Extract from Jordan Rothman’s article “Professional Paralegals Deserve More Respect”
Law firms typically take a few different approaches to how they treat paralegals. Some shops view paralegals as temporary, somewhat transitional employees, who will likely depart the firm after a certain period of time. Indeed, some prospective law students often take paralegals jobs to get legal experience before heading to law school, and others may wish to work as a paralegal for a year or two to see if they want to become attorneys. Moreover, there is an extremely inaccurate and unfair perception among some in the legal community that many paralegals are simply individuals who did not have the skill, time, or patience to become lawyers (which I always thought was weird, since many attorneys regret their own career choices!). However, some firms view paralegals as integral, long-term members of their team and invest time and resources to develop their paralegal staff. For a variety of reasons, professional paralegals can be extremely valuable to law firms, and more shops should respect and invest in professional paralegals.