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How Legal Staffers Feel About Their Jobs: Hear From The Experts

published March 09, 2023

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( 9 votes, average: 4.6 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Summary

Legal Staffers Sound Off: Job Satisfaction and Career Challenges in the Legal Profession


Legal staffers are increasingly voicing their concerns and frustrations about job satisfaction and career challenges in the legal profession. The legal sector is an incredibly large and difficult to navigate, and it can be difficult to find meaningful career paths, satisfaction, and fulfillment. In this article, we'll take a look at the current issues that legal staffers are facing in the legal industry and what they can do to make positive changes.

Many legal staffers report feeling undervalued and uncertain about their career prospects. Job security is a major concern among legal staffers, with many feeling like they are working on something that may not be permanent or even offer substantial advancement opportunities. Furthermore, the hours can be long and difficult to manage, and many in the legal field feel like their work is not properly compensated for. Those in the legal field often experience high levels of stress, as well as feelings that their abilities are not being well utilized.

Despite these challenges, many legal staffers remain passionate about the legal profession and continue to strive for professional development and career growth. One way that legal staffers can find satisfaction is through education and training. Whether it's a short course on a specific area of law or a more intensive program that may lead to a legal certification, continued learning can help legal staffers progress in the legal field and find more job satisfaction.

Another potential area of satisfaction for legal staffers can come from finding a sense of community in the legal profession. The legal sector is often seen as a solitary and exclusive space, but there are many ways to connect with other legal professionals and form meaningful connections. Joining networking groups, attending seminars or lectures, and participating in online discussion boards can be beneficial for legal staffers who want to stay connected with their profession.

Finally, legal staffers should be aware of what is happening in the field. Keeping up with changes in the law and new developments within the legal profession can help legal staffers stay abreast of important topics and gain a more comprehensive understanding of their chosen field. In addition, these activities can also help legal staffers gain experience and expertise, making them more competitive in the job market.

The legal sector is a ever-evolving, complex field, and legal staffers face unique challenges in their pursuit of job satisfaction and careers. However, with the right resources and dedication, legal staffers can find success and fulfillment in their chosen career paths. By continuing to educate themselves and network with other legal professionals, legal staffers can stay abreast of the legal industry's ever-changing landscape and find satisfaction in their work.
 

Legal Staffers Speak Out

An increasing number of legal professionals are turning to staffing agencies to find work. Legal staffing agencies specialize in providing experienced, knowledgeable legal professionals to law firms and corporate legal departments.

In a survey conducted by the leading legal staffing agency, Legal Staffers, legal staffers from across the country were asked to share their views on working with staffing firms. The survey revealed that many legal staffers are satisfied with the flexibility that legal staffing agencies provide.

Specifically, legal staffers cited the ability to work remotely, the ability to work flexible hours, and the ability to learn new skills as some of the top benefits of working with staffing agencies. They also expressed appreciation for the support that staffing firms provide, including helping them find the right job for their skillset and providing timely payment.

Legal staffers also stated that they prefer working with staffing firms than with permanent employers. They cited the lack of micromanagement, the ability to choose assignments, and the improved job security as some of the reasons why they choose to work with staffing agencies.

Many legal professionals are also attracted to the competitive salaries and benefits offered by staffing agencies. According to the survey, legal staffers expressed satisfaction with the salary they receive from staffing agencies, and they noted that many staffing firms offer comprehensive benefits packages, including health insurance, retirement benefits, and vacation time.

I just received my Paralegal Degree, and I have no experience. No one seems to be willing to offer an opportunity so that I can get the experience. How do I get the doors to open for me?
Nancy P.
 
Get advice from law students, prelaw students and others at: Top Law Schools

The best way is to get your foot in the door. The strategy should always be multi-faceted. Talk to just about everyone you know and let them know you are looking for work. Make sure you start with your paralegal school, family, and friends. You can also try and get in as support staff for a firm and work you way up to the paralegal position you want, making sure that your employers know that you are certified. Take initiative, offer to work overtime if there is a need, and talk to everyone about the fact that you are a certified paralegal. Another way to get your foot in the door is using a legal staff placement agency, most will place you in a position you are slightly overqualified for at first, but eventually you will get a chance to prove yourself.

I was hired to work in a specific department of a law firm as support staff. Recently, I've been asked to assist with projects in other departments even though each department has its own staff. If I don't help, I'm seen as not being a team player. But I feel it isn't my responsibility to help another department, as I was hired specifically for one department. Also, I don't think my salary is high enough to warrant the extra workload. Should I ask for my job description to be rewritten and ask for more compensation or just stay where I'm put? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Karen C., Legal Assistant

Though we at LawCrossing are sympathetic to your predicament, we also recognize it as an occupational hazard of the legal staff field. Often, both small and large firms will either have a surge in business, with which staffing must catch up, or a certain department is mismanaged to the point of never having enough people, and other, better-performing departments end up picking up the slack. Here's my suggestion. If the person asking for help is directly in your chain of command - and someone who may control your pay increases, promotions, and bonuses - I'd say suffer through it and then make sure your extra help is remembered. If, however, the extra work is more of a favor to a poorly performing college and designed to hide the ineffectual management of a certain department, then politely refuse or make sure you draw attention to the fact that you are working extra. Also make sure you make a note of the extra work to your supervisor.

I have a question about panel interviews. I had an initial interview with the person I would be replacing, then another with a supervisor, then a panel interview. Why did I have to jump through so many hoops?
Gregory G., Legal Administrator

An initial interview with the person you are replacing is a good sign. This person knows best what the job needs. Many firms will have the person who knows the person best do the initial screening, and then the supervisor would decide whether she can work with you. I think a panel interview is often a way to see how a person reacts under pressure. If you made it that far, however, you have a very good chance of landing the job.

Are career fairs a good idea for professionals in the legal field?
Cary G., Student

Yes, as a general rule, but everything is relative; so let me explain. Legal jobs are readily acquired through personal connections. Often, when you apply for a job at a firm or get an interview there, it's great to be able to name-drop. Hence, any place where you can meet and greet people who make hiring decisions at firms is definitely useful. Having said that, however, I think you will still be competing with all the other people at the fair. You will still be judged on your resume, your academic performance, your class rank, and other factors depending on the firm. So I would suggest going to these fairs and other conferences, but if you are in need of a job, this should only be one tool in your multi-dimensional job-hunting arsenal.

I'm planning on relocating and want to start looking for a new job. My move is probably a year away. Should I contact firms now and in the coming months and then apply when I move? My thinking is it would be a good way to get my name out there. What do you suggest?
Dennis M.

Making contacts is a great thing to do in a new city, for employment or otherwise. If your move is a year away, I would suggest contacting firms for informational interviews rather than applying for jobs. Another thing to do is working with some agencies and going out to see recruiters, if you have the requisite experience. Another thing I'd strongly recommend is getting a local address to put on your resume when you do start applying to out-of-state jobs. If you do not have an address there, get a P.O. Box. Anything you can do to keep your resume from being flagged as out of state would be helpful, especially if you are moving far away.

I interviewed at a company and everything went well. However, the company ending up hiring another candidate who had more experience. The company is now hiring for the same position. This time there are two openings. Should I reapply? If so, should I mention my previous application and interview?
Jennifer B., Receptionist

Yes! Absolutely. Especially if you are certain that your lack of experience was the only reservation the company had about you. More than likely, the company is expanding and needs more people. If they are hiring two people in a support position, they are probably moving the more experienced person into a supervisory role, and you might be able to get your foot in the door.

published March 09, 2023

( 9 votes, average: 4.6 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.