Finding your very first job as a paralegal could be quite difficult. Plenty of new paralegals might find themselves scouring job leads, and while some might secure themselves some interviews, others might find themselves getting a job in a completely different field, or worse, jobless. Yes, you have tons of competition, but this doesn’t mean that the perfect paralegal job isn’t out there.
Below are some guidelines to help you in landing your first job as a paralegal:
Become an Intern
As a requirement of your degree or certificate paralegal program, both in online and traditional schools, you might have to complete an internship. Although this might appear like a minor technicality, it’s crucial to our budding paralegal career. Aside from getting valuable connections in the field, your internship could also be a great job opportunity. Plenty of law firms are open to hiring interns permanently if they see that you’re a fast learner. This means that if you conduct yourself well while you’re interning, you get one foot inside the door, or at least obtain references and connections when you apply in another law firm.
Build and Nurture Your Network
Don’t wait until you complete your paralegal studies to begin building your network. Start with the people in your internship program. You could also become a member of a paralegal association to get to know relevant people in your field. Consider volunteering on relevant committees so that people will recognize your name.
Take the Opportunity
Be patient and consider accepting a suitable job in a reputable law firm that would allow you to obtain necessary legal experience. You could get any position such as a receptionist, filing clerk, or junior legal assistant. This aids you in building your professional network.
While it’s hard to just break into the paralegal field, it’s mostly because most law firms just don’t have the time to train newbies. However, with determination, perseverance, motivation, and these guidelines, you increase your chances of obtaining a paralegal job that will allow you to get the experience you need to excel in the field of law.