I decided to pursue a career as a paralegal after visiting a bachelor degree expo at my local college. I have always had an interest in the law but it was never anything more than that. However, when I enrolled in the paralegal baccalaureate program, I was astounded by how much I loved the classes and my interest in the law was piqued from there.
After two semesters, I applied at and was hired at a law firm. I could not have been happier! Every day as a paralegal is different and unpredictable. There is hardly ever a dull moment and the best part is that I get to learn something new every day.
My most memorable experience and one that I will likely never forget, was when a client came in whose daughter was recently deceased. Although I had never met the woman’s daughter, I was told that I looked just like her. The woman asked me for a hug and I obliged. Then and there, in the middle of the lobby, I was hugging a mother as she grieved the loss of her daughter and as she cried on my shoulder. It was such an overwhelming, emotional experience that it was all I could do not to cry with her (I was at work, after all!).
While I have not yet had another moment to rival that experience, I have discovered that working in a law firm usually means with dealing with raw emotions. Sometimes it’s parents distraught by the sudden loss of their child or children distraught by the sudden loss of their parents. There are men and women who have had their life turned upside down by the actions of their spouse. Some people come in to begin a legal proceeding, others come in after they were blindsided by a legal proceeding. Every day is truly something different.
If I were to give any advice to someone considering joining any legal career, I would tell them this: you need a thick skin. So much happens that is outside of your control and you need to just be able to take it as it comes. It can be a rewarded, worthwhile career but some days are harder than others. You have to always keep your chin up.