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

How to Supervise a Legal Secretary or Paralegal

A couple weeks ago, Above the Law published an excellent article by New York attorney Joshua Stein. Mr. Stein’s article, From the Career Files: How to Supervise a Secretary or Assistant, is an excellent article well worth mentioning with 21 detailed tips and advice for effectively working with any type of assistant. The article is well-rounded, covering everything from communication to personal stuff. If you work with anyone, or are thinking about doing so, the article is worth taking the time to read. Even if you don’t, you may want to file it away for future reference. When you’re done reading it, come back and let us know what you think. What other tips or advice do you have for effective supervising?

The Cost Benefit of Shifting Work to Paralegals

You’ve heard about the many benefits of utilizing paralegals and paralegal support services.  Those benefits include more time, less stress, increased morale, a better work-life balance, increased profits, and reduced legal fees for clients.  The details are highlighted throughout Paralegal Support 101 and are discussed regularly in the legal community.    If you’ve heard about these benefits directly from paralegals and paralegal support services but have never actually worked with one, you may have some reservations about how it all could possibly be true.  That’s certainly understandable; I probably would, too. The good news is there are many resources available that corroborate this information.  A significant source of research and information comes from none other than the American Bar Association (ABA).  Through the work of its Standing Committee on Paralegals, the ABA has published some great resources on the use of paralegals; so much so that I could dedicate an entire … Continue reading

9 Ways You [and Your Clients] Benefit from Paralegal Support

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Whether you’re thinking about hiring a paralegal or retaining paralegal support services for the first time, you’ll benefit both personally and professionally from the support – as will your clients.  Here are just a few of those benefits. 1.    More Time.  Having a paralegal on your team, whether regular or on-call, gives you more time to work on other tasks that demand your attention.  In turn, you maximize the time you invest in your practice and your clients’ legal matters. 2.    Reduced stress.  Delegating substantive legal work to your paralegal means you have fewer items on your “to-do” list and more time for other matters, which reduces overwhelm and, by extension, a significant amount of stress. 3.    Support.  Whether you’re a solo or a corporate attorney, you benefit from working with a paralegal – from having someone to discuss and think through the case with you to having someone performing … Continue reading

5 Ways to Increase Paralegal Support

Do you need more time or support, but aren’t sure how to get it or what you could delegate?  Don’t worry; you’re not alone.  In fact, from talking with attorneys, I’d say you’re in the majority.  The good news is, it is possible to be in the minority.   To get you moving in that direction, here are 5 quick tips for increasing your support and freeing up your time: Think about the work you least like to do.  What tasks do you dread?  Are they tasks your paralegal or legal assistant can perform for you?  Most likely.  Make these the first tasks you delegate. What about the tasks that take you away from what you really need to do?  Do you find you’re regularly doing one thing when you need to be doing something else?  Those types of tasks should be at the top of your delegate list, too. … 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