Today’s Quote: No Legal Experience Biggest Hurdle for Paralegal Graduates

“Nine times out of 10, they just said, ‘You interviewed well, we liked your credentials, but we found someone that has more experience than you.’ It’s a double-edged sword because if I can’t get a job and get experience, then I can’t get a job that needs experience.” ~ Maryland resident, Melissa Lee, emphasizes how hard it is to compete even for entry-level positions, without any legal experience.

The Frederick News Post interviewed Lee, newly relocated to Frederick, about her difficulty finding a job.  Lee’s situation is not unusual for paralegal school graduates with little to no legal experience;  I see others dealing with the same issues every day in online discussion groups for paralegals.

Lee is exceptionally well-educated. In addition to an associate paralegal degree from Kaplan University, she has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. She also has about 14 months of administrative experience in two different county clerk offices.

Lee’s no quitter, and definitely displays the perseverance a paralegal needs to succeed:

Every time she has been rejected by a potential employee, Lee said she calls them to ask why she wasn’t selected and what she could improve on.

“Nine times out of 10, they just said, ‘You interviewed well, we liked your credentials, but we found someone that has more experience than you,'” she said. “It’s a double-edged sword because if I can’t get a job and get experience, then I can’t get a job that needs experience.”

If at all possible, I recommend that any student starting a degree in paralegal studies try extremely hard to find a job in the legal field, even if it’s part-time, temporary, or contract work, or a series of internships – at any position in a law office, including file clerk, office assistant, courier, word processor, or receptionist.  

Practical Paralegalism wishes Lee the best of luck in her job search. She comes across as well-spoken, resourceful, and committed to the profession, well worth taking a chance on for an entry-level position.

Source:  Fredrick News-Post Online

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