3 Top Interview Tips for the Paralegal Career

3 Top Interview Tips for the Paralegal Career

Any good interview book will tell you this one very important fact:

‘The First Impression is Everything!”

And, it’s so true. Employers have a few simple requirements of a potential new employee:

*Their skill set a/k/a knowledge must rise to the level of the job; and

*The transition into the culture of the law firm must be as seamless as possible.

So, how do you easily impress a new employer when they’ve never met you before?

How do you get across to them that you really are a fit for the job?

First, let’s cover the all-important “First Impression”.  It’s quite easy, in fact, to make an excellent, indelible memory for the employer. Here’s how:

  1. Smile immediately upon meeting the interviewer/employer;
  2. Be sure you are dressed neatly and professionally;
  3. Make eye contact while smiling; and
  4. Be warm and approachable as you speak with the interviewer.

Next, it’s time to discuss “interviewing the interviewer”.

There are specific questions to consider when interviewing for a job in a law firm and many of those inquiries should come from you, the potential employee, not the interviewer.  This type of interview is called a 180 degree interview.  Instead of the questions coming solely from the office manager or hiring attorney, several are instead posed by you, the interviewee.

Why take this route in the interview?  Well, it simply shows the employer that you have done your homework, you have an interest in the position and depending on the questions you ask, may give you great insight into the culture, work-life balance and just how efficiently the law firm is managed.

Lastly, the final tip is how to close out the interview successfully and on a good note.  The usual ending by the interviewer is “We have more candidates to interview, however, we’ll be in touch if we feel you are a fit for the position”.

However, there is something you can do to leave a very positive memory in the interviewer’s mind. Simply tell the interviewer the following:

“Thank you for your time today. I am definitely interested in the job and I would like to be considered for the position.”  

Make it known to the interviewer that you are ready to take on this position and begin your career with their law firm.

What is an Immigration Paralegal Job Really Like?

What is an Immigration Paralegal Job Really Like?

Paralegal jobs can be so interesting!

In my book, Legal Break-In, I list several paralegal positions and duties involved with each one.

The Immigration Paralegal

In this post, I focus on the Immigration Paralegal.  This field requires specific forms that are filled out by the paralegal with the information provided by the client.

Let’s start from the beginning.

The client sets up an appointment to meet with the immigration attorney.  Sometimes the client comes alone or with family members. The attorney will often times meet the client alone, without the paralegal, however, some assistants have been asked to sit in on meetings to take notes that the attorney would later go over.

The paralegal will often speak to the client over the phone to ask for more information for the forms which must be filed with the court.  Clients can be very nervous during an initial meeting, however, once they arrive home additional details will come to them.  The paralegal is responsible for working well with the client and in a kind manner. Once all of the information is gathered, the paralegal prepares the form, the attorney reviews and then the forms are e-filed with the court.

During the time the information is collected from the client, the paralegal makes sure every phone call and meeting are documented on the computer for the attorney’s review.

It’s also important that the attorney and paralegal work together to create a system where the details of each case can be tracked so that deadlines are not missed.

You may find it fun to work with an attorney who specializes in a certain type of law because you then become an expert yourself.


How to Cope with Rejection When Applying for a Paralegal Job

Rejection is only Temporary

How to cope with rejection when applying for a paralegal job.

Can you relate to the following?

1.  No response to a cover letter or resume.

2.  No response after the first interview.  Absolute silence!

After I moved to Florida from Oklahoma, I must have sent out somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10 cover letters and resumes.

No response.

At all.

However, I did receive 2-3 telephone calls from either law firm administrators or attorneys.  Our short conversations gave me some hints regarding why I wasn’t being offered positions.

So, I experimented with my resume and cover letters in order to break down the walls.

Yep – it was mind boggling and very scary.  You see, I needed a job in the worst way.  At this point in our lives, my salary was needed to help keep the boat afloat (in a big way!)

Even though I had 3 years experience in litigation, no one would give me a chance.

What I realized during this time was that I had to trust the Lord to place me in the right firm.  If I was being turned down (& I was), then there was a good reason for it.

Trust Him.

So, I tweaked that ‘ol cover letter and resume and continued to push forward.

Don’t give up! I told myself.

Keep moving forward.

There are lessons to be learned through the trials and tribulations of rejection.  Don’t miss that as you journey through it.

Remember, He has your best interests at heart and has a specific path laid out for you.

I learned a lot during this 3-4 week period – about myself.

Finally, the phone call came that I had been praying for and I was on my way.

Keep praying, my friend and trust Him.  He will not let you down.


Happy on the Journey

Happy on the Journey.  Seriously?

It can certainly feel like forever as we work toward our goal or end game, right? Time seems to pass so slowly and it seems as if we’ll never get there.

