Example Assignment

Laura Smith’s Vocational Action Plan

Job: Paralegal


Discrepancy: Legal Database Experience
Action: See if I can access Lexis/Nexus through my university or branch library. See if there are librarians at these locations who could help me practice using these databases. Spend two hours per week working on Lexis/Nexus searches and gaining familiarity with how the database works. Talk to Karen, Simon, and Lindsey to see if there are any other common legal databases—or other online resources—I should familiarize myself with to make me a stronger candidate

Discrepancy: I haven’t figured out what kind of law I’m interested in
Action: Talk to Karen about how she went about choosing her specialty. Before I call her I’m going to do some research into types of law and see if I can narrow the field down a bit. I know I don’t want to go the corporate route or be a bankruptcy lawyer. I might want to be involved with a law firm that specializes in human rights or civil liberties. I really need to devote some thought to this over the next couple weeks and get my interests in line.

Discrepancy: I don’t have any work experience in the field
Action: I’m going to go to the career center to see if they have any leads on part-time paralegal, or related, work. Hopefully I can get some kind of real-world experience before I graduate.


Typing: I want to get my typing speed up a bit. I’m going to ask at the vocational rehabilitation center if they have any courses I can take to improve.

Paper filing systems: I want to talk to Lindsey about how realistic it is for a law firm to make their paper filing systems accessible to me. She seems to manage fine, but Karen’s firm is really flexible and invested in making things accessible. If I’m going to be at a larger firm, I need to know how it might work so I can come up with solutions.

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