A paralegal new to the field has many options as far as career opportunities. One major decision for a paralegal pursuing a career at a law firm is whether or not to seek employment at a small or large firm. Taking into consideration some of the pros and cons of both small and large firms will give oneself an understanding on which to set their criteria for their final decision.
Law firms with 25 or fewer attorneys are usually considered small law firms. Since small laws firms out number larger law firms, the majority of all paralegals work for small firms. In small law firms 14% of paralegals work for firms that contain just one attorney, 29% in firms with two to five attorneys, 18% with six to ten attorneys, and 17% of all paralegals work in firms containing eleven to twenty-five attorneys (Miller, Urisko 23). In small firms competition between paralegals would be slim to none depending on the how many paralegals work for the firm. Sally Kane says, “With fewer employees vying for assignments, promotions and a slice of the profits, legal professionals in small law firms face less in-house competition than their big-firm counterparts” ("Small Law Firm Life - 10 Benefits of Working in a Small Law Firm - Small Law Firm Employment."). A paralegal just starting out would have the privilege of becoming familiar with many processes of law at a small firm.
Small firms tend to be less formal and may have a more relaxed, casual, dress code. A less formal dress code would save the paralegal money in the long run because there would be no need to keep up with expensive formal clothing.
Small law firms offer the paralegal a chance to work in many different areas of law and allow them to provide many different services while working on a variety of tasks. This would give the paralegal a chance to see what areas of law they prefer and would like to specialize in.
A paralegals wages in a small law firm tend to be lower than wages at a large firm. The Average paralegal salary for law firms containing one attorney is $46,618, and $55,492 at firms with eleven to twenty-five attorneys (Miller, Urisko 23). The more attorneys the firm has the more money a paralegal can make.
Law firms with more than 25 attorneys are usually considered large law firms. Since small law firms out number large firm a smaller percent of all paralegals...