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Dear Editor:
I would like to respond to the two very experienced paralegals who are unable to find work. First of all, I would like to know where you are located - that could be a factor. Secondly, I would like to tell you to take heart. I know someone with over 15 years of experience who was recently well received by a large firm. Your assumption that most small firms fear they couldn't afford you may be correct. Also, some firms want a paralegal that they can mold to their way of doing things. Other attorneys may feel threatened by paralegals with more experience than they have. I think you should look at large, full-service law firms with immigration departments where they actually need people who can work autonomously. I know you said you didn't want big money, but why not - you've paid your dues. The other advice I have for you is that you need to be willing to take risks and make leaps. You may be able to work in a corporation as an in-house preparer, or as a consultant of some sort. Maybe you have to market yourself differently, call yourself a specialist instead of a paralegal. You may also need to address the "overqualified" issue in your cover letter so that you can at least get an interview to prove yourself. Lastly, look at who you've worked for. You will often be judged based on the caliber of the attorneys for whom you have worked, for better or worse. If they are well-positioned they should be able to help you by talking to their colleagues.

SJD



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