Technology has changed traditional work arrangements, giving rise to telecommuting. Once considered a trend for the millennial workforce, telecommuting has now become an accepted approach to how and where people work. In the legal industry, telecommuting has opened the opportunity for paralegal assistants to increase their network and gain better employment options.
Virtual paralegal assistants support attorneys and law firms in the delivery of legal services. But instead of doing these tasks in an office, virtual paralegals work in a remote location or in their homes. There are also virtual paralegal assistants who split their schedule between working on a remote basis and at the office. Regardless of set-up, a virtual paralegal works under the supervision of a lawyer or multiple lawyers, depending on how much workload they can take.
How Does One Become a Virtual Paralegal?
Education and paralegal training, though not required, are two of the most important factors in becoming a successful virtual paralegal assistant. Aspiring virtual paralegals may take a paralegal degree online to gain knowledge on legal essentials, from performing legal research to filing legal documents and conducting legal investigation. Before becoming a virtual paralegal, one may also spend a few years working as an on-site paralegal to have a concrete background on how law firms operate.
What are the Advantages of Working as a Virtual Paralegal?
Virtual paralegals can work at home, allowing them to spend more time with their families and avoid the hassle of daily commute, office politics, dress code, and strict work schedules. In addition to working from home, virtual paralegals can also do their jobs anywhere they want so they can focus on their work and be more productive.
Virtual paralegals have the flexibility in setting their own rates, hours, and schedule. They can decide if they want to work longer or take multiple clients to make more money. If given extra work, they can also ask for additional pay.
Since virtual paralegals can work with multiple clients and choose which contracts they want to take, they can also be exposed to different branches of law. This allows them to broaden their experience rather than concentrate in one or two areas.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Paralegal?
Hiring a full-time employee means businesses have to pay for their monthly salary, benefits, work tools, and other costs that their employment entail. Small businesses, start-ups or independent lawyers can reduce such costs when they hire a virtual paralegal assistant as they are paid only for the hours they rendered.
Virtual paralegals have flexible working hours. Businesses can easily find a virtual paralegal during odd hours or the weekend. This proves to be beneficial in case something urgent needs to be done at night or over the weekend.
Range of Services
In addition to providing legal support, there are virtual paralegals who are also capable of performing other tasks such as marketing, billing and collections, and digital file management.
Working as a virtual paralegal provides the flexibility and high-income potential that on-site paralegal assistants may not have. For businesses, hiring a virtual paralegal will help them save on costs and be able to allot their time and effort to tasks that matter.