Career Path

Within our corporate, litigation, and intellectual property (IP) groups, Ropes & Gray has a tiered paralegal career path spanning from entry level to paralegal specialist. The tiered paralegal career path provides a number of growth opportunities, including targeted professional development and promotion opportunities based on skill development, experience and expertise.

Our corporate group also offers a specialized two-year entry level program designed for recent graduates who want to experience working in a law firm before attending law school.

Qualifications


Qualifications 

Corporate – Program (requires a 2 year commitment)

Entry-Level Paralegal

  • Experience: 0-3 years of prior legal experience.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree from a top university
  • Skills: This position involves significant contact with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals and requires strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. The entry-level paralegal must have the ability to learn and apply practice area concepts to the appropriate assignments.  The entry level paralegal must be a self-starter who is highly organized and works collaboratively within and across teams.

Paralegal Analyst

  • Eligible for two year program candidates who wish to stay beyond initial commitment
  • Experience: 2 years legal experience with exemplary performance
  • Skills: This position has significant contact with attorneys, paralegals and management professionals. It requires person to be a leader within the paralegal practice group team and actively involved in paralegal and firm initiatives while serving as a voice and mentor to program-based paralegals.

Corporate – Career

Entry-Level Paralegal

  • Designed to provide experience and exposure to recent graduates who want to build a career as a paralegal within a specific practice group.
  • Experience: 0-3 years of prior legal experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: This position involves significant contact with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals and requires strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. The entry-level paralegal must have the ability to learn and apply practice area concepts to the appropriate assignments and be a self-starter who is highly organized and works collaboratively within and across teams. 

Mid-Level Paralegal

  • Experience: A minimum of 3 years experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: This position involves significant collaboration with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals and requires excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. Working in a team environment, the mid-level paralegal demonstrates a firm understanding of practice area protocols, anticipates needs, and exercises independent judgment.  The successful paralegal in this role shows a willingness to take ownership of assigned tasks, create and implement plans for fact gathering and information management, and seek answers when knowledge limits are reached.  Within litigation, this position is expected to develop team leadership skills and effective delegation abilities

Senior-Level Paralegal

  • Experience: A minimum of 5 years experience 
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: The senior paralegal brings superior interpersonal, oral and written communication skills to their interactions with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals. Through prior experience, they have significant knowledge and solid understanding of practice area processes, procedures, rules and regulations.  Senior paralegals have a proven ability to anticipate needs and exercise independent judgment. Paralegals in this role mentor and train paralegals as well as provide guidance to new associates. The senior paralegal is highly integrated into their teams and expected to assist attorneys with overall matter management. They are a knowledgeable and capable resource to their peers and colleagues.

Paralegal Specialist

  • Experience: A minimum of 8 years of legal experience in a specific practice area of law.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: Building on the skills honed as a senior paralegal, the paralegal specialist has advanced knowledge and solid understanding of processes, procedures, rules and regulations in a specific legal practice area.  A paralegal specialist demonstrates a thorough understanding of complex issues and their potential impact, adapts comfortably to changing circumstances, and adjusts plans in times of uncertainty and change. On teams, they establish procedures and identify metrics to enable the team to achieve goals and deliverables.  Specialists take a leadership role, formally and informally, within the paralegal department. They develop and implement curriculum, participate as instructors to junior paralegals, and serve as a resource to management in their area of specialty. The paralegal specialist makes substantial contributions to the success of the department.
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Litigation – Career

Case Assistant

  • Experience: 0-2 years of prior legal experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: This position involves significant contact with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals and requires strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. The case assistant must have the ability to learn and apply practice area concepts to the appropriate assignments.  This hands-on position provides support to case teams in all aspects of litigation support and is responsible for performing routine tasks essential to case success.  The candidate must be a self-starter who is highly organized and works collaboratively within and across teams.

Entry-Level/Junior Paralegal

  • Experience: 2-4 years of solid litigation experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills:  This position involves significant contact with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals and requires strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. The entry-level paralegal must have the ability to learn and apply practice area concepts to the appropriate assignments.  This hands-on position provides support to case teams in all aspects of litigation support, through trial and the appeal process.  The candidate must be a self-starter who is highly organized and works collaboratively within and across teams.

Mid-Level Paralegal

  • Experience: A minimum of 4 years of solid litigation experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: This position involves significant collaboration with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals and requires excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. The paralegal provides support as an integral part of strategizing case file and process management through all stages of litigation.  Working in a team environment, the mid-level paralegal demonstrates a firm understanding of practice area protocols, anticipates needs, and exercises independent judgment.  This position is expected to develop team leadership skills and effective delegation abilities.

