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

Communication – The key to working successfully with a freelance paralegal (or anyone for that matter)

If you think about it, what’s the underlying cause of most disputes?  What’s a leading cause of failed relationships, both business and personal? Ineffective communication.  Period. Case-in-point: How many of us have had an argument or disagreement with a significant other where, when you reconcile your differences, you each realize that the other misunderstood what you were trying to say or did not have the same key information you did to be able to draw the same conclusion? Why can mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law be so effective?  Because they bring in neutral third parties, who are not blinded by emotion, to 1) extract all that has not been communicated before, 2) help minimize emotions, and 3) present the information in a way that the receiving party understands.  Even with individuals who communicate information well, when the receiver is communicating at a different level or from a different perception, misunderstandings … Continue reading

Interests and Preferences – What Are They?

My goal in starting a blog for attorneys was to address the questions attorneys regularly ask, such as: What does a paralegal do; How can I benefit from working with a paralegal; How can a freelance paralegal benefit me; and How do I go about working with a freelance paralegal? Of course, this multitude of topics puts me in a quandary each time I sit down to write, as there is so much information I want to share that I often spend significant time simply trying to decide which topic is most imperative.  So here’s my question to you: As an attorney looking for new solutions, what information are you most interested in? My other goal was to be informal and brief, so as to make information quickly ascertainable without too much time spent reading exceptionally long articles.  Knowing how limited attorneys are with their time, and aware of my … Continue reading

When Working With a Freelance Paralegal Raises Concerns

So you found a freelance paralegal you’re interested in working with.  Hopefully, you followed the suggestions outlined in the post, “Finding a Freelance Paralegal That’s Right for You” and know exactly what you are (and aren’t) looking for in retaining paralegal services.  Communicating this information to the freelance paralegal you’re talking with will help pave the way for successful communication – and a successful partnership.  But what if, in talking with this person, something bothers you and you begin thinking maybe paralegal services aren’t right for you?  What do you do?  Write it off and never again make contact with the person you found? [Hint: Your answer, hopefully, is “no.”  Besides losing a chance to get the support you need, if your initial communications are positive and your response to follow-up is non-response, it could also affect your reputation and business.  How?  Paralegals, especially freelance, are often asked for attorney … Continue reading

Is Going “Virtual” the Future of Law?

This question is posed time and again.  In conversation.  In group discussions.  In articles.  In passing.  In all seriousness.  The increasing interest in virtual practice has given rise to a host of concerns and a quest for answers.  It’s a question that can be (and has been) addressed from many vantage points.  I don’t suggest an answer to this question.  However, I do suggest that consideration of the history and evolution of law practice might shed light on the direction of its future. Traditional law practice How many of you remember what it was like to practice law 25 years ago?  Letters typed on a typewriter, with carbon paper, eloquently worded with the utmost courtesy and professionalism.  Beautifully articulated handwritten notes.  Boxes upon boxes of documents in the war room.  Color-coded files in the file room.  Even then, legal work wasn’t exactly a nine-to-five job. It was actually quite easy … Continue reading

Finding a Freelance Paralegal That’s Right For You

If you’ve thought about getting support from a freelance paralegal but are unsure of how to find one who’s right for your practice or department, here are a few things to consider (be prepared for a few surprises). Define positive and negative attributes of a successful freelance paralegal partnership Before setting off to find a freelance paralegal, you have some homework.  Yes, homework.  First, be honest with yourself.  Sit down and really think about what you’re looking for in working with a freelance paralegal.  What is important to you and your practice?  What are your goals in working with a freelance paralegal?  What do you want to get out of the relationship?  What do you need?  What are you looking to achieve with a freelance paralegal?  What would make such a partnership beneficial?  Successful? Also consider what you don’t want.  What would make such a relationship a negative, rather than … Continue reading