Did You Know . . .

It’s hard to believe almost three months have passed since starting this blog.  While I have lots of information to share, I really wanted to start by explaining the role of paralegals in the legal profession and defining freelance paralegals and paralegal services since both topics serve as the basis for this blog.  The posts relating to paralegals and freelance legal support focused on answering the questions attorneys generally ask.  The result can almost be described as a mini-series on each topic.  In case you missed it, here’s a recap on what you’ll find here so far. Information on paralegals and the paralegal profession The Paralegal Profession: A Brief History for Attorneys The Paralegal Profession: [Almost] everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask Paralegal Do’s and Don’ts: What can (and can’t) a paralegal do for you What? You don’t have a license to practice as a paralegal? … Continue reading

Finding a Freelance Paralegal That’s Right For You

If you’ve thought about getting support from a freelance paralegal but are unsure of how to find one who’s right for your practice or department, here are a few things to consider (be prepared for a few surprises). Define positive and negative attributes of a successful freelance paralegal partnership Before setting off to find a freelance paralegal, you have some homework.  Yes, homework.  First, be honest with yourself.  Sit down and really think about what you’re looking for in working with a freelance paralegal.  What is important to you and your practice?  What are your goals in working with a freelance paralegal?  What do you want to get out of the relationship?  What do you need?  What are you looking to achieve with a freelance paralegal?  What would make such a partnership beneficial?  Successful? Also consider what you don’t want.  What would make such a relationship a negative, rather than … Continue reading

Thanks, But We’re Not Hiring . . . Freelance Legal Professionals

Do you know the difference between an independent contractor and an employee? Maybe. That understanding is sometimes challenged, though, when those classifications are applied to members of the legal field. Admittedly, the concept of freelance legal professionals can be hard to grasp and is sometimes confused with employees. More than once I’ve heard an attorney say, “No, I’m not hiring” or, “Yes, I’m looking to hire” when talking with a freelance paralegal or freelance attorney. Hopefully, this post will help clarify the difference between an employee and a freelance legal professional. Freelance paralegals and freelance attorneys are independent contractors. In other words, they are business owners providing their professional services to solo practitioners, law firms, corporations, and governmental agencies. Freelance paralegals and freelance attorneys are not employees. They aren’t for hire. They’re not looking for employment (well, maybe some are but that’s not what they’re doing when they’re offering professional … Continue reading

Are There Benefits to Working with a Freelance Paralegal?

If you read the post, Why Would I need a Freelance Paralegal, you may wonder how a freelance paralegal can be a quick and cost-effective solution in some circumstances.  In other situations, you may wonder why you wouldn’t just hire an employee.  The answers to these questions I did not understand myself until I began working as a freelance paralegal.  I knew paralegal support services offered incredible benefits to attorneys but I had a hard time fully understanding certain benefits until I gained an in-depth understanding of the work itself.  So I give you here the answers to those questions, at least in brief. Freelance paralegal?  Why, when I can hire someone? Working with a freelance paralegal can be a great solution when hiring isn’t an option or doesn’t make sense.  A freelance paralegal may make more sense when: You don’t expect the need for additional support to last indefinitely; … Continue reading

Why Would I Need a Freelance Paralegal?

The question of why an attorney would need support has come up in the past.  And if you’re fortunate enough to always have a manageable caseload that never increases, never have competing deadlines, never worry about reducing overhead, cutting costs, or increasing your client base, and have paralegal(s) who are similarly not overworked, then the question is certainly a viable one. However, few of us live in a perfect world and all of us could use a little help at one time or other.  I know I could.  The post, “You’re a what?  Freelance Paralegals Defined” mentioned that a freelance paralegal can help you with your caseload when hiring isn’t an option as well as when delegating just one task would help immensely.  These aren’t the only times a freelance paralegal provides support; attorneys utilize freelance paralegals for a wide range of reasons.  What are those reasons? When a freelance … Continue reading

You’re a what? Freelance Paralegals Defined

Freelance paralegal? What’s that? Virtual paralegal? What’s that? Have you ever heard these terms and wondered? Have you ever wondered or wished there was a way to get help with your caseload when hiring isn’t an option but you and your staff are struggling to meet demands or deadlines? Have you ever thought, “It would be so nice to be able to delegate just this one thing?” Those two terms above represent the answer to such questions. Freelance paralegal defined A freelance paralegal, sometimes referred to as a virtual paralegal, is a paralegal who works as an independent contractor providing substantive legal support to attorneys, firms, corporations, or governmental agencies on an as-needed basis. Depending on the attorney’s need, a freelance paralegal may provide paralegal support services occasionally – only when the need arises – or regularly – providing daily or weekly support. As independent contractors, freelance paralegals are business … Continue reading