A Cost-Free Way to Lower Clients’ Legal Fees

Paralegal support services afford not only more time for focusing on the more complex aspects of a case, they also provide a way to offer clients lower legal fees. Paralegal support minimizes clients’ legal fees How do you reduce your clients’ legal fees?  Under the supervision and direction of an attorney, paralegals can perform any task their attorney does, excepting those that constitute UPL (see, Paralegal Do’s and Don’ts: What can (and can’t) a paralegal do for you).  Yet, the paralegal billing rate is substantially lower than the attorney’s billing rate.  Say, for the sake of simplicity, you bill at $200 per hour and have a paralegal billing rate of $100 per hour.  The more you delegate to your paralegal, the lower your clients’ legal fees.  Depending on actual billing rates, attorneys can essentially offer the same services to their clients for almost half the price. Clients like that. Many … Continue reading

Time is on Your Side

Paralegal support services offer many benefits.  These benefits are quickly identifiable with the help of a simple bullet-list – I think I’ve actually done that already, though not complete – but that hardly begins to describe them.  I was thinking about how much paper would be necessary to fully explain each of those benefits.  Then I realized that it would probably equate to a book, so I think I’ll stick with abbreviated explanations separated by benefit.  At least for now.  So what’s first? Paralegal support services saves time Big time.  (Yes, pun intended.) Significant time. Considering paralegals can undertake almost everything their attorneys do (save for that which constitutes UPL – see, Paralegal Do’s and Don’ts for a brief overview or Ethical Boundaries of a California Paralegal for a thorough and excellent review), you effectively have the ability to free-up as little or as much time as you desire; get … Continue reading

Don’t Wait ‘Till it’s Too Late

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You probably don’t wait until the day before your taxes are due to deliver your records and receipts to your accountant.  (At least, I hope not.) Similarly, when you have thousands of documents to produce, you probably send them to the printer for production sometime before the due date. (But I know there are times when it comes close.) You have legally imposed deadlines; you can’t chance being unable to meet them.  Doing so violates your ethics rules, at best.  Besides, you need time to review the work product before sending it off.  If you do wait until the last minute and your regular service provider isn’t available – accountant, copy services, etc. – maybe you’ll find someone else who can do the work. Usually, though, we find service providers we like and trust, and who understand our practice; we don’t really want to go through the trouble of finding … Continue reading

Getting the Support You Need; it’s Easy!

Have you thought about retaining the services of a freelance paralegal or attorney but stopped short because you’re just not sure how in the world it works? If you have, or are getting to that point, you’re in good company.  When considering freelance legal services, it’s one of the top questions attorneys have.  It’s also a question I, as do other legal freelancers, address regularly when talking about support options for attorneys and law firms. During the past year I have had the opportunity to work regularly with one of the visionaries for legal freelance networking, Melody Kramer – owner of Kramer Law Office, founder of FreelanceLaw, co-founder of the National Association of Freelance Legal Professionals (NAFLP), and freelance attorney – through the NAFLP and together in the freelancer’s quest to educate attorneys and law firms about freelance legal professionals and alternative solutions to receiving support and reducing clients’ legal … Continue reading

Communication – The key to working successfully with a freelance paralegal (or anyone for that matter)

If you think about it, what’s the underlying cause of most disputes?  What’s a leading cause of failed relationships, both business and personal? Ineffective communication.  Period. Case-in-point: How many of us have had an argument or disagreement with a significant other where, when you reconcile your differences, you each realize that the other misunderstood what you were trying to say or did not have the same key information you did to be able to draw the same conclusion? Why can mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law be so effective?  Because they bring in neutral third parties, who are not blinded by emotion, to 1) extract all that has not been communicated before, 2) help minimize emotions, and 3) present the information in a way that the receiving party understands.  Even with individuals who communicate information well, when the receiver is communicating at a different level or from a different perception, misunderstandings … Continue reading

Interests and Preferences – What Are They?

My goal in starting a blog for attorneys was to address the questions attorneys regularly ask, such as: What does a paralegal do; How can I benefit from working with a paralegal; How can a freelance paralegal benefit me; and How do I go about working with a freelance paralegal? Of course, this multitude of topics puts me in a quandary each time I sit down to write, as there is so much information I want to share that I often spend significant time simply trying to decide which topic is most imperative.  So here’s my question to you: As an attorney looking for new solutions, what information are you most interested in? My other goal was to be informal and brief, so as to make information quickly ascertainable without too much time spent reading exceptionally long articles.  Knowing how limited attorneys are with their time, and aware of my … Continue reading