Successful law firms recognize the true value of paralegal programs. At Baker Botts, we know that part of our overall success is attributed to the fact that we have one of the strongest paralegal programs in the country. Paralegals and paralegal clerks are a critical part of the reason our lawyers are able to consistently serve clients in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Most Baker Botts offices employ a three-tiered paralegal program consisting of paralegal clerks, paralegals and senior paralegals.
These entry-level positions are filled by recent college graduates who want exposure to the legal profession but don’t want to enter law school or graduate school immediately. Other candidates include those individuals who are interested in a career as a paralegal and who would like to get training and experience. All clerks benefit from learning the practical aspects of trial preparation, corporate transaction preparation and contact with paralegals and lawyers. Typical assignments include indexing and coding documents, performing database searches, preparing trial notebooks and assembling closing binders.
Baker Botts maintains a low lawyer-to-paralegal ratio, which gives paralegals the opportunity for significant responsibility and professional growth. Our objective is for paralegals to increase their value by developing a specialized area of expertise. Our paralegals customarily draft documents, perform factual and legal research, assist at trials and in closings and have substantial client contact. Most paralegal positions require prior experience as a paralegal or paralegal clerk.
Senior paralegals are those who have demonstrated exceptional performance and have at least five years of experience as a paralegal, with three of those years being at Baker Botts. Individuals promoted to senior paralegal are recognized for their leadership ability and often serve as case managers and trainers.
Orientation and training help us integrate paralegal clerks and paralegals into our firm. All paralegals and paralegal clerks receive comprehensive IT training. We also provide training on current document and case management database technology, as well as training that targets specific practice areas.