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Important Points To Note For An Independent Paralegal

Despite the ever-increasing demand for legal services that far exceeds that which lawyers can provide, paralegals have their work cut out for them. Why? Because lawyers have always been firmly in charge and paralegals, whose work encompasses most of a lawyers duties, are naturally perceived as competition. More so with independent paralegals, who work without direct supervision from an attorney at law. What is an Independent Paralegal? An independent paralegal is called such precisely because he is independent of lawyer supervision. As a freelancer, the independent paralegal can expect his job to require a lot of tenacity, determination, thick skin, business knowledge and the means to sustain himself while still starting.

Nature of the Work If you plan on becoming an independent paralegal yourself, then be prepared to do not only a paralegals job but also the responsibilities of a business owner, such as running a business and having assets, liabilities, insurance, employees, payroll, among others. Those who are only starting a paralegal career are not advised to go immediately into independent paralegal work. Thats because, by its very nature, the paralegal profession requires extensive knowledge about substantive and procedural law, legal concepts, and other pertinent portions of the legal system. Someone who has no previous experience in paralegal work will have a hard time keeping up with all the challenges and changes going on. Working on your own requires that you are already seasoned in paralegal work in the sense that you have good working knowledge of the nuances of the job, including knowledge of the law, office procedure and law office management. The Drawbacks One of the major drawbacks of working as an independent paralegal is the isolation you might feel.

This is especially true if you came from a large office. You may find it an extremely novel experience working alone for the first time. Where before you had the advantage of that big law library in your office, now you will have to deal with whatever changes going on, such as rule changes, changes in legislation and changes in case law, on your own. Another drawback is the fact that you are your own boss now, which means that if you want to earn more money, then you would have to put in more hours of work.

Also, the lack of benefits could be discouraging no health insurance, vacation time or sick days. The Advantages While there are indeed many drawbacks to working as an independent paralegal, there are also several advantages. In the case of isolation in your work, this only occurs in the beginning.

As you grow, you may find yourself hiring more people to work for you, from legal secretaries to law office clerks, office managers, and the like. The lack of library resources can also be recompensed with todays Internet technology. Plus, there is nothing comparable to that feeling of owning a business which you made successful through your own efforts.

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