Senior-Level Paralegal

  • Experience: A minimum of 5-7 years of extensive litigation or government enforcement experience 
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: The senior paralegal brings superior interpersonal, oral and written communication skills to their interactions with attorneys, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals. Through prior experience, they have significant knowledge and understanding of practice area processes, procedures, rules and regulations and serve as lead paralegals on large and complex cases and projects.  Senior paralegals have a proven ability to anticipate needs and exercise independent judgment. Paralegals in this role mentor and train paralegals as well as provide guidance to new associates. The senior paralegal is highly integrated into their teams and expected to set up systems and make recommendations to their teams to ensure efficient and effective matter management. They are a knowledgeable and capable resource to their colleagues.

Paralegal Specialist

  • Experience: A minimum of 8 years of extensive litigation or government enforcement experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: Building on the skills honed as a senior paralegal, the paralegal specialist has advanced knowledge and understanding of processes, procedures, rules and regulations in a specific legal practice area.  A paralegal specialist demonstrates a thorough understanding of complex issues and their potential impact, adapts comfortably to changing circumstances, and adjusts plans in times of uncertainty and change. On matter and project teams, they establish procedures and identify metrics to enable the team to achieve goals and deliverables.  Specialists take a leadership role, formally and informally, within the paralegal department. They develop and implement curriculum, mentor and coach junior paralegals, and serve as a resource to management in their area of specialty. The paralegal specialist makes substantial contributions to the success of the department.
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Intellectual Property, IP Docketing, Trademark– Career

Entry-Level

  • Experience: 0-3 years of prior legal experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree Desired
  • Skills: The entry-level paralegal position is designed to provide experience and exposure to individuals with a desire to build a career as a paralegal supporting the Intellectual Property (IP) Practice Group. The position involves significant contact with attorneys, technical associates, paralegals and other Ropes & Gray professionals and requires strong interpersonal, oral and written communications skills.  The entry-level paralegal must have the ability to learn and apply practice area concepts to the appropriate assignments and be a self-starter who is organized and works collaboratively within and across teams.

Mid-Level Paralegal

  • Experience: Minimum of 3 years U.S. or Foreign Docketing/Prosecution experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree or a minimum of 5 years U.S. or Foreign Docketing/Prosecution experience
  • Filing skills: The mid-level patent filing paralegal is responsible for supporting and assisting internal and external clients on all assigned U.S. or foreign patent prosecution matters.  The patent filing paralegal is expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the filing requirements for U.S. or foreign patent prosecution matters and be competent at preparing all associated documents.  The patent filing paralegal is also expected to have a basic knowledge with respect to completing complex U.S. or foreign filings. 
  • Docketing skills: The mid-level IP docketing paralegal is responsible for handling docketing and document management functions related to U.S. and foreign patent/trademark prosecution, which includes docketing of inbound, outbound and internal communications and proactively monitoring and ensuring that all final deadlines are timely met. The IP docketing paralegal is expected to have a comprehensive understanding of U.S. or foreign patent/trademark prosecution and opposition rules and procedures and be competent in the docketing of all related actions.   The IP docketing paralegal is also expected to have a basic knowledge with respect to completing complex U.S. or foreign docketing. 
  • Trademark skills: The mid-level trademark paralegal is responsible for supporting and assisting internal and external clients on all assigned trademark, copyright and domain name prosecution matters worldwide.  The trademark paralegal is expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the filing requirements for U.S. and foreign trademark, copyright and domain name prosecution matters and be competent at preparing all associated documents.  The trademark paralegal is also expected to have a basic knowledge with respect to completing complex filings in the more obscure foreign countries.  The trademark paralegal also proactively monitors and ensures that all assigned deadlines are timely met.

Senior-Level Paralegal

  • Experience: A minimum of 7 years U.S. or Foreign Docketing/Prosecution experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree or a minimum of 10 years U.S. or Foreign Docketing/Prosecution experience Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Skills: The senior patent filing or IP docketing or trademark paralegal possesses an advanced knowledge of U.S. or foreign rules and regulations worldwide and effectively applies knowledge with respect to his/her role; shows ability to interpret rule changes and their effect on internal procedures; and shows ability to conduct advanced legal research.  The senior patent filing or IP docketing or trademark paralegal acts as a knowledge resource for daily operations with respect to his/her role and is able to assist in developing fail safe processes and procedures in order to minimize deadline driven risks.

Paralegal Specialist

  • Experience: Minimum of 10 years U.S. or Foreign Docketing/Prosecution experience
  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree or a minimum of 15 years U.S. or Foreign Docketing/Prosecution experience
  • Skills: The specialist possesses an advanced knowledge of patent or trademark rules and regulations worldwide; demonstrates the ability to easily apply knowledge to all areas of practice; proactively keeps current with regulatory changes with respect to his/her role; alerts management and others of same; and assists with development of best practices.  The specialist possesses an advanced understanding of all functions in area of focus; and possesses ability to provide assistance to manager in ensuring smooth day to day operations of the department with respect to his/her area of focus.
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