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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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  • 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

  • 12 Jan 2018 11:16 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    A great freelance community just needs a SPARK. That’s where you come in.

    SPARK is Freelancers Union’s monthly member meetup in nearly 25 cities, where you can get ideas to help your business, meet wonderful people, and be yourself with other people who understand the freelance life.

    Freelance Union is looking for leaders and experts to join local SPARK teams and help start new ones! Whether you’re a seasoned freelance veteran or just starting out, becoming a SPARK leader is a great way to build your network in your local community and connect with other freelancers.

    Some of the roles they are looking for:

    New SPARK Leaders - Want to build a community of freelancers in your city?

    Curriculum Leads -  You want to help your freelancers learn valuable skills and connect with local experts.

    Events Leads - You’re the type of person who can help make SPARK a great experience for everyone who attends.

    Marketing Leads - You’re a marketing maven (or an aspiring one) who can help spread the word out about SPARK.

    Community Leads - You want to connect with allied groups and local officials to make an impact for freelancers in your community.

    Experts and Specialists - You’re a legal, tax, finance, marketing, or business coaching professional ready to share your knowledge with freelancers.

    Interested in learning more?

    Apply Here!


  • 10 Jul 2017 2:51 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    This article was written by: Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick from The Etiquette School of New York

    Making a good impression at a conference or networking event is the first step to successfully achieving your goals. The best way to appear confident and poised is to dress appropriately for the event, know what your agenda is for it, and come prepared with a compelling 15-second self-introduction specifically tailored for the event.

    The following tips will help you avoid the most common mistakes people make when attending and approaching clients and partners at conferences and networking events:

    Top 10 Don’ts

    Don’t network too obviously or aggressively.

    Don’t walk around with a beverage in one hand and food in the other hand. The right hand should always be free to shake hands with a firm, dry handshake.

    Don’t wear your name badge on the left side; it goes on the right side under your shoulder blade.

    Don’t jump into a business discussion with a potential client or ask for their business before making small talk and establishing rapport. You’re not selling potential clients on your services; you’re selling them on the idea that you’re the correct person to administer those services and someone with whom they would enjoy doing business.

    Don’t barge into conversations. If you would like to join a group, wait until there is a break in the conversation, and gracefully join the group by asking “May I join you?” Introduce yourself, and shake hands with everyone in the group.

    Don’ talk just to be talking or make the mistake of talking about inappropriate subjects, such as confidential matters, controversial issues, criticisms of co-workers, your company, management, or anything too personal. Come prepared to talk about what would be of interest to the people that will be attending the event.

    Don’t walk away from a conversation without graciously excusing yourself. You can say something like, “I’ve enjoyed talking with you. I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening.”

    Don’t fail to introduce new people to those around you; and be sure you know how to make proper business introductions.

    Don’t give your business card to another person unless they have asked for it.  That is standard business card protocol.

    Don’t complain about the number, kind, planning, or running of conferences or networking events—at least not before or after an actual one. Complain later, if you like, when you are far away from the group attending the event. It’s too easy to be overheard and get labeled as a malcontent.

  • 05 Jul 2017 11:44 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)
    • Google My Business -https://www.google.com/business/ - Your listing appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps.
    • Bing Places for Business - https://www.bingplaces.com/ - Bing Places for Business is a Bing portal that enables local business owners to add a listing for their business on Bing. 
    • Yelp – https://biz.yelp.com/ - Yelp is not just for reviewing restaurants; it also includes a section for attorneys and law firms.
    • Merchant Circle - www.merchantcircle.com - MerchantCircle is the largest social network for local business owners. Services include online business listings, marketing tools and internet advertising.
    • The Business Journals - www.bizjournals.com/ - The Business Journals' sites feature local business and industry news from 43 different markets around the nation along with a full menu of tools and resources. 
  • 23 Jun 2017 6:18 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    The Virtual Paralegal Training Center™ (VPTC) is an online networking community that provides training and resources for paralegals and legal assistants on how to use their skills and experiences to become entrepreneurs.

