What Lawyers Really Think of Paralegals

This clip about sums it up:

“Let me explain further. I don’t mean to insult paralegals out there – you do a great job (some of you) – but don’t start to think that you’re “better” than JDs.  The paralegal students I taught, at an ABA-accredited paralegal program, found it hard to understand basic legal concepts, wrote like middle school kids, lacked motivation, and were doing this because they had nothing else to do with their lives.  A couple were highly-motivated and smart, but most weren’t.  Most were rather stupid to be honest. Most just didn’t care.  The work I graded was embarrassingly bad.”



Categories: Paralegal | Tags: , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “What Lawyers Really Think of Paralegals

  1. Paralegal

    I am surmising that Outside the Law School Scam is a website to deal with the frustration of recent law school graduates trying to find jobs in a downward legal job market. However, to put down the skillset of a paralegal student seems somewhat off base. What is getting left out is that inexperienced paralegal students have massive difficulty finding jobs today. I am using my job search as an example:

    I completed an AA degree in paralegal with a 3.97 index in 2011 at a community college. It was a career change for me because I left the IT – computer profession. I used to be a computer programmer & a computer systems analyst for 22 years. I have spent three years trying to get a part or full time paying paralegal job at a law firm in New Jersey. Since 2011 I have only been able to get three short duration paralegal internships. During prospective job interviews, even in 2014, for a paralegal and legal secretary job, I have been told that I am over-qualified. The jobs that I have interviewed for pay approx. $20,000 to $25,000 a year (with part-time jobs offering $10,000 a year). The salary offered for paralegal jobs is currently poverty level. I have found lawyers to be condescending to me during job interviews and/or internships. I feel that the paralegal job has been incorrectly advertised by the legal profession. I am a technical expert, and score on proficiency tests for MS Word, MS Excel, etc. grades of 100% but still cannot get a poverty level job. Thank God my husband still works. I expect that the paralegal job itself will disappear by 80% over the next ten years. My last IT job was working at a leading telecommunications job and I earned $60,000. It was a complete mistake that I completed the paralegal program graduating with high honors and receiving four awards. Since lawyers have difficulty finding work they will take paralegal jobs, even if the pay is low. My advice to anyone is NEVER pursue the paralegal degree. The colleges still offer the AA or certificate in paralegal studies just so that the lawyers who are the instructors get paid. I have always been an excellent student and have a MBA degree in Computer Information System, average 3.75. Can you explain why I cannot get a Paralegal job after three years of searching and gone on 42 interviews? The answer is that unless you have a connection to get a job forget about it!!!!!!!!!! The three lawyers that I have had internships consider me to be excellent in my work but never offered me one single penny to show any appreciation. When I worked in the computer field at five different companys a new hire was given anywhere from one week to one month to learn the computer application and become an expert. Lawyers don’t want to spend even one minute training the paralegal. I have found lawyers to be very condescending to their support staff with the lawyers having a superiority attitude. The paralegal today has been degraded to the status of a brainless typist. Even the above article entitled “The JD as a Sub-Paralegal Qualification?” has strong negative undertones; e.g. “but most of the paralegals today are literally idiots.” Since the author is a teacher of paralegals, is it proper etiquette to insult the paralegal students or paralegal professionals? Remember that many of the postings on the internet are an open book for anyone to read. I myself wrote many legal blogs as an unpaid ghost writer at two law firms. By the way, the first computer programming job I had was at a bank, and I politely made coffee whenever I got asked (about once a week). I did not mind making coffee because I was well paid for my IT job.

  2. First off, best of luck with your job search.

    Any paralegal who posts on Above the Law should immediately erect his/her force fields and deflector shields. Anything you post will generate unimaginable invective. Absolutely endemic to attorneys’ ‘tudes toward and about paralegals.

  3. David Stein

    Paralegals are maddening IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. joepaulmartinez@gmail.com

    A person pays 5000 dollars for a paralegal certificate. Another person pays 120000 for a law degree. Which is the better investment? Its a simple consideration, and its the question to be answered And lets remember to be humble people. As I recall, engineering students were the most studious in college. Yet none of them would be in a position to comprehend the mathematical background for engineering. Indeed, modern mathematicians remain in awe of such names as Euler etc. The names behind modern technology. Intellectually, a J.D is lightweight, and its a coarse trade.

  5. Christina Cortes

    I am a paralegal (Newbie) and I have an AS degree in paralegal studies. I am not an expert, but I have a huge interest in the law. I have the ambition to learn and not just the book terms either. I want to learn the hands on stuff. So it is said that “Paralegals” are “idiots!” I say that whether you’re a paralegal or an employee in any other work industry, you can only be as great as your leader. I have experienced seeing Lawyers who do not know how to draft a document on microsoft word, but because they have ESQ., followed after their name they are so “Entitled!” to belittle the one paralegal who is willing to go over and beyond and who will often remind them of the calendar dates and decide to want to make last minute changes right before the due date to turning in a legal document. Where are the morals and where are the teachers? I am starting to feel that lawyers hate their profession when they cannot even teach what they know (The Real Idiots!). Guess who will do the sometimes tedious work that attorneys will not do? Oh thats right! the paralegal because you have to make the lousy $9 an hour pay lousier by slowly insulting the paralegals intelligence. Great work you guys! keep the hostile environment!! You’re doing an awesome job by being a lousy leader! (hands of applause)

  6. Paralegals are dumb

    Paralegals, are on average, absolute idiots. They are lazy, unmotivated, and actually think they are hot shit but barely comprehend any legal concepts.

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