Working with a Freelance Paralegal or Paralegal Support Service versus Employee: What’s Different?

If you’re wondering what to expect when you retain paralegal support services, you may also wonder what will be different.  Again, it depends on your business model. If you already delegate work to other professionals, you won’t notice much difference.  And, if your freelance paralegal will utilize your existing system, be it via remote or cloud access, you’re really not going to notice any difference in your typical work day, other than the fact that you now have more support. But how will retaining and working with a freelance paralegal be different if you’re used to having employees?  If you’re coming from a traditional business model, these are probably the most significant differences that might be noticed: Not physically seeing someone in the office when you’re used to having someone around; Realizing you still have support even when you can’t see that person (i.e., no more hollering out your door … Continue reading

What to Expect When You Retain Paralegal Support Services or a Freelance Paralegal

So you’re interested in retaining a freelance paralegal or paralegal support services but just don’t know what to expect.  Really, it depends on your business model. If you already work remotely, work with remote clients, or outsource various aspects of your practice – such as bookkeeping – to other service professionals, you won’t find much difference (if any) in working with a freelance paralegal.  Paralegal support services will nicely compliment your existing business model.  Even if your current setup isn’t designed for remote case collaboration or securely sharing confidential information, the freelance paralegal you choose will (okay, should) have that system already in place.  It’s a key question to ask every service provider you talk with. If your business model takes the more traditional approach, then retaining a freelance paralegal for paralegal support services can best be analogized with the retention of an accountant or outside counsel: You retain them … Continue reading

Paralegal Support 101 – Demystifying Freelance Paralegals and Paralegal Support Services for Attorneys

Whether you’re a solo practitioner or small firm looking to delegate some of your work, a large corporation or governmental agency with unprecedented caseloads and no leeway to hire new employees, or are simply looking to grow your practice or reduce client fees without increasing overhead, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about retaining a freelance paralegal or paralegal support service professional. After all, it seems like that’s all you hear about now – virtual paralegals, virtual law practice, remote collaboration – even though contract paralegals and attorneys have been around for a least two decades. There’s also a good chance that uncertainties have, at some time or another, stopped you from pursuing the idea or even pursuing information that might resolve those uncertainties. More often than not, fear of the unknown stops us in our tracks even when we know we must make a change. Sometimes it’s more comforting … 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

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