Paralegal Group Discussion Question: Why Did You Become a Paralegal?

An archived Paralegal Group LinkedIn discussion thread asks, “Why Did You Become a Paralegal?” The thread started by Karen George, FRP, posting the question as quoted in full below. There are several good responses posted and I was going to copy all or parts of those posted by Chere Estrin of The Estrin Report, KNOW: The Magazine for Paralegals, and several other publications and organizations, and Linda Whipple, FRP, a paralegal for some 36 years who I’ve quoted before, but according to the thread Chere is likely to write about this in KNOW soon with permission from Linda to include her thoughts, so I won’t blatantly steal that thunder. Instead, I recommend you (1) read the discussion thread, (2) read Chere’s article when it comes out in KNOW, and (3) add your comments by posting here or emailing me (The Paralegal Group is now an open group, but the discussion thread is from about a month ago and appears to be “read only.”) [BTW: Chere also contributed an article on the history of paralegals to The Empowered Paralegal Professionalism Anthology now set for publication.]

Here’s Karen George’s original question:

I was talking to some friends today and one is a nurse. She is proceeding with her education in nursing and had to write a 750 word essay on “why do you want to be a nurse”. She read me the essay and it struck me; why did I become a paralegal? Could I write a 750 word essay on the subject?
We read so many posts from paralegals who can’t find jobs, are thinking of leaving the legal field to go into something else so they can get a job. Then we have paralegals who have invested tens of thousands of dollars in education to get certificates, associates degress and bachelor degrees in paralegal. Some even have gotten Masters degrees in paralegal studies. Why not a JD and pass the Bar?
But really, why did YOU decide to become a paralegal? Was it a calling? What was the compulsion to invest so much money in this particular profession?
In Florida as paralegals all that we do, study, get registered as FRPs, take either the NALA certification for CP or NFPA certification for RP, is voluntary, completely voluntary.
So I pose the question to you, all you paralegals out there; Why did you become a paralegal?
It should be interesting to see the answers and maybe help me come up with an answer myself.

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