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

So What Can A Paralegal Do For You?

The post, “Paralegal Do’s and Don’ts: What can (and can’t) a paralegal do for you,” highlighted what paralegals do to support their attorneys and provided an overview of those things paralegals cannot do.  In answering the question, “what can a paralegal do for you,” we maintained a broad focus by considering the definition of a paralegal.  In relevant part, a paralegal performs substantive legal work under the direction and supervision of an attorney; essentially, all the tasks an attorney performs, short of those considered unauthorized practice of law under the relevant jurisdiction. Because legal work can vary significantly across areas of law, a good way to determine what tasks might be delegated to a paralegal is to consider the tasks you, as an attorney, carry out during the day.  Still, sometimes it’s nice to see specific examples, so I’ve prepared a brief list that, albeit generalized, will hopefully start you … Continue reading

How Paralegals Increase Value

If you read the post, “The Paralegal Profession: [Almost] everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask,” you may already be familiar with the American Bar Association’s definition of a paralegal: A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. What does this mean to you as an attorney? It means you’re not alone. With the proper education, training, or experience, a paralegal can complete for you pretty much any task you would generally perform as long as he or she does not directly practice law. [While state laws vary in their definition of unauthorized practice of law (UPL), they generally agree that a paralegal cannot give legal advice, represent a client … Continue reading

Ethics Focus: Signing Documents and Pleadings

You may recall from past posts what paralegals can and can’t do for their attorneys and what, in general, constitutes unauthorized practice of law (UPL)  — those things that a paralegal cannot do for you.  Today it is my honor to share with you a guest article from Vicki Voisin, ACP, that closely considers one of those responsibilities that cannot be delegated to your paralegal — signing.  Written for the paralegal audience, this article will still drive home the point and provide attorneys with valuable suggestions for alternative solutions in sticky situations. The Ethics of Signing Documents and Pleadings By Vicki Voisin, ACP Consider this scenario: You have been employed as a paralegal for the same attorney for several years. He happens to be out of town taking depositions. A deadline looms…a document absolutely has to be filed with the Court by 5:00 o’clock. No problem, you think. Your boss … Continue reading

What? You don’t have a license to practice as a paralegal?

A couple of recent events led me to prepare this final section on the overview of the paralegal profession.  Namely, clarification of formal requirements as they pertain to paralegal licensure and paralegal regulation. Not long ago I was talking with an attorney friend, answering her questions about the paralegal profession, the type of support paralegals provide, and professional requirements.  As was the case then, I sometimes find attorneys are under the impression that paralegals have similar licensing and reporting requirements.  While this may be due, in part, to the close relation between the professions, it may also be partly due to inaccurate information published for the public. You see, last week I received a link to a web page providing information and resources on the paralegal profession and paralegal careers.  The page included links to [mostly] credible sources, which did provide accurate information about the profession. However, the information on … Continue reading