Reader Question: Is It Better to Be a Law Firm or Corporate Paralegal?

Is it better to work for a law firm or a corporation? The reason I ask is I have seen so many scary stories of paralegals being talked down to and not treated well by law firm attorneys. Of course this is all on the Internet, but how true are these stories? ~ Thinking about a Paralegal Career

Practical Paralegalism’s Answer

Bad bosses are everywhere, not just in private law firms. But the practice of law itself is deadline-oriented, fast-paced, and sometimes extremely stressful. Like any other supervisors, some attorneys’ interpersonal and management skills are better than others.


Whether an attorney is hard to work for can be hard to determine from the interview process alone. If you are able to found out if it’s been difficult for a particular attorney to keep staff, that’s a better indicator of someone that may be difficult to work for.

To be honest, I don’t think it matters as much whether you work for corporate legal departments vs. private law firms. What really matters is that your supervisors and colleagues treat you well, and that you enjoy the work.

Interning in different legal environments and networking with legal professionals is a good way to get various perspectives on which environment is a better fit for you personally. Sometimes it takes working those first few “real” jobs to figure out what you really like doing – and where you like working best.

Readers, what say you?

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