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In a Pink-Collar Profession, Male Paralegals like Wal-Mart's Robert Stephens Find Profit

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Lately, studies conducted by the federal government, the National Association of Legal Assistants, and other organizations have focused on what they describe as an increasing number of men working as non-attorney legal staff.

Other studies have pointed to larger numbers of men in fields such as midwifery, obstetrics and gynecology, nursing, preschool and kindergarten teaching, typing, and other traditionally pink-collar areas.

Some say these numbers are driven by unemployment, an unstable economy, and even these pink-collar industries’ courting of male applicants to increase workplace diversity. Job security may be greater in these industries, which some say suffer from a lack of qualified applicants.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management said in 1998 that nearly 80 percent of paralegal specialists were women. According to a study by USA Today, men held 15.3 percent of the country’s legal assistant jobs in 2000 and close to 18 percent in 2002. However, in a 2002 survey conducted by the Orange County Paralegal Association, 94 percent of the respondents were women; and a 2004 NALA survey showed that 96 percent of respondents were women.

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