Hiring a paralegal to help lawyers with non-billable administrative tasks can save a law firm money and improve productivity. The best paralegals are capable of taking on a variety of tasks that would otherwise consume lawyer time, leaving them free to focus on more complex legal matters and meeting with clients.
A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant or a law clerk, can be employed by a law firm, the government or even a non-governmental organization. They are often responsible for researching and fact-checking as well as preparing pleadings, documents and other paperwork. They may also handle telephone calls and interview witnesses and clients.
Paralegals are also required to take on some clerical tasks, such as managing files and documenting meetings and conversations with clients and other members of the legal team. In this role, you’ll need candidates with strong attention to detail and an ability to process data quickly and clearly.
As Hire Paralegal progress into their roles, they’ll be expected to contribute to official documentation – this will require them to have strong writing skills and an investigative mindset. They’ll be tasked with drafting contracts, writing official reports and taking witness statements.
Moreover, they’ll be required to work with a wide range of different documents, including legal forms and other correspondence, which will require them to have good organizational and interpersonal skills.
For more complicated cases, a paralegal will need to be able to conduct legal research and progress casework in a timely manner. This will require them to have excellent written communication, as well as deductive and inductive reasoning skills. The ABA also recommends that law firms look for candidates with experience of or the potential to develop strong client-facing skills, as they’ll be handling enquiries from a variety of sources, both directly and via email.
The benefits of hiring a paralegal include the ability to reduce costs and improve efficiency, especially for smaller law firms that might struggle to hire full-time lawyers. They can help lawyers avoid spending too much time on non-billable tasks and focus more on generating revenue for the firm.
In addition, a paralegal can help with the administration side of the practice, freeing up more time for lawyers to meet with clients and grow their business. They can even assist with more complex legal matter if they’re trained in a particular field, such as criminal or family law.
When it comes to recruiting paralegals, many law offices take a tried-and-true approach of hiring them on a contract basis before deciding whether or not they’re needed on a permanent basis. This allows them to assess a candidate’s abilities and suitability to the job before making a commitment to bring them on board. This also helps ensure that a paralegal will be prepared to hit the ground running and provide value from day one of their new position. To find the right candidate for your needs, consider using a skills test to identify paralegals with the potential to thrive in your legal office.