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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.

Q: Does your prior paralegal experience before law school benefit in any way when you’re looking for a litigation associate position? I am a recent graduate from a third-tier law school in Los Angeles, who has a B average and several writing awards. I moved back home to New York, passed the N.Y. bar, and am now a licensed attorney. I’m currently working as a contract associate at a midsize firm in Manhattan. Despite the partner repeatedly saying that I’m doing a great job, the firm is not hiring associates at this time.

I have five years of paralegal experience prior to law school in BigLaw and midsize firms in New York. I feel like while my paralegal experience is useful, since I have been significantly exposed to litigation, it’s ultimately where I went to school that matters the most, especially as a junior-level litigation attorney.

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