Find an A-Player Paralegal, Part III

Identifying needs and goals Last time, we found out how costly it is to pay for less than the best. Now that we know, we need to work on improving our methods for finding the best paralegal support possible.  With Mike’s technique, finding good paralegal support begins before we start looking.  As we’ve discussed in the past, it begins with some soul searching. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want your paralegal to do, neither will your paralegal. At the most basic level, you need to first decide what you want help with. It won’t matter how good your paralegal is, or how great his or her suggestions are – if you don’t have a good understanding of your needs, there’s a good chance you’re not going to be satisfied. If you have to, start generally.  Once you have a general idea of what you want … Continue reading

Finding an A-Player Paralegal, Part II

The true cost of lower-level support The introduction to this series identified the challenge in finding good support, and briefly considered how we’ve traditionally looked for support.  Those traditional methods can be costly when they don’t work.  During the business seminar I attended, Mike shared a wealth of statistics and information on employee engagement, and the cost of hiring less-than engaged and capable support. According to those statistics, only 29% of employees are engaged in their work.  That’s a scary thought that leads to an even bigger problem: The 70+ percent of employees who are not engaged do not do a good job, are dissatisfied with their employment, and create a less-than-appealing work atmosphere.  In contrast, employees who are engaged enjoy their job and are good at what they do. Our first goal, then, is to find, retain, and keep one of the 29% who are motivated.  If you’re looking … Continue reading

Finding an A-Player Paralegal

The last substantive article we published focused on maximizing paralegal support.  It was written on the pretense that you already have, or are getting ready to start using, a paralegal.  But what if you do not yet have a paralegal and are concerned about finding good paralegal support? Well, I may have found the answer.  While attending an amazing business seminar by Mike Michalowicz and Donna Leyens, I was thrilled to find that the discussion included the topic of finding great employees – something I struggled with myself as my own business began to grow.  After a few conversations with attorneys who were having difficulty finding good support, I decided to share my newfound wisdom so that others may hopefully benefit, as well. One housekeeping note about this series: Paralegal Support 101 provides attorneys with information about both the paralegal profession and paralegal support services.  To provide complete information, you’ll … Continue reading

How to Maximize Paralegal Support

Are you getting the most out of your paralegals? If you don’t have paralegals, but are getting ready to start using them in your practice, do you know how to maximize their potential? The paralegal profession was created to take a load off of attorneys by allowing paralegals to perform much of the substantive legal work traditionally handled by attorneys.  Paralegals receive specialized training to learn these skills, whether from the attorneys they work for, through formal education, or both. Certain types of attorneys know how to capitalize on a paralegal’s skills and value, but many more struggle to wrap their arms around the breadth and depth of support available from paralegals.  Here are a few tips to help you maximize paralegal support to its fullest potential: Get to know your paralegal.  Seriously.  There’s a strong bond between an attorney and his or her paralegal.  It’s a professional relationship built … Continue reading

Virtual support: An attorney’s perspective

I’m sure most of you have heard of Legal Talk Network.  Legal Talk Network has great shows for legal professionals.  So many so that listing just a few would be a disservice to the rest.  If you’re not familiar with the shows that are available, I’ll let you take a look for yourself, so you don’t miss any.  (The best place to get a quick overview of the shows and the topics they cover is actually on the Advertising page.) So why am I talking about Legal Talk Network?  I want to share a specific podcast with you.  This one is from the Legal Toolkit hosted by Jared Correia.  In this podcast, Mr. Correia interviews Chad Burton of Burton Law LLC, a virtual law firm in Dayton, Ohio. The topic: Virtual Staffing: Implementation and Management In this interview, Mr. Burton talks about how to find, implement, and manage virtual staff; … Continue reading

Implementation, communication, and delivery of paralegal support services

If you’re familiar with Paralegal Support 101, you know that I keep it separate from my business, Integrative Legal Support.  I do so because I want Paralegal Support 101 to serve strictly as a free knowledgebase for attorneys, law firms, and legal departments. Today, I’m going to change that up some, but for good reason.  Here’s why:  I recently found some information that I shared with a group a couple of years ago.  Basically they had asked, “Can you explain in detail how it works when you work with a freelance paralegal or paralegal service?”  As I read through the information I had provided, I realized that every law firm and attorney who calls about services asks some variant of the same question.  They want to know, in detail, how we’ll work with them. So, I thought this more detailed explanation might benefit many attorneys, law firms, and legal departments … Continue reading