When Working With a Freelance Paralegal Raises Concerns

So you found a freelance paralegal you’re interested in working with.  Hopefully, you followed the suggestions outlined in the post, “Finding a Freelance Paralegal That’s Right for You” and know exactly what you are (and aren’t) looking for in retaining paralegal services.  Communicating this information to the freelance paralegal you’re talking with will help pave the way for successful communication – and a successful partnership.  But what if, in talking with this person, something bothers you and you begin thinking maybe paralegal services aren’t right for you?  What do you do?  Write it off and never again make contact with the person you found? [Hint: Your answer, hopefully, is “no.”  Besides losing a chance to get the support you need, if your initial communications are positive and your response to follow-up is non-response, it could also affect your reputation and business.  How?  Paralegals, especially freelance, are often asked for attorney … Continue reading

Ethics Focus: Signing Documents and Pleadings

You may recall from past posts what paralegals can and can’t do for their attorneys and what, in general, constitutes unauthorized practice of law (UPL)  — those things that a paralegal cannot do for you.  Today it is my honor to share with you a guest article from Vicki Voisin, ACP, that closely considers one of those responsibilities that cannot be delegated to your paralegal — signing.  Written for the paralegal audience, this article will still drive home the point and provide attorneys with valuable suggestions for alternative solutions in sticky situations. The Ethics of Signing Documents and Pleadings By Vicki Voisin, ACP Consider this scenario: You have been employed as a paralegal for the same attorney for several years. He happens to be out of town taking depositions. A deadline looms…a document absolutely has to be filed with the Court by 5:00 o’clock. No problem, you think. Your boss … Continue reading

Is Going “Virtual” the Future of Law?

This question is posed time and again.  In conversation.  In group discussions.  In articles.  In passing.  In all seriousness.  The increasing interest in virtual practice has given rise to a host of concerns and a quest for answers.  It’s a question that can be (and has been) addressed from many vantage points.  I don’t suggest an answer to this question.  However, I do suggest that consideration of the history and evolution of law practice might shed light on the direction of its future. Traditional law practice How many of you remember what it was like to practice law 25 years ago?  Letters typed on a typewriter, with carbon paper, eloquently worded with the utmost courtesy and professionalism.  Beautifully articulated handwritten notes.  Boxes upon boxes of documents in the war room.  Color-coded files in the file room.  Even then, legal work wasn’t exactly a nine-to-five job. It was actually quite easy … Continue reading