Paralegal work from home is not a new concept. It’s become popular over the last ten years as more and more new mothers wish to stay home to care for their children while also desiring the flexibility to earn an income.
The work from home market, however, is not without its share of sneaky scam artists wanting to part you from your hard earned money. Because of this, paralegals should endeavor to establish themselves locally first rather than applying to online work opportunities.
Of course, not all online work opportunities are fraudulent. Do your research and really investigate what you’re getting into before agreeing to do anything. Once you’ve uncovered all the details, than you’ll be able to comfortably proceed.
In the meantime, for those who wish to offer their skills and service to their local community, below are some ideas for consideration. This is not an exhaustive list, but can get you thinking in the right direction.
Get Your Ducks In A Row
First off, if you’re a recent graduate from a paralegal program do not plan on working from home.
You will need to prove yourself.
What do I mean?
You need an employment history demonstrating you’ve got both the education and paralegal skills necessary to provide the service(s) you offer.
With that said, a bachelor’s degree and certificate or associate degree in paralegal studies with 3 to 5 years of experience will help your marketability.
Ideally, 10 or more years of experience will be quite favorable to you since your clients will be comfortable knowing you understand legal procedures and tasks for the specialty in which you plan to offer your paralegal services.
Who’s Your Client?
Determine who you’re marketing to.
Are you interested in working with attorneys only or working with the public or a combination of the two?
You must understand your target market so that your marketing message is clear. A focused marketing message lets clients know immediately what you’re about and how you can solve their problems or save them money.
Take your time and do your homework. It’s worth a trip to the library to pick up some basic marketing books for home businesses. This way you’ll know what needs to be done and how to accomplish it.
Market, Market, Market!
No one will hire you unless they know you exist. This is particularly important for paralegal work from home.
This may seem obvious, but what’s not so obvious is how to get your name out there for clients in your community to know they can contact you. You’ll want the usual: business cards, website and brochures describing your services.
Once again, books supporting marketing are important for you to review and practice.
Without a good marketing strategy you won’t get the business you desire. And, unfortunately, you may find you’ll need to return to the job market. There are a ton of books on this subject. Find one you like and start learning what’s needed to succeed.
While networking is listed last, paralegal work from home requires that you do this...regularly. You can’t expect that you’ll get referrals right off or that if you refer someone to a business that person in return will refer business to you. If they do, great, but don’t plan on a reciprocal relationship since business doesn’t always go the way you think it should.
Talk to attorneys you’ve supported in the past. Find out who they can refer to you and keep at it. You won’t get immediate results, but you may land a huge project and a wonderful client or two that keeps you out of the commute and at home.