Recent Law Grads Pursuing Hard-to-Get Paralegal, Secretary Jobs at Firms

Jessica Sparacino was still a law student when she landed a job as a paralegal at the Jackson Lewis office in Melville, N.Y. She worked there for a year after graduating from Touro College’s Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center before finding a position as a lawyer.

She’s one of the lucky ones, reports the Long Island Business News. Some recent law grads and attorneys struggling to find employment in a recessionary economy that has hit the legal profession particularly hard are trying without success to get jobs as legal secretaries in the New York City area.

Sparacino, who is to start practicing this week at GerstmanSchwartz in Garden City, N.Y., is fielding calls from friends wondering if Jackson Lewis is looking for a replacement paralegal.

When his law firm recently was looking to hire a new administrative assistant, it was flooded with attorney resumes, says David Gabor of Gabor & Gabor. But the Garden City partnership went with a college graduate rather than a law graduate, out of concern that any attorney hired for the position was likely to move elsewhere as soon as an opportunity to practice arose, he tells the Business News.

Laid off in October, Denise Doty said she didn’t even try to get work as a legal secretary before finally hanging out her shingle in Farmingdale, N.Y., in May after the 50 or 60 resumés she sent out in the meantime seeking another job as a lawyer got little or no response, the article recounts.

“Years ago when I got out of law school and couldn’t find a job, I did take a position as a secretary,” she says, “but nobody is going to hire somebody as a secretary with 15 years of experience” in practice.

Related material:

Above the Law: “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled law school graduates, yearning to… earn $27K? For half-lawyer, half-paralegal work?”

Updated at 1:40 p.m. to link to Above the Law post.

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