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The virtual paralegal  blog is where we discuss upcoming training, resources, events, products, services and news relevant to the virtual paralegal business.  


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  • 08 Mar 2019 10:52 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)
    The virtual paralegal clients are attorneys and legal professionals most of which are inundated with emails, whether an email gets opened depends entirely on its subject line. It is important to send a professional email message that engages the reader and clearly states why you’re writing.
     
    To introduce yourself in an email to prospective clients, use the first paragraph to intro yourself, the second for your request and the third to thank the reader for his or her consideration.
     
    It is best to direct your email to an individual instead of a generic email address. In an introduction, you must always use a formal business greeting such as, Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name, followed by a semi-colon.
     
    If you know someone in common, mention them in your email. A referral is one of the best way to connect with new people. Your message should clearly state who you are and why you are writing to the reader. The way you end your email is your last opportunity to make a good first impression. Your closing needs to leave the reader with positive feelings about you and the email you have written.
     
    Examples of Email Introductory Subject Lines
    • Introduction From [Your Name]
    • Inquiring About Opportunities 
    • I Found You Through [Alumni Network, LinkedIn, Professional Association, etc.)
    • [Name] Recommended I Contact You
    • Referral From [Name]
     
    Sample Email Introduction with a referral
     
    Dear Ms. Smith,
     
    I am a friend of Allie Brown, and she encouraged me to forward my resume to you. Allie and I worked on several projects together, and she thought that you might be interested in my corporate paralegal services.
     
    Include your email signature. Make it easy for the person you’re emailing to get back in touch with you. Your signature must include your full name, email address, and phone number. 
     
    Last but most importantly, proofread your email before sending.


  • 19 Feb 2019 11:49 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    By Kristin Tyler

    There are many advantages to becoming a virtual paralegal, including the flexibility it gives you to work when you want and on what projects you want. However, like any business, freelancing requires you to go out and get clients. If you want to be successful, you need to market your services to attorneys and law firms. Here are a few tips to get you started:
     
    Create a strong online professional profile.  You should always use LinkedIn, but in addition, you may want to develop your own website with more information about you.  If you join a freelance or virtual paralegal marketplace, you can also create a profile on that site. Your profile should include a picture, clear and concise summary of your experience and skill level, full resume, writing samples, and other relevant information.
     
    Network. It’s important to get out and meet and build relationships with attorneys and paralegals. They are not only potential clients, but also referral sources. Some of the best places for networking are bar and paralegal associations and legal professional groups. Become a member, attend meetings and join a committee so you get to know people better. Don’t forget to reach out to your own contacts including former colleagues to let them know that you are freelancing.
     
     Sign up with an online legal marketplace or staffing agency. Many alternative legal services companies are actively promoting their services to law firms. When projects come in, they either send you the work or facilitate the connection with a law firm.
     
    Use multiple marketing channels to promote yourself. In addition to networking, you should consider advertising in legal publications, writing articles, speaking at seminars, blogging, being active on social media and sending a regular email newsletter to your contacts. The more ways you market, the better your chances of reaching new audiences and staying top of mind with your contacts.
     
    Get references and testimonials from attorneys and paralegals you have worked with in the past. This helps build your credibility and reputation and lets other firms know what type of work you have done. These reviews can go on your LinkedIn profile, website or become part of your profile if you have joined an online marketplace.
    Building a successful business as a virtual paralegal takes time, but it is a rewarding choice. Follow these tips to make your marketing more effective and get more clients.
  • 13 Feb 2019 11:41 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    According to ZipRecruiter, as of Jan 27, 2019, the average hourly pay for the Freelance Paralegal jobs category in the United States is $27 an hour.

    While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $53.61 and as low as $8.65, the majority of wages within the Freelance Paralegal jobs category currently range between $18 (25th percentile) to $30 (75th percentile) across the United States. The average pay range for a Freelance Paralegal job varies modestly (up to $12), which suggests there may be fewer opportunities for advancement based on skill level, but increased pay based on location and years of experience is still possible.

    Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the Freelance Paralegal job market in both New York, NY and the surrounding area is very active. People working within the Freelance Paralegal category in your area are making on average $30 per hour or $2 (9%) more than the national average hourly salary of $27. New York ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Freelance Paralegal job salaries.

    To estimate the most accurate hourly salary range for Freelance Paralegal jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

    View All Freelance Paralegal Jobs

  • 25 Jan 2019 2:19 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    FREE eBook Download

    Whether or not you should launch a virtual paralegal business will depend on your qualifications, practice areas, motivation and hard work. Starting a business can be challenging, and it’s important to have all your questions answered before you take the plunge.

    There are several reasons why paralegals launched virtual paralegal businesses but regardless of the reason why you decide to start a business; you must first determine if you want to be an employee or an entrepreneur?

    Determine your motivation for wanting to offer your services remotely as opposed to working in a law office? Do you want to operate your own business, or do you just want the flexibility of working from home?

    The Virtual Paralegal FAQ eGuide will answer frequently asked questions about the virtual paralegal business such as, major challenges working as virtual paralegals, myths associated with operating a virtual paralegal business, how long it takes to launch a virtual paralegal business and much more.

