I’ve been working as a paralegal for a month and I’m still trying to figure things out. Everything from learning protocols to understanding how each attorney works. I try not to be so hard on myself and take this time to learn what I can.
To ease my mind a little bit, how long did it take you to learn/know your job?

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Even a senior, experienced paralegal should give themselves six months at a new job to have reasonable mastery. You’re learning everything, including systems, personalities and quirks, and how to actually do legal work. No one starts as an expert. I’d say I truly felt like an expert paralegal after 8 years and being in-house at two different companies. That’s when attorneys were asking my opinion and for me to read over their work. In my first paralegal job, I felt peace after one year but not like an expert, and I had a phenomenal supervising attorney and excellent, helpful paralegal colleagues at an in-house role—plenty of people to help train me in different things. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

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This! I have 6 years under my belt and just switched jobs and feel like I have 0 years experience currently. Mainly because it’s a different field, but because every firm is different and every attorney is different and requirements are vastly different from firm to firm. Don’t be so hard on yourself OP. it gets better!!

Don’t overthink it. There’s no timeframe, really. You learn something new everyday. Make it a habit at this stage to take notes - detailed notes. You’ll be thankful later. For the attorneys, ask them what their preferences are and note that. Utilize any mutual, etc. you can lay your hands on. Don’t be in a haste to finish a task. Depending on what you do, it may get monotonous in time.

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There is a STEEP learning curve for this job! Hang in there. You’ll get it!!

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It took me about 6 months before I stopped asking stupid questions and felt comfortable with daily tasks. 🤪 I feel most efficient after a year.

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I'm always learning and changing. The laws keep changing. Attorneys change based on their personalities and preferences. Everyday is never the same. The job is ever evolving. Just strap in and make the most of the ride.

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