Every superhero has a special power that can be unleashed at just the right moment to win the battle. A lawyer with a dexterous paralegal comes to the table with his homework skillfully done. And, as you might imagine, timely knowledge holds power in the courtroom. So, having the right person in that role can give you the sharpened edge that you need.
A paralegal does many of the same office tasks as a lawyer, and attending to time-consuming research and paperwork can really free up your time. It’s not that you can’t get it done yourself; it’s a matter of efficiency. For example, you may be able to run the firm’s social media campaign, but it may not be the best use of your valuable time…even if you can bill for it. You don’t have to “do it all” when there are experts in those areas who can do it for you.
The paralegal field is growing at a fast pace for a reason. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “As law firms try to increase the efficiency of legal services and lower their expenses, they are expected to hire more paralegals and legal assistants.” Having a qualified assistant by your side frees you up to be a better lawyer. It also unties you from the practice to some degree so that you can get off the freight train headed for burnout. A long-held career takes balance, and a little help from those qualified to lighten your load.
Small firms may not feel like they have the financial resources to hire a paralegal. But, those who do often find that it was the step that propelled their practice forward in a very competitive arena. Besides the help you will get, clients will likely be more impressed by a “team” working on their behalf. You may find that some candidates will accept a lower salary in exchange for a flexible work schedule. That’s a fairly painless trade-off that tends to work well for both sides.
A paralegal asset should be chosen with care, as they are often the face and voice of a firm. You want someone who represents you well, not one that might put your firm’s reputation in jeopardy. There are numerous paralegal specialties which may uniquely qualify them for the job. Paralegal programs vary, with excellent results from both ABA-certified and non-ABA-certified schools. Beyond education and experience, the shiniest stones in the stream will have impeccable communication skills and ethics, as well as a professional demeanor characteristic of your practice.
While a lawyer can certainly fly solo with great success, imagine how much greater that success could be with an additional engine. Some lawyers prefer a longer period to assess a paralegal candidate and see how well they work together before making a more permanent decision on their employment. Legal recruiters offer personnel assignments of various lengths. If the time is right for your firm, Staffing Perfection can help you find an exceptional paralegal perfectly matched to your needs.