Post # 1
For everyone to better understand my situation I will tell you what I do for a living. I don’t know if this is important, but when I started college I was in the health field, so I have a little background. I changed my major because I wasn’t completely happy (physical therapist assistant but I didn’t like the “nurse” part of it. It wasn’t for me) Anyways I got my associates and bachelor’s in Paralegal studies/legal studies. I was also certified as a paralegal (even though where I am it is not required). I have had a job in the legal field for 5 years now. I left to work in billing at a health care facility for 6 months and missed the legal field too much so I came back. I have only worked as a legal secretary because it is hard to find a paralegal job where I live. I have been at my current job for a couple of years and I am very unhappy…it isn’t the area of work but more the type of work and feeling like I am more a personal assistant than anything else. I was promised when I was hired I would be moved up to a paralegal by the administrator and my main attorney. To make a long story short I have been promised numerous times to be moved up just to be patient, but at the time the work just isn’t there. It still has never happened and they have brought in 3 paralegals (2 with no experience). One of those jobs I was asked by admin (but it wasn’t for sure I would get it because I would have to interview) pretty much I was talked out of it mostly because she mentioned if they laid off I would be the first to go and I can’t afford to lose my job so I stayed put, I was also told that I did not have enough experience so she wasn’t sure they would even give me the job. My main attorney told me that I would be a paralegal as soon as his worked picked up in a certain area of law, then a couple weeks later he says he won’t be practicing in that specific area anymore. Later I also found out the lady who took the paralegal job I was talked to about was a close friend of the administrator and she has said herself she has no experience in that type of law (so I don’t think I would have gotten that job anyways). So basically if I want to advance this isn’t the place for that and there are hardly any paralegal jobs where I live. I have considered relocating and have been looking at current job openings, but of course since we are getting married here it would be wise to wait until after and my Fiance is fine with relocating. Also, I have also considered going to law school, but after thinking about it a lot lately I don’t know if that debt would actually be worth it and I don’t want to pay student loans for the rest of my life. Either way I will have to relocate if I decide to go to law school. I would love to make a paralegal my career but is it worth relocating? Also, if I can’t get a job I would like to go back to school but i don’t know what I would do!
Post # 3
All I can tell is that now is not the time to go to law school. If you think jobs for paralegal are hard to find, I guarantee its much harder to find a job as a lawyer. The debt is totally not worth it. If you love being a paralegal, I think its definitely worth relocating.
Post # 4
@Krises: I never wanted to stop at a paralegal but wanted to be a lawyer, but my Fiance said why not, they make good money with less responsibilities. So I started considering it…then that debt part is what is turning me away from it. I don’t live in a huge city, it’s still big, around 200,000 (we have small towns around with less than 1.000 people and the next city is 2 hours away) but we thought a bigger city would have more opportunity for both of us. But anyways I have seen a few people say that about the debt part. It is something I want to decide now so we can move at the beginnig of next year or I can start preparing for law school.
Post # 5
@September29Runner: On top of the debt, you have to look at the money you’re sacrificing salary-wise while you’re in school & writing the bar(3-4 years). I think relocating & sticking with your current career in the paralegal field is the best plan.
I also think it’s little flawed that you think lawyers have less responsibility than legal secretaries/paralegals. Their signatures go on documents, they have the ULTIMATE responsibility for anything that comes through their hands. I think you’re really idealising the profession.
Post # 6
No I did not mean it that way, I meant a paralegal has less responsibilities not a lawyer. This is why my Fiance said I should use a paralegal as my career because I already have the qualifications and would not accrue any more debt. Although he does support whatever decision I make. I just never thought about it until he told me…I didn’t want to just settle.
Post # 7
I think what you need to do is find another place to work for. I know jobs are hard to find, and it might require moving too. But it sounds as though the people you work for are more willing to only hire family and friends. That can be frustrating. I lived in a small town and that was basically the only way you could get a job, was to know someone.
If you aren’t loving your job, you need to get out. Find something you do like. I don’t think lack of an education is your problem. You even have experience working in a law office. I would take that and see if you can find another office to work in that will give you the type of work you want to do.
Staying in a job you hate is only going to wear you down and make you resentful of your employers.
I don’t blame you for not liking the personal assistant aspect of the job, that can’t be fun. And if that is what they are making you do most, then yes you need out! Sounds like they don’t appreciate you.
That can be a tough thing to deal with. I was working at a job that I liked, but then I started to feel bullied by some of the other people there. I wasn’t feeling appreciated, and it was always me that was blamed for something the manager had to do in the first place :S I got out and now I am much happier.
I did go to school, but my situation was a bit different. I was working in a fast food restaurant, and since I lived in a small town, the only way to get out was to get an education.
You already have an education, and it sounds as though you shouldn’t have too hard a time finding work. You do have some experience, and that will account for something in the job search, if you choose to leave.
Post # 8
@sarabee: Thank you for your reply. I have been doing a lot of thinking and talking with Fiance. We have decided to move after the wedding. I think it will be hard at first, but at the same time we will be starting our life fresh and in a new place. (the way we see it). I think for opportunity we would have to move. I had already been searching (for awhile now) for jobs in the area we are thinking about and there are tons of jobs in the legal field there. I agree it is very frustrating to be bypassed by others just because of who they know (minus the experience). I’ve talked to a couple of co-workers/friends and they say the same thing about not being appreciated. I may also still go back to school but haven’t decided 100% yet…either way though I would have to move to go back to school.
Congrats on finding something you love and being happier and going back to school!!!