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

What Are Your Real Values?

It’s so easy to get caught up in life, in work, in everything we think we “have” to do or get done. We live in the fast lane nowadays and every year seems to go by a little (okay, a lot) faster. (Has anyone else noticed it’s May already?) How can 2011 be almost half over? If you asked an elderly person for the best advice they could give, it would probably be along the lines of, “Life goes by too fast. Take the time now to enjoy what truly matters in life, while you can.” And us, in our busy, get-to-work lives consider this advice with half-interest, already thinking about the next petition, the next agreement, the next trial.  Depending on your area(s) of practice, working in the legal field can be living in the fast lane. And, someday, we’ll realize how true and how good the advice was … Continue reading

Thanks, But We’re Not Hiring . . . Freelance Legal Professionals

Do you know the difference between an independent contractor and an employee? Maybe. That understanding is sometimes challenged, though, when those classifications are applied to members of the legal field. Admittedly, the concept of freelance legal professionals can be hard to grasp and is sometimes confused with employees. More than once I’ve heard an attorney say, “No, I’m not hiring” or, “Yes, I’m looking to hire” when talking with a freelance paralegal or freelance attorney. Hopefully, this post will help clarify the difference between an employee and a freelance legal professional. Freelance paralegals and freelance attorneys are independent contractors. In other words, they are business owners providing their professional services to solo practitioners, law firms, corporations, and governmental agencies. Freelance paralegals and freelance attorneys are not employees. They aren’t for hire. They’re not looking for employment (well, maybe some are but that’s not what they’re doing when they’re offering professional … Continue reading

Are There Benefits to Working with a Freelance Paralegal?

If you read the post, Why Would I need a Freelance Paralegal, you may wonder how a freelance paralegal can be a quick and cost-effective solution in some circumstances.  In other situations, you may wonder why you wouldn’t just hire an employee.  The answers to these questions I did not understand myself until I began working as a freelance paralegal.  I knew paralegal support services offered incredible benefits to attorneys but I had a hard time fully understanding certain benefits until I gained an in-depth understanding of the work itself.  So I give you here the answers to those questions, at least in brief. Freelance paralegal?  Why, when I can hire someone? Working with a freelance paralegal can be a great solution when hiring isn’t an option or doesn’t make sense.  A freelance paralegal may make more sense when: You don’t expect the need for additional support to last indefinitely; … Continue reading