Benefits of Paralegal Support Services For Solo Practitioners and Small Firms

Of the four major types of attorney practices (solos/small firms, mid- to large-sized firms, corporate legal departments, and governmental entities), solo practitioners and attorneys in small firms face the most challenges. Yet, for these attorneys, solo practices and small firms can also be the most rewarding, both personally and professionally. Challenges What’s the biggest challenge?  You’re on your own.  And, there are only so many hours in a day. Not only are you trying to practice law, you’re also learning how to run a business (which they don’t teach you in law school) and handling everything yourself.  Solos and small firm attorneys are responsible for every aspect of the practice: Building and managing a business, marketing, client retention, budgeting, bookkeeping, filing, faxing, copying – all in addition to providing legal services to clients (what you went to law school for in the first place).  When you’re alone, it’s hard to … Continue reading

Evolution of Legal Support Services

As promised in the article How to Find the Right Support, here’s an explanation of how all those support titles evolved. The concept of working remotely or “virtually” is not new; what is new is the technology used to carry out and deliver the work. Of course, the term “virtual” has new meaning in a world now totally connected through technology.  However, the terms “virtual attorney” and “virtual paralegal” actually reflect the evolution of an existing group of independent professionals.  Attorneys and paralegals have been offering support from their own offices to attorneys and law firms for many, many years.  (The first time I offered support from my own office was in 1998.)  We once were referred to as contract paralegals and attorneys or, simply, independent contractors.  More recently, we have been (and are still) frequently referred to as freelancers.  Now, with the virtual world we live in, the terms … Continue reading

What’s in Your Planner?

Happy New Year! I am, once again, amazed at how fast last year flew by. Each year seems to go by faster than the last. For a while, I thought it was just part of getting older, but I know now it’s not because even my kids feel the same way. Our technological evolution and the resulting fast-paced lifestyle and 24/7 flow of information has a lot to do with it. Though I love technology in general, and many of the ways it has made our lives easier, I still wish for the simpler days. This time last year, I had a goal and a plan for 2011 and was already working furiously away at it. It’s good to have a plan. Though my initial plan failed, my overall goal for 2011 was exceeded. Ironic, isn’t it – how a “well-thought out” and executed plan can flop and yet, through … Continue reading