After answering for yourself the question what is a paralegal, you may want to get more specific a find out if being a freelance paralegal is the best route for you as a paralegal.
What Is A Paralegal–Freelance Style
A freelance paralegal is also often called a contract paralegal. The freelance paralegal has the same type of job duties as an employee paralegal; but, the what makes the freelance paralegal different is that they are also a business owner. Although the freelance paralegal has the same skills and training as a paralegal who works in a more traditional setting, she will have the added duties of marketing her services to attorneys in order to find assignments.
However, contra to independent paralegals who prepare documents directly for the end consumer, freelance paralegals perform work for attorneys and law firms.
Considerations for potential freelance paralegals
- What will be your unique selling proposition? Like any other entrepreneur freelance paralegals must consider what it is about them or their company will influence a law firm to contract for their services. Your experience, training, and professionalism may be enough to get you in the door but it may not be enough to get you the contract over another freelance paralegal who has some risk reversal proposition (guarantee) as part of their marketing.
- Are you prepared to run a business? To be a successful freelance entrepreneur you have to have strong office management skills. Remember as a business owner you will have to keep financial records, file taxes, comply with state and federal corporate requirements. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone.
- Put safeguards into place to avoid engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. Keep in mind that paralegals cannot give legal advice; may not set, negotiate or accept legal fees; cannot sign legal documents, and cannot represent clients in court.
Now that we’ve answered the questions what is a paralegal and what is a freelance paralegal you can make the decision which type of work environment is best for you.