MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to hiring for paralegal positions, knowledge of a specific practice area is the most desirable attribute, according to 66 percent of lawyers interviewed recently by staffing firm Robert Half Legal. Technological proficiency ranked second with 13 percent of the survey response.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 200 lawyers at the largest law firms and corporations in the United States.
Lawyers were asked, "In a competitive job market, which one of the following attributes makes paralegals the most marketable?" Their responses:
Practice area expertise
Length of employment/tenure
Associate or bachelor's degree
Paralegal certification or bar association accreditation.
"When hiring for paralegal roles, prior practice area expertise will bring a job seeker's resume to the top of the stack, particularly if that experience is in a high-demand specialty such as bankruptcy or litigation," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "This is a market that favors specialists over generalists -- job applicants should highlight the specific skills and expertise that make them the ideal fit for a specific job opening so that employers know they will hit the ground running if hired."
Volkert offers the following five tips for job seekers to improve their marketability:
- Conduct a career assessment. List your actual accomplishments and current skills. Determine what may be holding you back from advancing professionally.
- Fill in the gaps. What skills do you need to develop? Are your technical skills rusty? Is project management a weakness? Take classes or online courses to address these shortcomings.
- Stay on the cutting edge. Enhance your potential value to prospective employers by regularly attending legal association conferences, networking events or seminars to stay abreast of developments in the field and also make new contacts.
- Consider project or pro bono work. Gain exposure to a variety of law firms, corporations and practice areas by taking temporary assignments. Likewise, volunteering with nonprofit or legal aid organizations also can help you gain experience and expand your skill set.
- Tap others' expertise. Mentors and other professional colleagues can help you identify any gaps in your skills or experience, make professional introductions, and may be able to provide job leads.
About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Legal offers online job search services at www.roberthalflegal.com.
SOURCE Robert Half Legal