Legal File Clerk/Office Assistant for Downtown Boulder Law Office
Excellent opportunity for someone interested in pursuing a legal career, undergrad student interested in law school or law student. Small law firm handling complex and sophisticated estate planning, probate and small business matters seeks a part time assistant to help with word processing, organizing files, and general office assistance.
We are located above the Pearl Street Mall near Broadway, a few blocks from CU campus and just steps away from an RTD/Skip stop. We prefer someone who is seeking a position for at least 2 -- 3 years for this part-time position that offers 10 -- 20 hours a week. Hours are flexible, but need someone who is available Tuesday -- Friday between the hours of 10 am - 5 pm.
• Filing attorney/client related documents in confidential matters
• Simple computing and word processing; creating CD/DVD with documents for clients
• Standard office tasks such as copying and scanning documents, office errands to the bank and post office and general organization.
• Witnessing the signing of legal documents.
• Researching miscellaneous information for the office (ie office supply prices, package services)
• Communication with suppliers
An ideal candidate has proven academic credentials and good references, can learn new techniques quickly and easily; is able to work independently, multi-task efficiently and be able to follow directions well; is comfortable working with the computer and various programs like Outlook and Word Perfect. Experience with filing, working in a legal office, and Word Perfect skills are desired, but not necessary. Must be reliable, an effective communicator, well-organized, comfortable under pressure and efficient.
Please do not apply if you are an attorney, or are seeking a salaried position.
Please send resume, hours you are available, and a brief description of why you would be a good candidate for this position
- Location: Pearl St. Mall
- Compensation: $10/hour
- This is a part-time job.
- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
- Please, no phone calls about this job!
How many applications is this firm getting from attorneys, given that the lawyers in it are going out of their way to plead with their fellow Members of the Bar not to apply for part-time temporary secretarial work that pays between $100 and $200 per week?
In addition to the level of sheer desperation of which this ad is evidence, consider for a moment the marvelous versatility of a law degree, which besides fully qualifying you to become president of the Pittsburgh Steelers and/or the United States, disqualifies you from an almost endless array of jobs for which you were perfectly well qualified before you became an official member of a Learned Profession.
This is perhaps the dirtiest of our many dirty little secrets: if it should turn out you can't use your law degree to have a real legal career, then it's far from clear that going to law school will end up being a net positive for you even if we don't take into account either the direct or the opportunity costs you incurred in getting that degree. This is because, far from being "versatile," a law degree can easily end up being career poison on a resume. Although of course there are always exceptions, non-legal employers don't like to hire lawyers, and indeed legal employers don't like to hire lawyers for non-lawyer jobs. (A total of 278 out of more than 44,000 2010 law graduates were working in non-attorney positions for law firms nine months after graduation, while nearly 20 times that number remained completely unemployed).
This is another way of saying that, for the more than half of current law students who aren't going to have real legal careers -- defined as working as a lawyer for long enough to justify the cost of having attended law school in the first place -- they would have been better off not going to law school at all, even if they could have attended with the benefit of full tuition and cost of living scholarships, i.e., for "free." (In quotation marks because even the extremely rare genuine full ride scholarship doesn't pay for opportunity costs incurred).
Why do employers, both non-legal and legal, dislike hiring lawyers for non-lawyer jobs? Several explanations have been put forward by some of the countless numbers of recent and not-so-recent law grads who have encountered the JD stigma effect. Some employers are under the misapprehension that a lawyer applying for a non-lawyer job is likely to leave that job very soon, because surely he or she will leap back into the exciting and high-paying world of legal practice at the first opportunity. Others make the under the circumstances understandable mistake of thinking that lawyers who can't get jobs as lawyers must have something wrong with them (would you hire a doctor who couldn't get a job as a doctor?) Still others, oddly enough, consider lawyers to be, relative to the average worker, argumentative people who are unusually attuned to their putative rights as employees. There are no doubt additional explanations as well.
Few if any aspects of the ongoing collapse of the current model of American legal education are more disturbing than this: It's not just that the direct cost of becoming a lawyer have skyrocketed at the same time that the benefits (in the form of actual legal employment) have declined. It's that the indirect cost of getting a JD, in the remarkably perverse form of rendering many people who were previously employable much less employable, has become enormous.