At a crossroads of many roads
September 1, 2012 5:40 AM Subscribe
Career change into law - tips? Or alternatively, suggestions for another career path.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 24. I graduated with a B.Sc in the hard sciences, and have always assumed I'd go on to do research in said science, get a PhD and maybe a Nobel. (Ha.) I did four stints of research, co-authored a paper and wrote 20-page reports, and firmly decided that I will never touch scientific research again. I got an entry-level gig in said science for 1.5 years, and came to the decision that I won't do that science anymore. I'm glad I did it, and the quantitative/research/analytical/logical skills it taught me were invaluable, but it's no longer what I want to do. I quit my job 6 months ago (toxic management + health issues forced my leave without a new job lined up); started seriously job hunting about 3.5 months ago after recovery.
I thought about paralegalism (I'm in Canada, and law isn't quite as saturated as it is in the States, I think). It seems like it'd play well to my strengths of logic, writing and research and etc (and informational interviews haven't told me anything to dissuade me). I wanted to work as an office clerk (or something entry-level) in a law firm before I go to school (required for paralegals in my area). However, despite having a strong cover letter and resume and solid references, I've only gotten two interviews (one started disengaged; wasn't my fault. The other I'm still waiting on the response from - but a month after the interview, I'm not hopeful), one suddenly cancelled interview (position filled), and all quietness from all the legal placement agencies, my network, and all Craigslist apps. I've never so much as taken a single law course, hence wanting to get some experience before I go for schooling, but it seems like it's a high bar to cross. Maybe I won't even like law, I don't know, but I have no data to confirm or deny that.
Are there other things I can do to improve marketability? Also, what are some other options for a career change? A friend of mine referred me to her company (a leadership consulting firm) for an admin assistant position; HR loved my application, and we're interviewing next week, although I am worried maybe that niche is a little too feelings and sales and fluffy for my tastes. I don't like crunching numbers, but I do appreciate precision and logic and things like that. (Also, they want someone for 2-3 years, and ditching too early may reflect badly on my friend and me.)
Also, should I continue my narrow focus onto law firms, or branch out into any other interesting-sounding things? (I don't know what law will be like, after all.) If anything interesting-sounding offers me a position, should I take it, or hold my hope out for law?
My finances are okay between savings and parental support, although I do worry about the increasing gap on my resume. I am sporadically volunteering for the local blood bank, and my Toastmasters group. I have not found any law-related volunteering activities. Due to old injuries, I cannot do the more common stopgap jobs (retail, foods, etc.)