Paralegal Support Services: 5 Tips for Getting Started

You’ve thought long and hard, considered the pros and cons, and are ready to take the leap.  You may have even found a service you’re interested in retaining.  Now, how do you take that first step to move forward and get started?  The freelance paralegal or paralegal support service you’ve chosen should be able to help you with that, but here are a few ideas to kick-start the process. Sit down together (okay, phone conference or Skype together) and identify your needs and expectations. Determine the method in which you will utilize your paralegal service (on-call, temporary, project based, or regular-ongoing assistance, etc.). Determine the types of tasks you’ll be delegating (research, drafting, transactional work, complete case work, everything). Determine who will be responsible for providing what.  Will you be supplying a company email address and/or phone number to your paralegal for use in client and vendor communications?  Will your … Continue reading

Working with a Freelance Paralegal or Paralegal Support Service versus Employee: What’s Different?

If you’re wondering what to expect when you retain paralegal support services, you may also wonder what will be different.  Again, it depends on your business model. If you already delegate work to other professionals, you won’t notice much difference.  And, if your freelance paralegal will utilize your existing system, be it via remote or cloud access, you’re really not going to notice any difference in your typical work day, other than the fact that you now have more support. But how will retaining and working with a freelance paralegal be different if you’re used to having employees?  If you’re coming from a traditional business model, these are probably the most significant differences that might be noticed: Not physically seeing someone in the office when you’re used to having someone around; Realizing you still have support even when you can’t see that person (i.e., no more hollering out your door … Continue reading

What to Expect When You Retain Paralegal Support Services or a Freelance Paralegal

So you’re interested in retaining a freelance paralegal or paralegal support services but just don’t know what to expect.  Really, it depends on your business model. If you already work remotely, work with remote clients, or outsource various aspects of your practice – such as bookkeeping – to other service professionals, you won’t find much difference (if any) in working with a freelance paralegal.  Paralegal support services will nicely compliment your existing business model.  Even if your current setup isn’t designed for remote case collaboration or securely sharing confidential information, the freelance paralegal you choose will (okay, should) have that system already in place.  It’s a key question to ask every service provider you talk with. If your business model takes the more traditional approach, then retaining a freelance paralegal for paralegal support services can best be analogized with the retention of an accountant or outside counsel: You retain them … Continue reading

Paralegal Support 101 – Demystifying Freelance Paralegals and Paralegal Support Services for Attorneys

Whether you’re a solo practitioner or small firm looking to delegate some of your work, a large corporation or governmental agency with unprecedented caseloads and no leeway to hire new employees, or are simply looking to grow your practice or reduce client fees without increasing overhead, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about retaining a freelance paralegal or paralegal support service professional. After all, it seems like that’s all you hear about now – virtual paralegals, virtual law practice, remote collaboration – even though contract paralegals and attorneys have been around for a least two decades. There’s also a good chance that uncertainties have, at some time or another, stopped you from pursuing the idea or even pursuing information that might resolve those uncertainties. More often than not, fear of the unknown stops us in our tracks even when we know we must make a change. Sometimes it’s more comforting … Continue reading

Do Your Clients Recommend You?

How do paralegals and paralegal support services improve the lines of communication between your clients and your office?  How does that affect client satisfaction? Communication largely determines the level of client satisfaction. When a paralegal is assigned to a client’s case, the client has the opportunity to build a relationship with someone from your practice.  Someone who is always available to them.  Someone they can call to find out how things are going.  Someone who always knows what’s going on with their case.  Someone, if done right, who contacts the client to let them know that “this” was done or that “that” is coming up; a continual connection between the lawyer and their legal matter.  Clients who are regularly kept apprised of their case, who don’t have to call to find out what’s going on, and who have a contact they can call who relates to them and their legal … Continue reading

4 Ways Paralegals Increase Client Satisfaction

You may already be aware of some of the tasks paralegals can perform for you and how paralegal support services help you, your practice, and your bottom line.  And, while I love that we can alleviate so much of our attorneys’ stress and help their practices so much, it may just be the clients who benefit the most. Here are four significant ways paralegals and paralegal support services provide your clients with greater value. By utilizing paralegal support services to minimize overhead, you can offer more competitive legal services to your clients. The lower paralegal billing rate allows you to offer your clients enhanced legal services while significantly reducing their legal fees. With a paralegal continuously working to move their case forward, your clients’ matters can be moved forward faster and resolved quicker. Having a paralegal who is familiar with their case improves the lines of communication between your clients … Continue reading