The journey, though, is an education in itself, so what can we do to enjoy it more?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What are you grateful for?

List the people, furbabies & material items you’re grateful for. Count your current blessings.

2.  What’s one important lesson learned today?

Is there something that occurred today (good or bad) that taught you something? Count it all joy.  Whether it’s a good or bad experience, the Lord is developing character traits in you that can be used for good.  And if you allow it, all of your bad habits will be eliminated, one by one.

3.  When you look back one year from today, what will you see?

There’s no reason to wait to begin moving toward the dream that God has placed on your heart and in your mind. Go for it! One year from now, you’ll be amazed at your progress.

4.  Have you made some progress already?

If so, write it down on your computer, in a notebook or create a journal to track your moments. And don’t forget to celebrate your progress along the way.

With effort and an “I can do it!” attitude, you will make it. Keep the faith and keep going forward.


What If It Does Work Out?

What if it does work out?

1. Fear changes to Hope!

2. Working toward your end game with passion = Light, not darkness.

3. Fear and doubt drift away.

4. Consider the possibility of reaching the dream God’s placed in your mind and on your heart.

Make a sincere effort to quit the negative self-talk. Your past does not have to follow you into the future, you know.  Changing how you respond to criticism is important.

Become confident that you can trust the Lord and all that He has for you.  Read His Word regularly in order to infuse your mind with the truth.

Don’t give up – ever.

Remember…you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

He said so.

InstaGramps Cracks Instagram with his Love of Family and Art

InstaGramps Cracks Instagram with his Love of Family and Art

InstaGramps Legacy to His Grandchildren
InstaGramps on Instagram

75 year old Chanjae Lee moved to Brazil over 35 years ago from Korea and raised his family there.

His great joy in life, like ours, was being involved in his grandchildren’s lives (taking them to school, etc.). However, sometime ago Chanjae’s grandchildren moved with their parents back to their Korean homeland.

As a grandparent, I understand this dilemma. Following our children can seem a bit pushy and overbearing. However, we uprooted ourselves from northern Florida to follow our daughter and grandson to central Florida. They lit up our world and suddenly, because of job prospects for my daughter, were gone.

It was tough and lonely, honestly.

Once Chanjae’s son and wife (who remained in Brazil) had a baby, Chanjae again was filled with light. His family had encouraged him to get back to drawing but he had no motivation to do so until his new grandchild came along.

His son encouraged him to post his drawings on Instagram and unbelievably, his audience as of this date has grown to 116,000 !

Take a moment to visit @drawings_for_my_grandchildren on Instagram to take a look at the wonderful legacy Chanjae is leaving for his grandchildren.

It’s really never too late to begin again, to use your God-given gifts to lift up and inspire others.

Go for it!



Never Give Up -Time to Dream Big

Never Give Up  – Time to Dream Big

Dream Believe Achieve
Take Time for Yourself. Dream Big.

The starter home my husband and I purchased many moons ago in the midwest needed a lot of upgrades. The carpet in the living room was threadbare, the kitchen was very small and you could only enter through the utility or living rooms. A garage was turned into a type of recreation room, however, the wall between the kitchen and rec room remained.

Well, not for long!

My hubby looked at me one day and said, “Would you be ok if I knocked that wall down?” I said, “Sure, it’ll help with the flow from room to room.” And voila! We placed a sheet over the doorway to the living room and he knocked down that wall.

Lo and behold…all of the electricals for the house ran through a large pipe and that presented a real challenge, indeed. Now, the wires would have to be rerouted, a breaker box installed, new ceiling, flooring, etc.  Whew! All with very little money.

When I relayed this information to my Mom over the phone one day, she made a comment that stopped me in my tracks. She said, “You’ll never finish that project.” I said, “Oh, just watch. I’ll never give up.”

It was a defining moment for me, really.

I knew in time we would finish all of it…we would get there. And we did. When we had the money, we installed a floor – just the two of us. For the first time in my life, I held a paint roller and painted the kitchen while my hubby was away on a business trip. My husband called his grandfather in New Jersey (who had built his own home in Neptune, New Jersey) and asked for advice regarding the electrical upgrade and how to do it. Yep, he did it. Everything was completed and it took 4 years.  Four years of scraping money together to buy the floor, paint, the conduit pipe for the wiring and more.

So, what is it that holds you back?

Are your family or friends telling you it can never be done?

Have you convinced yourself that you’ll never see that dream come true?

God gives each of us gifts to use to bless others. What is it that you’re good at? It’s time to explore!

Today’s the day to move that one foot forward toward the goal. Just one baby step at a time.

Take a moment to watch this video (click the link): Never Give Up !!