Over 100 people attended a career fair at the North Carolina Bar Center in October. Open to all individuals interested in pursuing or currently involved in the paralegal profession, the event was a collaborative effort between the Research Triangle Paralegal Association and the Paralegal Division of N.C. Bar Association.
The event had more than 10 sponsors and 25 representatives from law firms across the state, including Ward and Smith, Myers Bigel, Wyrick Robbins and Young Moore & Henderson. Corporate representatives from Sony Ericsson and Syngenta also participated in the fair.
The program offered career tips, mock interviewing opportunities, résumé reviews, and tips on social networking and professionalism tips. Jennifer Watford, co-planner of the event, spoke highly of the attendees.
“The candidates were excited to be part of this event. They dressed and presented themselves in a professional manner,” she said.
Students from Miller Motte Technical College’s paralegal program were required to attend the career fair, collect business cards, have their resumes reviewed, participate in mock interviewing if time allowed and submit a paper on their experience.
“We were pleased that the mock interviewing was utilized to such an extent that the interviewers did not leave until everyone who wanted to attend the mock interviewing had their chance, which was nearly one hour after the fair had ended,” Watford said. “In addition, the résumé review proved to be a great tool for many paralegals currently searching for employment and for the paralegal who requested a ‘refresher’ for the résumé that hadn’t been updated in some time.”
Most attendees were not currently employed as paralegals. In addition to students, some were second-career individuals looking for a new in the profession.
Paralegal associations, including RWPA and the NCBA Paralegal Division, had members present to inform interested paralegals of the benefits of association involvement. Members from the N.C. State Bar’s Board of Paralegal Certification also attended the fair to discuss the benefits of pursuing certification.
Earlier this month, the Asheville Area Paralegal Association in North Carolina gave a presentation to the 28th Judicial District Bar called “The Dollars and $ense of Effective Paralegal Utilization.” Paralegals Laura Champlin, Elizabeth Stallings and Carolyn Timmons provided an overview of the profession and discussed attorney profitability through effective paralegal utilization, substantive tasks that can be performed by paralegals, delegation of work and the unauthorized practice of law. Copies of the handout materials are PowerPoint presentation are available by contacting Champlin at email@example.com.