Benefits of Paralegal Support Services For Solo Practitioners and Small Firms

Of the four major types of attorney practices (solos/small firms, mid- to large-sized firms, corporate legal departments, and governmental entities), solo practitioners and attorneys in small firms face the most challenges. Yet, for these attorneys, solo practices and small firms can also be the most rewarding, both personally and professionally. Challenges What’s the biggest challenge?  You’re on your own.  And, there are only so many hours in a day. Not only are you trying to practice law, you’re also learning how to run a business (which they don’t teach you in law school) and handling everything yourself.  Solos and small firm attorneys are responsible for every aspect of the practice: Building and managing a business, marketing, client retention, budgeting, bookkeeping, filing, faxing, copying – all in addition to providing legal services to clients (what you went to law school for in the first place).  When you’re alone, it’s hard to … Continue reading

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