How Not To Respond to an Ad for Temporary Paralegal AssistanceJuly 25, 2014
A legal staffing agency put up an advertisement soliciting applications for a temporary paralegal position. Cover letters and résumés started rolling in. Like this one:
I am not a paralegal. But, I type 85 WPM and used to be [an] executive assistant and have multiple skillsets, easy to train, that honestly set me $1000 over the salary of a degreed political science bachelors degreed [sic] person. Sadly, she was aggressive and began reading Hitler’s methods and worked her way to stop my success with her deception.
The compliance lawyer finally figured out what she was doing and wound up getting rid of her. She now works in buying and selling electrical components somewhere.
So, I have no way to measure her value or mine within this paralegal field. I’ll let you be the judge.
A cover letter referencing Hitler? + 10 points. We don’t know what “Hitler’s methods” consist of, but then again, we never read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nazis.
Read the rest of this long, strange, rambling cover letter — does the applicant need a paralegal gig, or a therapist? — after the jump.
The cover letter continues:
I envy her [the “Hilter’s methods” lady] in some ways, as she knows how to get where she wants to go. I just like to take my time and be a team player, not a bulldozer, which is a rare thing from what a Criminal Justice professor advised me, when I thought of obtaining a paralegal bachelors degree. I am aggressive, just can’t bulldoze people over. He was unsure if I’d make it in that field because of that personality feature I have.
I’d rather love people and nurture them to their success. I don’t have that other bulldozing personality trait in me, to stop other’s success. I can bulldoze aggressively to help people succeed. So, honestly, I do not know how you would value me in that way. I thought that was important to mention as I don’t know precisely how you’d need someone to be.
What law firm wouldn’t want a paralegal to “love” and “nurture” people? Here’s a pair of kneepads, kid; get to work.
(But if you “don’t have that other bulldozing personality trait” in you, in terms of an ability and willingness “to stop other’s success,” then you might not to be cut out for law school.)
I’ve had some compliance experience. The compliance experience was basically data entry making edits to documents and having strikethroughs show up on the document of removed verbage. Honestly, I thought it was pretty basic to be a paralegal, as they had told me that was paralegal work. Surely, there has to be more to it.
Says who? Making edits to documents and generating blacklined (some say redlined) copies is what junior associates do, too. Except they’re getting paid a lot more to do it.
If you require research, I can do some of that. But, reading volumes of legal documents that a law student would be required to absorb and interpret, to me, would require more of a lawyer than someone with my experience. But, I am willing to help you, if that is what you need.
If you are in a bind, let me jump in and help you out. I can jump over there to help you out if you are in a bind, rather quickly, while you are looking for someone else that may be more qualified. Or, I may be precisely what you need if you show me what to do. Again, I don’t know what you would need. So, you’d have to let me know what you would need help with.
The applicant’s candor is admirable. Most job applicants overstate their qualifications; few applicants offer themselves up as placeholder employees, to be kept on while the employer “look[s] for someone else that may be more qualified.”
The ad you wrote seemed that you were in urgent need of help, right now. So, I thought that my offer would help you. I hate sitting home studying all day and submitting the neverending resume search for employment anyways. I have a degree. It’s not a bachelor’s yet, I’m working on that piece. I have an associates and hope to start my own business someday on the side of real estate appraisal. But, this economy is dicey for anyone to train in the field. So, I’m sitting here doing nothing of value. I can’t stand not making a difference and working.
Ah, to be young and idealistic. After a few years in the workforce, we suspect this aspiring paralegal will conclude that work is overrated. And that “sitting here doing nothing of value” can be fabulous — especially if you’re getting paid $160,000 for it. (Or working from the comfort of your own home, as we are.)
So, let me know your thoughts. If you need me, let me know. I’ll come right down and begin now. I’d love to be of assistance. My hours of availability are 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.
And that’s all he/she wrote. That’s one heck of a cover letter, no?