As the manner in which the legal profession evolves, so do law firms in the way they conduct their business operations. These changes often reflect in the way technology is used to facilitate more efficient systems.
However, not all methods of improvement are technical. Freelance, remote, or temporary paralegals have stepped up to the plate and are giving lawyers and law firms another viable option.
Freelance paralegals have become an important part of the way the legal profession now conducts its business. Paralegals can be acquired fairly easily and quickly, and they fill in where and when needed. Thus, they are on-demand.
There are multiple advantages to outsourcing paralegal help. It offers the employer the ability to keep pace with the flow of work. There are many reasons why a law firm would need additional help at certain times. Perhaps, it’s tax season. Farmers may need help recruiting international labor during the growing season. Or, there could be a large, labor-intensive case that is going to court soon. Whatever the reason, remote paralegals are perfect to fill in the additional-help gap.
Then, there are the leaves of absence. Whether vacation, sick, maternal or a myriad of other reasons, experienced paralegals can assume the temporary roles and keep operations running.
Paralegals will not practice law. However, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, they can draft pleadings, correspondence, prepare other paperwork, e-file documents, interview witnesses, conduct research–which can take a considerable amount of time–and perform a host of other duties that attorneys assign to them. By delegating these tasks, attorneys can focus on their specific areas of law practice.
A huge benefit to the law firm or practice is the opportunity to minimize costs. While remote paralegals often earn less than attorneys, the services they provide are also billed to the client at a lower rate. Furthermore, employers do not have to pay payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, disability, health insurance, and other benefits full-time staff receive. In addition, some paralegals have their own offices so that there would be no need to make room in your current firm.
The skill level of the paralegal will vary; however, some are certified professionals with a degree in the field. There are legal staffing agencies that can supply vetted paralegals at the skill level law firms need.
Freelance paralegals are the trajectory of the present and the future. In today’s world of sophisticated technology that aids efficiency, hiring freelance paralegals is a smart business sense.