When you think about starting a law firm, your prime focus would likely be on hiring lawyers. However, running a legal practice is much more than that. You need to also think about how you can best improve your firm’s efficiency while managing your costs.
And in today’s competitive legal world, controlling costs while dealing with changing dynamics with the clients can be quite challenging. This is where a very important resource comes in handy – a paralegal.
Regardless of the size of your legal practice, paralegals are by far one of the most invaluable assets of a firm. If your legal practice doesn’t have time, it is time you hire them to settle disputes. Here is why.
1. It Allows Lawyers To Focus On The Challenging Tasks
Settling disputes can be quite a tedious task. And not all of it can be billed to the client as work done by lawyers. For instance, people seek the best legal practices to ensure that they are represented by experts who know the ins and outs of laws.
However, since no two cases are the same, every case requires much research in the backend. This includes research about similar old cases or digging into laws that can help the case. This process is quite time-consuming.
Often, associates and partners end up getting caught up in such time taking process, which in turn takes a toll on their efficiency and productivity as lawyers.
Hiring a paralegal to act as a backbone for cases by conducting research and drafting correspondence allows lawyers to free up their time to think about their winning strategies.
Hence, while lawyers deal with the challenging parts, a paralegal can take care of the administrative tasks. This allows your legal team to be strong from all ends.
2. They Are Qualified Experts
Many have the misconception that a paralegal’s job is done only by law students who are looking for internships or part-time jobs. This is not the case. Such individuals constitute only a small chunk of the paralegals.
Instead, most of them choose to pursue the job as a full-time career and go through various rigorous accreditation procedures to become experts in their fields.
All in all, paralegals are trained to complete their responsibilities efficiently. They are well-versed in state laws as well as country laws. For instance, a quality paralegal in Welland would better know the city laws and would be an important resource for clients with cases in the districts.
3. They Can Help You Increase Billable Hours
A lot of time, legal practices only consider lawyers as being the only stream of profits. However, this is not true.
Paralegals, when utilized correctly, can become as much of a profit generator as a lawyer. This is because the tasks of paralegals, whether it be communicating with clients, drafting memos, and conducting research, can all be billed to the client, just like the services of a lawyer are.
However, while billing it all under a lawyer might make your law firm seem less cost-effective to clients who would think that the service is more costly than required, billing it at a lower rate under the work of a paralegal in the team helps to maintain the credibility of your lawyers while increasing your profits.
4. They Can Be Assigned To Multiple Cases
While a lawyer may get consumed with a given case at a time, this is not true for paralegals, depending on the gravity of the case. They are much more flexible and hence can be delegated multiple tasks at once.
For instance, let’s say one case requires administrative work like scanning and printing while the other requires the drafting of correspondence. You don’t necessarily need a dedicated resource for the two separate tasks. You can get your full-time paralegal to do it for you.
Not to mention that there are various freelance paralegals out there. For those of you who feel that your law firm is not big enough to require such full-time resources, you can choose to seek the services of a freelance paralegal.
If you hire correctly, you can easily find someone with affordable hourly rates and high experience in a certain field of law.
Regardless of which of the two types of resources you decide to hire, the fact remains that the nature of the job of paralegals, along with their training, makes them much more flexible than lawyers.
5. They Are Excellent Communicators
Settling legal disputes goes beyond looking into the legal aspects of the case, trying to settle the matter out of court, or winning a court case.
Instead, legal teams must meet with their clients and the opposing party, correspond with them over emails, and draft corporate documents and motions. Hence, writing and communication are considered to be crucial skills when settling disputes.
You need someone in your team who can thoroughly proofread and review each correspondence and legal document. Not to mention that writing a persuasive pleasing can make or break a case in front of a court!
Paralegals are much better at this task. Owing to their training and experience, they are great communicators. While a lawyer may also have these traits, again, having them spend their time on drafting and reading documents is counterproductive.
Let them take care of the case’s key points while a paralegal takes care of the lengthy content.
No profession can replace the other one. At the end of the day, you need legal representation when settling a dispute. And paralegals cannot represent a client.
However, this does not mean that they don’t perform a crucial role in the legal team. Taking care of the administrative and communication tasks provides lawyers ample time to focus on things that can turn the case in favor of the client.
So, even if you think that hiring an additional resource is not a good idea, consider the various benefits paralegals bring with them and reconsider!