My mission is to provide stellar virtual and in-house contract paralegal and litigation support services to licensed attorneys. Nothing more, Nothing Less!
2. I can't afford an attorney, can you assist me with my legal matter?
No! I am not an attorney. My business is not part of, nor affiliated with a law firm. My business does not employ attorneys for the purposes of providing legal advice, and it is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm, nor is it licensed to practice law, or authorized to provide legal advice.
The litigation support services that I provide are not offered or provided to the general public. If you are not a licensed attorney and are in need of legal services, legal advice or legal representation, you should seek assistance with your local state bar association.
4. How do you ensure adequate attorney supervision over remote work product?
Based upon your (the lead attorney) needs, you will determine an ideal supervision, communication and document sharing system which will allow me to assist you with your case matters without ever (or infrequently) having to physically visit your law firm.
While an in-office, face-to-face meeting is inevitable for some virtual assignments, you may prefer in-house assistance over remote assistance for more complex projects. However, additional costs such as travel and mileage fees may be incurred.
6. What's the Difference Between Hiring you as a contract paralegal Versus Hiring a Full-time Paralegal?
Costs! My billable hours are more cost effective on a case-by-case basis. The greatest advantage comes via the savings you get from not paying employee taxes, benefits, vacation time, sick time, and other costs associated with traditional in-house paralegals. I can produce the same amount of work in less the amount time, and for half the costs of full-time employees.
8. What About Tax Liabilities?
As a contractor, I am not subject to withholding by the attorney's firm. I will provide the firm with a completed W-9 form. And the firm is to provide an IRS Form 1099 on an annual basis as mandated by the IRS.
In order to protect both parties and to insure the holding as an independent contractor for tax purposes, an attorney may request a Contractor's Agreement be executed between the parties.
9. How do you ensure security and compliance with confidentiality rules and data.
Most firms already have security protocols and confidentiality processes in place. Generally, it's just a matter of adding the contractor (myself) to the firm's case and time management systems, provide me with a login and password, and provide me with a point of contact including an internal email address and phone number, as well as an emergency contact in case of any problems or issues with a case or internal systems.
In rare cases, an account can be set-up for an attorney with my online vendors such as McAfee, Worldox, Juris, Bill4Time, etc., with maintenance and overhead costs charged back to the firm.
11. If we decide to move forward, what is the next step?
1. Why Should You Consider Working With me?
Are you a solo attorney? Are you part of a small law firm and do absolutely everything for yourself? If so, you should consider contracting with me for the following reasons:
3. Contract Paralegal or Virtual Paralegal?
The terms are not to be used interchangeably... As a "contractor", I am hired to complete your projects on an as-needed basis, versus being hired as a permanent employee of your practice.
As a "virtual" contractor or "virtual" paralegal, I utilize modern technologies such as cloud-based legal software programs, online client and time management software, email, my cell phone, my business office equipment, and the internet to remotely assist you with your day-to-day legal tasks.
5. What Expenses Should My Firm Expect to pay?
For the time I spend on your cases, my hourly billing rate ranges from $18.75 - $100 per hour dependent upon the complexity of the project and the time allotted to complete the project. I bill on a weekly basis and some plans will require an initial deposit before the start of a project. In addition, there may be general out-of-pocket operating and administrative costs identical to those you would charge your clients (i.e. postage, mileage, fax, photocopies, long distance telephone charges, court filing fees, courier costs, etc.). These administrative costs are charged at at rate of 20% above your final costs and services.
7. Explain the process for communication with the attorney's clients
At no time will I contact a client without the prior authorization of the leading (supervising) attorney on a case.
Only upon instructions and agreement in advance, will I communicate with clients or other pertinent persons involved in a case via e-mail, snail mail, telephone or online meetings. All outgoing correspondence including pleadings and requests of documents for review or signature, are only sent after the supervising attorney's review and approval.
Unless otherwise instructed. the supervising attorney will always receive blind carbon copies (bcc) of all outgoing e-mails and outgoing correspondence including attachments. In some cases, I am able to send outgoing email correspondence directly from the supervising attorney's internal email account ensuring that he is privy of all communications with his clients on his behalf.
10. WHY MAKE me PART OF YOUR TEAM?
There is no reason not to... You have everything to gain and nothing to lose! I am not in competition with your in-house legal support staff. From day one, I come prepared to make a seamless transition into your litigation team.
I can help you meet your deadlines, increase your billable hours and retain more clients. My vision is to help you save your time, money and energy to do what you do best, practice law! Nothing more, nothing less!
Because there are no long term commitments, you have the option to hire me to complete a one-time project from my own office or give you ongoing assistance - on an as-needed basis in your office - just like an in-house legal support employee without the added tax and paid employee benefit costs.