    It is the mission of VPTC to educate paralegals and legal assistants on how to expand their legal skills and experiences beyond the role of an employee and provide the alternative which is entrepreneurship.

    VPTC’s vision is to continue to be the leader in their industry offering top notch training and resources for their members, to help them to provide their target clients with the highest level of paralegal services without violating any rules or regulations required by law.

    The Virtual Paralegal Training Center™ currently offers a directory where members and subscribers can advertise their services and a job board where legal employers and recruiters can post their open positions and be connected with interested candidates.

    In addition to social media, VPTC provides an online newsletter, a blog and a forum to encourage networking among its members and subscribers.

    The Virtual Paralegal Training Center™ is the first resource for paralegals interested in transitioning from employee to entrepreneurship. 

  • 22 Jun 2017 1:13 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    For most paralegals, the deciding factor for going virtual is flexibility and work-life balance. Anyone who has been successful in this business knows that operating a business does not have set hours even after the virtual doors have been closed.

    Depending on how busy you are, you may be able to complete your paralegal assignments at the end of the day but your nights and weekends may be filled with the demands of running a business such as: billing, invoicing and marketing. If this sounds like you and you are asking yourself, where is the flexibility that I signed up for or if you are a new virtual paralegal trying to avoid this situation, fear not, I have a few ideas for you.

    Firstly, there must be a distinction between home and work. You must create a dedicated space for your business. If you have a spare room, take the time to create a real but comfortable office space. If you do not have a spare room, go to your local library or coffee shop. Separating yourself from “home” can help you to switch into work mode and become more productive.

    The next thing to do to create work-life balance is to determine your operating hours and stick with them. Depending on where your clients are; you must take the different time zones into consideration, except for emergencies for which you would charge an extra fee. You should not accept new projects or respond to emails after hours. However, you must have a system in place for your clients to submit their requests when your virtual office is closed.

    In addition to setting strict operating hours, you must also have a dedicated phone just for your business. Turn it off at the end of the working day. Set up a voice message instructing clients on how to submit their questions and projects after hours. You must confirm receipt and respond to your clients’ requests within 24 hours.

    Finally, use a time tracking software such as Hubbstaff or Toggl to help you achieve a better work/life balance. Time tracking software will highlight if you are working too much or too little. If you are taking 2 hours to complete an assignment that you could usually complete in an office within a half hour; it’s time to re-evaluate your time management.


  • 29 Mar 2017 10:29 AM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    I have read an article where it stated that a niche practice is best because you cannot try to be all things to all people. My initial reaction was nodding my head in the motion of yes; then I quickly realized how funny that statement would be to most paralegals whether or not they were working in general practice or a specialized area. That is exactly who we are; all things to all people. How many times were you the mail person, secretary, supervisor, customer service and the list goes on and on; sometimes, all in one day?

    However, I have to agree with this statement as it relates to starting a virtual paralegal business. If an attorney is looking to hire a paralegal to help with his bankruptcy practice; what is the likely chance he is going to hire a corporate paralegal with bankruptcy skills as oppose to a paralegal that specializes in bankruptcy. It is very likely; given the chance both paralegals would do a great job. There are paralegals that have started in one practice and have moved on to different practice areas throughout their careers. However, the attorney is going to be the most comfortable hiring the paralegal that is currently practicing bankruptcy or has practice for several years.

    The way to handle your multiple skills and practice areas when starting a niche virtual paralegal business is to evaluate the following:

    • Your years of experience and your comfort level offering those services on a continuous basis. Some paralegals switch practice areas because they did not enjoy the work.
    • What services can you offer remotely that has the potential to be profitable?
    • Focus on demographics, such as age, gender, occupation, income level, ethnic background, or marital status for your practice area. For example, a family law paralegal focusing on French speaking clients.
    • Is there a demand in the market for your services? There may not be a lot of positions advertised for some practice areas; but that does not mean there is no demand. Contact attorneys and law firms who specialize in those areas and offer your services.

    As your practice grows; you can expand in other practice areas that compliment your current services. Niche practice can help raise your profit per client by demonstrating expertise. Many clients will pay a premium for specialized skill set.


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