While it has become commonplace for most people to have multiple careers throughout their lives, some professions, such as the practice of law, are largely considered to be lifetime choices. The time, hard work, and expense involved in attaining a law degree, and the subsequent paychecks, are strong incentives for a lawyer to remain in the field. However, more and more lawyers are taking their finely honed skills to other fields.
Due largely to the economic downturn, spurred by the financial crisis in recent years, as well as a rapidly shifting marketplace, there has been increasing pressure placed on law firms to reduce legal fees.
There's the legal assistant who says she succeeded at interviews only after dying her graying hair. There's the young new paralegal whose date of birth was revealed to other employees at her firm—by the firm's manager, no less. Then there's the male paralegal student who's concerned about finding a job in a historically female-dominated profession. Legal staff who don't fit the ''norm'' may feel slighted; some even claim that they've faced discrimination in the past. But do the personal stories add up to age- and gender-related prejudice, or simply indicate a (lawful) preference for one candidate over another?