    After reading this eGuide you should be able to decide if starting a business is the right choice for you and if you decide to move forward with your virtual paralegal business; this eGuide will also give you step by step instructions on how to transition from a law office paralegal to a virtual one.

    For a limited time, the Virtual Paralegal Training Center™ is giving away free download to this eGuide on Amazon and on our website.

  • 06 Dec 2018 12:22 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)


    What are the rules of gift-gifting if you are a freelancer or a virtual paralegal? If you want to give your client a thank you gift, there are ways that won’t cross the line between “loved working with you” and “give me more work”. The etiquette can be a bit tricky. You do not want the gift to be too expensive or personal. It should be a small token of a thoughtful expression and gratitude.

    Some suggests a hand written “thank you” note alone or combined with a coffee gift card worth no more than $25.00.

    Other suggest promotional items such as, pens, note pads and mugs with your business name and logo on them. I read an article that suggested the following:

    §  If you give a person a pen, they’ll remember it for a few days.

    §  If you give a person a pen with your logo on it, they’ll remember it for a few days.

    §  If you give a person a nice pen with *their* name on it, they’ll not only remember who gave it to them, they’ll probably hold on to it for a lot longer.

    So, whether you should give your client a gift, is a personal choice but if you do, keep it professional and make it more about saying thank you and save the business promotion for another time.

  • 29 Nov 2018 11:34 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Thanks to the growing economy freelancers and virtual workers are on the rise.

    According to the virtual assistant platform Upwork 57.3 million people in the U.S. freelance full time. This is exciting news for parents who want to work from home to spend more time with their family. 

    Working virtual comes with a lot of benefits including the flexibility to choose the hours you work and the assignments you want to work on.

    However, there are some downsides to leaving your full-time employment for freelancing, such as, giving up benefits that are important to you and your family.  One of those benefit is the opportunity to contribute to a flexible spending account (FSA) known as a personal saving accounts that can be used for qualifying medical expenses. Because the funds are usually deposited into the account on a pre-tax-basis, it reduces the employees tax liability.

    Unfortunately, the IRS does not extend the FSAs benefits to self-employed workers.

    However, if you are a full-time employee and your employer offers this benefit you may still be eligible even if you work freelance on a part-time basis. You may also be able to contribute to a FSA account if your spouse’s employer offers this benefit.

    The alternative for full-time freelancers and virtual paralegals is the child tax credit (CTC) and the additional child tax credit (ACTC) that can help offset the cost of childcare. These tax credits are up to $1,000 per qualifying child. The child must be under 17, have lived with you for at least half of the tax year, and be a U.S. citizen.

    So be sure to explore your tax advantaged options with a qualified accountant or financial specialist when deciding to launch a virtual paralegal business or transitioning from part-time to full-time.


  • 02 Nov 2018 12:46 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Looking to grow your virtual paralegal business? Check out the companies below. Don't forget to do your due diligence before providing personal information.

    Lawfecta

    Equivity

    Hire an Esquire

    Virtual Employee

    Flexjobs


  • 31 Oct 2018 12:22 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Virtual Paralegals are contract, independent or freelance paralegals qualified by education, training or work experience who are employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible on an as needed basis with such services being supplied through the use of technology and remote access systems.

    Some of the services performed by virtual paralegals include:

    Legal entity management

    Carrying out legal research.

    Court filings.

    Interviewing and preparing witnesses for trial.

    Summarizing transcripts.

    Drafting pleadings as well as any other legal papers.

    Performing searches on public records.

    General trial preparation including preparing notebooks for trial.

    Billing for the firm as well as time entry.

    Maintaining materials for cases.

    Organizing papers for discovery as well as summarizing them.

    Drafting correspondence.

    Perform tasks to deliver trial support such as maintaining the necessary documents, coordinating the witnesses, maintaining daily summaries of court transcripts.

  • 31 Oct 2018 11:29 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Closing the Justice Gap

    In an effort to close the justice gap, Utah is poised to become the second state to license paralegals to practice law in limited circumstances. In November, the Utah Supreme Court is expected to approve and enact the final rules for a new class of legal professionals, called licensed paralegal practitioners (LPPs), who will provide legal advice and assistance to clients in certain areas of law without the supervision of a lawyer. This would make Utah the second state to use paralegals in place of lawyers to provide under-served clients with access to more affordable legal services in specific areas. Washington initiated a similar program in 2015. Learn more


  • 31 Oct 2018 11:28 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Become a Legal Technician

    Legal technicians are trained and licensed to offer legal advice and services to clients in family law matters without the financial investment of a traditional law degree. This flexible legal license allows legal technicians to work independently, in groups with other LLLTs, or as part of a traditional law firm. It's a great fit for those who love the law and want to help people but are unsure about going to law school. It is also a great fit for experienced paralegals who would like to work independently or start their own business as a LLLT. Legal technicians are the only legal professionals other than lawyers who are licensed to give legal advice and own law firms.

    The Washington Supreme Court directed the WSBA to develop and administer the LLLT license as part of the effort to make legal services more available for people with low or moderate incomes.  Becoming a legal technician is a great way to be a part of a pioneering effort to make legal services available to everyone.

    How to Become a Legal Technician

    There are three key requirements to be licensed as a legal technician: education, examination, and experience. Learn more

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