Best job: lawyer or paralegal?

January 9, 2009
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Paralegals have better jobs than attorneys, according to one job search Web site’s ranking of professions. Researchers at careercast.com analyzed numerous jobs and looked at five main criteria – physical demands, stress, work environment, income, and outlook (potential salary growth, unemployment rates) to rank 200 professions.

Based on the criteria, paralegals ranked No.17; attorneys made the list at No. 82. Here’s the entire list and more about the methodology.

Even though the physical demands on an attorney and paralegal scored very close in this ranking, paralegals had less stress and a better work environment, according to the researchers. Based on the methodology, it appears those careers with better work environments and less stress are “better” jobs than those that may pay higher salaries, but have a more demanding environment.

The rankings also say paralegals work on average 45 hours a week and attorneys work an average of 50 hours a week. Does that sound right?

Other careers in the legal profession making the list: court reporter/stenographer came in at No. 28 and federal judges at No. 69. For some reason, the list left off state or local judges.

I was surprised to see paralegals rank so highly on this list. I just assumed since they work in a law office, they often face similar stresses and demands that attorneys do. I expected them to be ranked closer to attorneys in that regard.

In case you’re curious, mathematician ranked No. 1 and lumberjack came in at No. 200. Reporters made No. 140 on the list.

What’s your reaction to the list? Does it seem accurate or did the list get it wrong?
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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

  5. Once again Indiana has not only shown what little respect it has for animals, but how little respect it has for the welfare of the citizens of the state. Dumping manure in a pond will most certainly pollute the environment and ground water. Who thought of this spiffy plan? No doubt the livestock industry. So all the citizens of Indiana have to suffer pollution for the gain of a few livestock producers who are only concerned about their own profits at the expense of everyone else who lives in this State. Shame on the Environmental Rules Board!

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