Contractual or "virtual" paralegals are becoming more prevalent in today's technology-based work environments. With the advent of secure e-mail, digital voice messaging, tablets, "clouds" and other interactive tools, solo and small firm practitioners who otherwise may not be able to afford a full-time staff member can contract with a paralegal for their larger projects. This is a win-win situation for those who have just hung out their shingle and are overwhelmed with all of the other overhead/startup expenses associated with starting a law firm.
For example, our company, Paralegal Consultants, works with attorneys nationwide who need assistance with a specific project. Some attorneys utilize us for ongoing projects as well but, for the most part, we assist lawyers with matters that need an extra hand.
However, attorneys are unfamiliar with contracting paralegals. Of course, they are familiar with staffing services who will provide a person for short or long-term assignments to work at their office - but that's not what a contract paralegal does. Sure, we can come onsite when needed but, as my company tagline indicates, "we are not a staffing agency, we are your paralegals." This article more fully explains the concept of contract paralegals and how they are becoming more and more popular in the legal field.
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