Some sole owner attorney businesses and small to medium sized law firms are farming out their work to Virtual Paralegals. Law firms that can't afford to employ a full staff of paralegals or a small firm whose work ebbs and flows are using services that offer paralegal work online as it is needed. The use of Virtual Paralegal reduces overhead and streamlines the private attorney's practice and it increases productivity for small firms who need extra help in more hectic times during the month or year.
Special requirement for a Virtual Paralegal
A freelance contract Virtual Paralegal must be supervised by an attorney. Virtual Paralegals cannot give legal advice or perform legal work for individuals. This is why Virtual Paralegal services are specifically offered to lawyers and small or medium legal firms where there are attorneys to review the work before it is sent to a client.
Lawyers and Firms can get services they would from traditional legal in-house staff except there is more efficiency at a lower cost. A Virtual Paralegal can still perform office duties typically done in house like scheduling, data entry, and preparation of legal documents. Here is a list of some services a Virtual Paralegal can perform when requested:
- Case Review and Analysis
- Trial Preparation
- Legal transcription
- Legal Research
- Drafting of legal correspondence
- Demand Letters
- Discovery Motions
- Create PowerPoint presentations
- Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents
- Request for Admissions
- Deposition Notices
- Motion for Summary Judgment
- Motion to Dismiss
- Legal Briefs
- Medical Chronologies
- Deposition Summaries (text or electronic)
Salary and Job Outlook for Virtual Paralegals
Virtual Paralegals can expect a growth rate similar to other paralegals through the economic crisis. This profession is really coming through the downturn with good results. This is due to the fact the Virtual Paralegals can provide a savings on attorney fees that would normally be charged at higher rates. A legal firm's expenses for Virtual Paralegals are approximately $48K per year where in house the legal firm would pay about $62K. The difference is a streamline effect because firms pay only for the service and time they require to get the job done.
The annual salary to theVirtual Paralegal might be about the same as the in house Paralegal. A Virtual Paralegal can increase his load when extra work is available thereby increasing his salary. Also, the Virtual Paralegal might be able to accept less work when joining forces with a team of Virtual Paralegals. When the work is there, Virtual Paralegals might have the opportunity to accept or reject it according to his or her schedule. Nevertheless, the needed work can still be done by other Virtual Paralegals. It can be a win-win situation.