Paralegal outsourcing can be a terrific alternative both for the law firm and for the paralegal.
Consider that costs are always rising when it comes to providing legal services. Law firms are continually looking for ways to streamline their services to be competitive. That also means getting the most out of their present staff.
If you're a paralegal, this may not be so good for you. If your office is squeezing more out of you than previously, this can be a very demanding situation to live with. Naturally, the area of law you work in makes a big difference, too.
You may not be so pressed if your compiling Wills or estate plans, but the opposite is true if your a litigation paralegal. There are days you may find yourself locked up in your office barely able to snag lunch. Yes, it can be that crazy.
Paralegal outsourcing is a terrific way for you to offer your skill set to an interested audience. As you build contacts over the course of your career, you will meet lawyers needing your help. They may not need you full time. Your help may be requested on a per diem basis.
However, this can be a great situation if you're trying to get more hours from home. Paralegal outsourcing benefits you because you control the demand. Work with attorneys you know or who come to you through referrals.
And, small law firms in particular, will have a need for your assistance. They want to stay competitive and minimize overhead. They also don't have to pay administrative fees for a full time employee such as health care, etc.
A virtual paralegal is essentially what you would become. However, firms that utilize your service will want a proven track record of your performance.
Here are things to consider:
Establish a web site. This is both professional and smart since there's another way for you to snag business.
Become a member of your local paralegal association or a national one. It looks good for you to belong to an organization and shows your commitment to staying on top of developments in your career field.
Track your hours on projects. Know how long it takes you to perform a deposition summary so you can properly quote your price. You'll also know what and how much you can handle.
Maintain contacts with folks in the field through LinkedIn or Facebook. Use what works for you.
Keep your resume and project achievements current. You want to demonstrate you've work experience and knowledge if asked.
Utilizing your skills outside a traditional law office can benefit you. With downsizing and the current economic situation, your skills are still very much needed. Smaller offices will want the help. And, this can be a way to supplement a part time income if full time employment is not available.