In Part 1 we explained that you need to have an understanding of your prospective employer’s attitude towards paralegals (and their recruitment process) to understanding what that are expecting from their Paralegals and from you. In part 2 I wish to explore practice areas.
2. What area of law do you wish to practice in?
Following the LPC and/or work experience you should have an area of law that you want to practice (or know the areas of law you don’t want to practice). Ideally, you should be trying to find a paralegal role in the area you want to practice. After all, if you can show in an interview you have good knowledge of the practice area and that you are enthusiastic about it. It will work in your favour (and you won’t have to worry so much about showing that you are serious about the paralegal role.)
Remember not all practice areas are created equal some areas have more paralegal opportunities than others while others are very hard to come by (particularly in the regions).
Additionally, the responsibilities between different roles vary and what you are expected to do as a paralegal varies considerably not just between practice areas or firms, but even within the same practice area. Make sure you are clear about what you are signing yourself up for. In some circumstances, a paralegal role in your dream practice area but where you only have administrative duties may be less beneficial to a practice area you are not that keen on but there is an opportunity to gain lots of transferable skills and run your own caseload.
If you are left with applying for a second choice (or have made a strategic decision to do so) don’t let it show – be enthusiastic about the job. After all, happy workers stay in the job longer.
If you have a question for us – just email firstname.lastname@example.org with QOTW in the subject line.