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

How to Find the Right Support

A couple weeks ago, I posted the article, What’s in a Name? to address the mass confusion that occurs when attorneys search for substantive legal support.  What type of support do you look for?  What keywords or titles should you search for when looking to find paralegal support?  Are freelance paralegals and virtual paralegals the same?  What’s different between them and paralegal support services? As promised, this post will help clear the air about what, and who, you might find during your search so you can better identify the types of services you’re looking for and their related keywords and titles.  To start, let’s look at some of the terms, titles, and phrases you may come across in your quest for support: Freelance Paralegal Independent Contractor Paralegal Contract Paralegal Paralegal Support Service Virtual Paralegal Independent Paralegal How do each of these differ?  Fortunately, they’re not all that confusing after all, … Continue reading

The Year in Review: A Compendium of Favorites

Guess what?  This week is my anniversary!  Actually, it’s Paralegal Support 101’s anniversary.  Hard to believe a year’s gone by already since the blog started. The goal:  To provide attorneys, law firms, corporate legal departments, and governmental agencies with a central repository of information largely sought after, but widely unavailable, on increasing productivity, reducing overhead, improving work-life balance and client satisfaction, and reducing clients’ legal fees through the retention and utilization of freelance legal professionals such as paralegal support services and independent attorneys. To celebrate this occasion, I’ve put together a list of my favorite articles, starting with the very first one.  The first article was my very first post and, after all this time, it remains my favorite.  So much so, that I dedicated it to a page all its own. Welcome! Is Going “Virtual” the Future of Law? Paralegal Support 101: Demystifying Freelance Paralegals and Paralegal Support Services … Continue reading

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? If you’re looking for support for your practice, probably far more than you anticipated.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re downright confused by the mass enumeration of titles floating around out there for legal support.  So much so that the confusion as to what you should be looking for may have you stopped in your tracks, unsure of how to proceed: “Am I looking for a freelance paralegal or a virtual paralegal?” “Do I need paralegal support services or a legal support professional?” “What are the differences between them all?” “What are the bonuses and drawbacks to each?” “Which is right for me?!?” Well, today, I have great news! Confusion time is over and it turns out that it’s not all that complicated after all.  Since we’re in question mode, let’s answer the question with a question: What’s the difference between an attorney and … Continue reading

Paralegal Support: An Index of Information

Want a quick way to know what’s available to you on this site?  Here’s a categorized list of topics that may be of interest.  The list isn’t all-inclusive; it only covers the heart of the matter – the substance of the information for which the site was designed to provide.  It doesn’t include motivational asides or polls for information. 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 support 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? Ethics Focus: Signing Documents and Pleadings How Paralegals Increase Value So What Can A Paralegal Do For You? Freelance paralegal support services Nontraditional support Is Going “Virtual” the Future of Law? You’re a what? Freelance Paralegals Defined Thanks, But We’re … Continue reading