A freelance paralegal career may make sense for you. Depending on your skills and ambition you can make a successful career out of freelance work.
There are a few ways to go about beginning a career as a freelance paralegal. For some people, freelancing is a way to make extra money on the side. For others this is a way to build their own business and financial security.
There are perks associated with small business ownership. Some benefits include choosing your own hours, deciding when or even where you'll work and determining what you’ll charge for your time.
Of course, this path requires dedication and focus. If your goal is to start a small business offering paralegal services to law offices, begin with a visit or call your local Small Business Administration office. They can get you off on the right path and provide guidance as to the requirements of becoming a business owner.
What Does It Mean When Paralegals Freelance?
Many people opt for the "virtual paralegal" route when developing a freelance career. They're essentially independent contractors providing substantive legal support for lawyers and other professionals.
Virtual paralegals may work on a contract basis or regularly providing weekly or even daily support. It depends on your skills and what specialty you’ll work in.
As a freelancer, you're a business owner. So even though you offer supportive services, you're your own boss. You’ll provide the same legal services as an employed paralegal from your home office or the client's office.
Services You Can Provide
There are a number of services you could provide depending on your skill set and experience.
- offer file organization,
- build databases for specific cases,
- perform document reviews,
- summarize depositions,
- proofread briefs or discovery motions,
- coordinate service of multiple subpoenas or
- conduct witness interviews.
The list is ongoing and you have a lot of room to offer additional services such as translation of documents, etc.
Working as a freelancer keeps things interesting! You'll never know what project is coming in or its complexity.
It’s great that you’ll get the work, but your time management skills are critical. You cannot afford mistakes on your work product or not being able to deliver on your promises.
Working in a freelance capacity is similar to a lawyer offering his services to his clients. When you are needed, you are called on. The work can ebb and flow and will depend on a combination of your marketing, networking skills, experience and credentials.
Working as a freelance paralegal is a great way to earn extra cash, but also, start your own business. Do it to supplement your income or take on the challenge of becoming your own boss. Either way, you’ll learn about business ownership and providing a top quality work product.
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