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Behind the Scenes at a Law Firm: Working in Legal Support

Black binder files

While most students dream of landing that paralegal or law clerk position, I’m here to tell you that working in the legal industry in a support role can be just as valuable and rewarding for your future career, if perhaps a little less glamorous.

During my first few years of study I worked in HR records and undertook such tasks as archiving, liaising with staff, data entry, filing and everything related to record management.

After several years I felt ready for a new challenge and applied to work as a records officer at a top tier law firm. After an initial interview, a phone interview with the national manager for my department and a meet and greet over coffee with the person who would be my immediate supervisor, I had the job and was ecstatic.

They often require less experience, although may be more of a time commitment over semester. The position is permanent part time, meaning that I work through semester as well as on breaks. I knew this would be a challenge but my employers have been very accommodating of my study load around exam times.

I’m not always in the thick of the legal work like a clerk or a paralegal, but there are other advantages. I am there at the start of a matter to open it and issue labels as necessary. I liaise with secretaries on a daily basis and when the legal work is finished I will close the matter and archive it. In my role I get to see entire matters play out across every area the firm operates in.

My role has also given me the opportunity to clerk with the firm in the coming winter, an opportunity I may not have gotten were I not already a part of the fabric of the firm.

I love working in a legal environment and being immersed in the work of the firm. I have had a fantastic time working in a support capacity and I encourage anyone interested in the law to seek these roles out.

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