law school graduates are facing in a dwindling job market, including licensed attorney Veronica Walther, who’s even applied for paralegal jobs without success.
Her law degree actually can work against her finding a part-time job, because she’s overqualified for many of the openings. “A couple of places have told me that since I have a law degree, they knew I wouldn’t stay there long,” Walther said.
Her law degree also hasn’t helped her find lower-level legal work. She’s applied for jobs as an assistant, secretary and paralegal at law firms, all to no avail. Firms don’t want law grads in those positions because they might demand more work and more pay, she said.
I’m not upset that these young lawyers are applying for paralegal jobs; they are trying to put food on their tables and keep roofs over their head, just like the rest of us.
But knowing that these highly educated and talented individuals’ applications are in that very tall stack of resumes attorneys are reviewing for legal support staff positions you want is another reminder that you really must have a perfect resume and cover letter, plus above-average communication and computer skills to stand out in a highly competitive job market.