Covington employs paralegals to assist attorneys and clients in all of its practice areas. The firm's team-based approach brings together lawyers and paralegals from different offices to meet the needs of its clients. Regardless of their experience – entry-level, career-track litigation or corporate, or specialist – the contributions of the paralegals are highly valued at the firm.
Covington recruits from top colleges and universities each year. Our paralegals come from varied geographical areas and diverse educational backgrounds Many of the firm's paralegals are entry-level paralegals who are recent college graduates. We encourage entry-level paralegals to make a two-year commitment to the firm, which will allow them to assess their career interests while gaining professional experience and insight into the practice of law. Most entry-level paralegals continue on to graduate studies, including law school, business school, and doctorate studies, or to other professions, while some may stay on as generalists or ultimately become a specialist in a particular area of practice. The firm also recruits experienced litigation paralegals and specialists in various practice areas.
In New York, entry-level and senior paralegals work in two main practice groups: corporate transactions (which includes bankruptcy, tax and benefits) and litigation. The entry-level paralegals are cross-trained to allow them to work on a variety of projects in both areas and in turn gain valuable exposure to legal methodologies and strategies, as well as insight into client needs in more than one area of practice.
In Washington, entry-level paralegals most frequently work on general litigation matters and are usually assigned full-time to one or two cases, though opportunities often arise for varied short-term projects. Experienced career paralegals in the Litigation Practice Group assist in the management of complex litigation matters, including trial preparation and participation as well as mentoring entry-level paralegals. Paralegal specialists support the firm’s practice groups in such areas as communications, intellectual property, and life sciences. In addition, all paralegals may assist attorneys on pro bono matters.
Typical litigation tasks performed by paralegals entail: organizing and maintaining documents and databases; using LexisNexis or Westlaw to pull cases and cite-check briefs; and, preparing attorneys for client meetings, depositions, hearings, and trials. Paralegals working on transactional matters will typically be engaged in organizing and maintaining due diligence documents, working with documents from SEC databases and client websites, and interfacing with corporate service companies to prepare attorney teams for corporate filings and closings.
New paralegals take part in basic orientation upon starting at the firm, which includes an overview of firm policies and practices as well as basic computer training. Litigation and corporate practice specific training sessions follow, taught by attorneys, senior paralegals, and experienced outside professionals. Refresher training is also provided throughout the year to reinforce Covington practices and procedures, and to introduce new technology and information to the staff.
Paralegal candidates must have a four-year undergraduate degree and be willing to make a minimum two-year commitment to employment at the firm. Employment begins in the late spring or early summer of each year. Entry-level applicants need not have majored in any specific field, but should have compiled a strong academic record and demonstrated leadership skills and an ability to work with others in a disciplined environment. Career paralegal candidates should have all of the above plus solid law firm experience. Candidates are first screened on the basis of their resumes and, if invited for an interview, are asked to provide a college transcript and work references.
Susan Gawtry Cabrera
Covington & Burling LLP
The New York Times Building
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
Covington & Burling LLP is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to recruit promising candidates without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.