Thursday, November 4, 2010

Survey Results: Paralegal Practice Area Experience Tops Technological Proficiency

According to the results of a survey conducted by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals, when lawyers hire paralegals, they place the most value on knowledge of a specific practice area. Technological proficience ranked second.
"When hiring for paralegal roles, prior practice area expertise will bring a job seeker's resume to the top of the stack, particularly if that experience is in a high-demand specialty such as bankruptcy or litigation," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal.
Mr. Volkert also pointed out that the current market favors specialists over generalists. He recommends that job applicants highlight the specific skills and expertise that make them the ideal fit for a specific job opening so that employers know they have the experience necessary to hit the ground running if hired.

In the survey 200 lawyers at the largest law firms and corporations in the United States were asked, "In a competitive job market, which one of the following attributes makes paralegals the most marketable?"

Their responses:

Practice area expertise - 66%
Technological proficiency - 13%
Length of employment/tenure - 7%
Associate or bachelor's degree - 7%
Paralegal certification or bar association accreditation - 4%
Other/don't know - 3%

It is interesting that level of education, as well as certification, have the lowest percentage of value. However, a paralegal with practice area expertise + certification + a degree will definitely demonstrate the best skills for the job over a paralegal with only practice area experience.

To read the full article, as well as Mr. Volkert’s five tips for job seekers to improve their marketability, follow this link:


Margaret Lucas Agius said...

This is a perfect example of why I've been unemployed for two years. I have 20 years of experience, but not in the specific practice areas that are in demand today. My technological proficiency, length/tenure of employment, degree and certification do not seem to matter.

Kim said...

I am trying to locate information regarding being a Paralegal for Juvenile Court.