The following information applies to the paralegal field in general throughout the US, so I thought I'd make a new thread for such information.
Law firms are well aware of the overwhelming number of new paralegal graduates each year and they are all for it. This allows them to saturate the market and drive down the wages they can get away with offering paralegal because there's just so much competition. And by not offering many entry level paralegal positions they are able to obtain skilled labor for legal secretary positions. There are also legal secretarial training programs out there for someone to acquire skills at, however most people who set out to get a paralegal certificate do so with the intention of becoming a paralegal.
Also, by having such an overwhelming number of paralegal program graduates they feel that it is a given that they can find someone that fits their specialization/background everytime from the unemployment bin rather than ever being willing to train someone. Law schools and law firms play a similar game. Law schools graduate nearly three times as many lawyers as the economy can handle. This allows top law firms to truly have a large pool to pick from to gather the cream of the crop. While those who did not attend a top 40 law school and/or graduate in the top 10% of their class have to luck out to get a job. Most of those in the bottom half of their graduating class never become lawyers and the surplus of graduates that do end up becoming lawyers end up driving down wages for everyone else in the legal field. There needs to be more education out there about this kind of stuff. Sites like this one are a great start.
Here's a couple great links about the diminishing amount of attorney jobs:
A diminishing amount of attorney jobs means a diminishing amount of paralegal jobs. The avg. salaries for lawyers and paralegals in law firms have long since been misreported to places like salary.com and other surveyors in order to try to lure talented young people towards a career in law. It's a scam. Nothing more, nothing less. I know that's hard to hear, but it's the truth. To anyone who has started school to become an attorney or paralegal, cut your losses and get trained in healthcare or engineering where the actual jobs are (and where the actual pay's good too). And to everyone that's a member of this forum, by adding your thoughts and expreriences to this site and other places on the web you are truly paying it forward and getting the word spread. The legal industry and schools have had their way for years by suppressing information and misrepresenting everything. Now with the internet and proliferation of information, it's society's turn to benefit.