Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Over-qualified? I thought that was a cliche'.

Well, I had my interview this afternoon. I was supposed to meet with four attorneys, but one of them refused to see me. I was a little bit confused, especially since he was the head patent guy in the Company for whom I would be working.

In short, my interview was a DISASTER. The management whom I met with jumped all over the idea of training an attorney and paying me as a paralegal so that I can "get my foot in the door" and "learn the ropes of the business world while at the same time learning the real workings of a corporate IP department." However, the attorneys were appaled by the idea. They said that I was overqualified, and that I didn't belong in the Company as a paralegal. I tried to convince them that I was "starting at the bottom, like in the mail room" to no avail. They were right; I didn't belong there as a paralegal.

Further, the attorneys said that they wouldn't feel comfortable bossing me around, especially because I would be their equal and/or superior in knowledge in status, especially once I passed the patent bar. I am specialized in patent law, and it was written all over my resume. Part of me wondered whether they just didn't like the idea of an attorney (or in my case, a soon-to-be-admitted-attorney who has passed the bar exam) to work as a paralegal. Another part of me thought that I would have gotten the job if I erased the words "Juris Doctor" from my resume as if I never went to law school, ever. Most of me knew they were concerned that I wouldn't stick around in a medium-paying paralegal position after being sworn in as an attorney and so they would be wasting their time training me. I thought they were right.

On this topic, I spoke to the human resources guy about this issue before I even went on the interview -- he said that it was his (and management's) intention to train me as a paralegal for the short-term with the intention of having me move up to the ranks of attorney after a year or so of familiarizing myself with the business and the technology. I thought this was a good idea.

However, when I walked out of there, I was sure that I was walking out alone; ...WITHOUT the job.

On a positive note, today I learned a big lesson -- ATTORNEYS SHOULD NOT APPLY FOR PARALEGAL POSITIONS. That wasn't the lesson, but the rule. The lesson I learned was that I should finish up what I have been working on (namely, the patent bar) and I should take that G-d forsaken exam and get it over with and start working at a regular firm. This was the plan until I got the e-mail last week from the HR manager of the Company who saw my resume and thought it would be a good idea if I applied for the paralegal position.

Anyway, back to the patent bar.

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