New Survey Says Paralegal Position Perfect for Introverts - Huh????

MP900410055[1] I've heard everything now.  According to an aol article (yes, aol.com), about the top ten positions perfect for introverts, the paralegal position is right up there with graphic artist and civil engineer.  Huh????

Here is what the article states:

"As an introvert, finding a position where you can really shine while working on individual projects can seem challenging. But with some research, you'll find plenty of positions where your skills and personal contributions are valued. Many jobs include opportunities for some teamwork as well as the kind of independent work that allows introverts to recharge. No matter which industry you consider, companies are eager for self-starters who are able to work independently."

Well, that much is true.  You need to be a self-starter, able to be a good team player and work independently.  But if you need to do a lot of teamwork, that means interfacing with other team members which to me means interaction.  Interaction/Introvert...hmmm.......Interaction/Introvert.....does that seem compatible to you? 

I guess if you're stuck in a basement donning the latest in hazmat wear while combing through documents looking for insurance policies from 1948, being an introvert might be a good thing. I'll give them that.

Here is what they say that paralegals do:

Paralegal

Average annual salary: $62,853

Paralegals often draft contracts, do research and sift through records. The job is rewarding for those who love research and don't need the buzz of constant interaction with a team. Since some guidance is provided, the career is a great stepping-stone to other areas of the legal field.

Oh, hmmm...what happened to works independently, needs to be a teamplayer?  Provides a great stepping-stone to other areas of the legal field.  Well, that much is true, too.

However, just about all paralegals I know do very little legal research.  The reason?  Attorneys generally do not trust paralegals to perform legal research.  Heck, they barely trust associates to do it.  Where do people get their information?  

The paralegal job is for an introvert?  You need to work with attorneys and other paralegals.  That hardly makes you an introvert.  Have you ever confronted an attorney who is clawing at the windows in a desperate attempt to get his work immediately?  That doesn't exactly inspire an  introvert to take this job.  What about a nervous client chewing the phone lines up as she reaches out to you for an update on her case because the last time she was able to get the attorney on the line was 1998?  An introvert would run, fast, the other way.      

Maybe I'm wrong.  Readers?  Would you say you're an introvert, extrovert or a combination of both?


"Job satisfaction is high in the paralegal field"

Another gem of an article from LawCrossing which reports very good news for paralegals:

"Many paralegals entering the workforce these days have high expectations. Steady salary increases, expanded workplace challenges, and broad benefits packages all contribute to robust paralegal employment opportunities and job satisfaction.

"The paralegal profession is hailed as being one of the fastest-growing industries of the 2000s, and according to an NFPA compensation and benefits survey, paralegals seem to enjoy their work. Nearly half of those surveyed rated their job satisfaction as high or very high. Only a small number (10%) of paralegals rated their job satisfaction as being low, and an even smaller number (3%) deemed it very low. There are fewer experienced paralegals switching jobs, supporting the notion that most seem to be happy with their current employment situations."

Be sure to check out the hepful links at the end of this article...


"Law firms looking for help"

Good news for job-hunting paralegals in this Philadelphia news article which cites a Robert Half Legal survey:

"Despite the old joke asking what 1 million lawyers at the bottom of the ocean represent (answer: a good start), a recent national survey found that law firms and corporate legal departments actually need more attorneys.

"California-based staffing service Robert Half Legal recently found 94 percent of the 300 U.S. and Canadian lawyers they surveyed said the size of their companies will stay the same or increase in the next 12 months. Almost half plan to hire additional lawyers, paralegals or other professionals.

"The biggest needs are in the fields of corporate governance, intellectual property and litigation, said Maura Mann, manager of training and development for Robert Half Legal's northeast region."


"Nearly Half of Law Offices Plan Staff Additions in Next 12 Months"

Great news! Particularly for "Litigation, Corporate Governance Experiencing Most Growth":

"Law firms and corporate legal departments will be adding to their teams in the year ahead, a new survey [by Robert Half Legal] shows. Forty-seven percent of attorneys polled said they plan to hire personnel in the next 12 months; just 2 percent of respondents anticipate staff reductions. Litigation, corporate governance and intellectual property were identified as the areas of law expected to experience the most growth.

[snip]

"Lawyers were asked, "Do you expect the number of lawyers employed with your law firm/corporate legal department to increase, stay the same or decrease in the next 12 months?" Their responses:
    Increase                             47%
    Stay the same                     47%
    Decrease                              2%
    Don't know                            4%
                                            100%"


Top U.S. Law Schools

See the online list of top law schools compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

Also see the complete A-Z list.

Of course, you'll get more info in the complete 2008 guide to U.S. law schools:

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"Chief Legal Officers Poised to Increase Use of Outside Counsel"

Good news that should mean more jobs for paralegals:

"More than 25 percent of in- house law department leaders indicated that they will increase their use of outside counsel in the coming year, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel's 2006 Chief Legal Officer Survey [PDF].

"This is a significant increase from 2005 when only 16 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in the use of outside counsel and it is the highest response since the 2001 survey."


Five Law Firms Make 'Best Companies' List

No, really, it's true!

"Five law firms made Fortune magazine's list this year of the best 100 employers to work for -- one less than last year.

"Alston & Bird, Arnold & Porter, Nixon Peabody, Perkins Coie and Bingham McCutchen held their ground. But Morrison & Foerster, the only California-based firm to make the 2006 list, dropped off the chart.

"'It's a brisk competition,' said Keith Wetmore, MoFo's chairman. 'We find engaging in the competition improves our workplace policies because we can see where we don't rate as well.'"


Fulbright's Third Annual Litigation Trend Survey Findings

Very interesting survey about litigation trends in the U.S. Number of lawsuits...ouch!
"Here's a sample of the findings:
  • Large U.S. companies face an average of 305 pending lawsuits.
  • For the largest U.S. companies, those with $1 billion or more in annual gross revenue, the number of lawsuits soared to 556 cases, with an average of 50 new disputes emerging each year for close to half of them."
Tip of the hat to Law Librarian Blog for this info.

"Top Ten Tips for Effective Utilization of Paralegals"

Seems like a good article to put here....right after that "lawyers resolve paralegal priorities among yourselves" post:

"Paralegals have been part of the legal profession for roughly 30 years.  When utilized correctly [PDF], they are a significant benefit to a law firm or law department and its clients because they are able to handle both routine and sophisticated legal tasks that do not require a lawyer but cannot be performed by secretaries or other administrative personnel who lack the time, skills or education.

"Failure to utilize paralegals effectively results in a host of problems for a law firm or a law department - and for the paralegals themselves.  The results of a recent survey (August 2005) by the Committee on Paralegals of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association is consistent with the experience the author has had training and working with paralegals and in consulting with law firms and departments about how to improve paralegal utilization."


Survey: IP & M&A Still Hot Areas

Good to know where law client needs (& $$$) are headed:

"Intellectual property as well as mergers and acquisitions are still red-hot practice areas, while insurance coverage and environmental law are cooling off, according to legal consultant Robert Denney's 18th annual 'What's Hot and What's Not in the Legal Profession' report.

"In addition, Denney said that interest in the Latin American legal market [PDF] is growing, and Chicago and Las Vegas are the U.S. cities now attracting the attention of law firms.

"The report compiled lists of trends in the profession in areas of business development, marketing, practice growth, mergers and management."