Looking for advice on considering becoming a paralegal, or something else law related. - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-22-2011, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Long story short, my family's life was torn apart by cps.  People would rather not believe it, but I did nothing and lost my daughter for almost a year.

 

I saw so much corruption, so many lies, etc.  The whole situation was maddening and eye opening. 

 

I have never considered a law type of career before.  But I have been seriously interested in family law since around 2006.  I am a good student and fairly smart.  I really want a career (or maybe just an education) that can help me to help other people in this situation; because there are zero to no resources out there for poor people being destroyed by this system.  Not sure yet if I want to change my whole career, or if maybe I just want the education so I can volunteer somewhere/somehow?

 

Would a paralegal education help me to reach this goal?  I would consider becoming an attorney, but I would never be able to afford law school.  Is there something else that I am not considering?  This has been on my mind since 2008, but now I feel ready to take it on. 

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks :)


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Old 09-22-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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You might consider becoming a law librarian serving in an academic or public or jailhouse or court law library or as part of larger  You would need a B.A. and Master's in Library Science. Some law librarians have JDs but many do not.

 

Most law libraries are open to the public and librarians come into contact with pro se (self represented) litigants all the time. They cannot  legal research for the public but they often assist the patrons (families, lawyers, judges, incarcerated felons) in locating the law and teach them how to conduct legal research.

 

Most states would require less education to become a paralegal. Some require a BA + certificate and some are direct entry. I don't know of how many jobs are available in the legal aid sector. Attorney jobs are difficult to get.

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Old 09-22-2011, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.  I know what you mean about becoming an attorney.  And that's a big part of why I haven't seriously considered it.  I don't want to spend tons of money and years in school just to donate all of my time and services anyway (because that is mainly what I want to do).  So I am trying to look into other options.

 

Law librarians help me out a lot during other family law court cases of mine.  That's a great idea.  I think paralegal may be more practical for me though?  I guess I need to research this more.  Now if only I could find a regionally accredited, ABA approved, online program...then I would really be set I think.  (I know that doesn't exist, I just wish that it did lol).  Thanks again. :)

 

 


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Old 09-22-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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I don't know that I would consider becoming a paralegal.  Paralegal's don't make very much money, and rarely are given insurance. 

 

Also, family law is terrible.  I just graduated law school, and have been fighting in court over my son for ages.  It's insane, and it sucks. 

 

I would look into doing work with social services, or becoming a social worker instead.

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Old 09-23-2011, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After what they did to me (and most importantly to my daughter), I could never and would never work with or for social services.  Never going to happen.

 

After seeing the costs of all the various types of legal educations, it just isn't something that I can do right now anyways.  I am going to contact some of the groups that fight cps and see what kind of volunteers they really need.  Maybe it will point me in a totally different direction.

 

I probably should have posted this in activism.  Thanks for all the helpful and thoughtful replies.


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Old 09-23-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

After what they did to me (and most importantly to my daughter), I could never and would never work with or for social services.  Never going to happen.

 

After seeing the costs of all the various types of legal educations, it just isn't something that I can do right now anyways.  I am going to contact some of the groups that fight cps and see what kind of volunteers they really need.  Maybe it will point me in a totally different direction.

 

I probably should have posted this in activism.  Thanks for all the helpful and thoughtful replies.


I didn't mean work for CPS, I meant another type of social services, or working as a social worker for a different organization, one that helps families at risk of CPS intervention.  They do exist, and some are very good (I don't know where you are though, so I don't know of any specifically that you could look into).

 

There are also jobs in policy type work, to change policies and procedures, and to try and better the "system".  I don't know very much about CPS in particular, but I'm sure there are people out there trying to make it a better system for families all around.  Most of those jobs require a certain amount of education though, I'm not sure exactly what the qualifications would be.

 

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Old 09-27-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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Hi,

I am doing a paralegal certificate program right now. Keep in mind that as a paralegal you cannot practice law, i.e. you cannot give legal advice, sign court documents or appear in court for a client. Maybe something like what Super-Single-Mama mentioned is more the direction you are thinking of.


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Old 09-27-2011, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone.  I decided to just go for becoming a lawyer.  My child development degree is all but worthless now thanks to cps.  So I am beyond motivated to work hard, become a lawyer, and help people battle them.  I am also interested in adoption and other family law types, thanks to some life experiences I've had.  I would have never guessed that this is the path I would take.  But the universe has brought me to here and now it just feels so right.  I know that I can do this.  Thanks again for all the input, it really helped me to put some stuff into perspective. 


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Old 09-30-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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There are (some) scholarships to law school, and some loan forgiveness programs if you go into public interest or government work...you can also go part time at some schools and work.  It is a hard road with its own craziness, but for the right people walking in with eyes wide open, can be a great life.


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