A great paralegal strives to deliver work on time and accurately.
They’re also vital to law firms because they handle everyday tasks on several cases at a time to keep the caseload moving in the right direction.
What do they worry about the most? They have the skills and talents they need to succeed every day, even in a busy legal environment.
We’ll take a look at six things that keep a paralegal up at night, and how they help bring success to a law firm.
1) Time Management
Paralegals are always busy with the daily tasks that keep law firms and solo practices running smoothly. There is plenty to do throughout the day, such as answering phones, talking to current clients, responding to emails, preparing documents, and getting ready for depositions.
With increased caseload comes increased workload, which is a good thing for your law firm.
When the daily tasks of running your practice become too much and you don’t have enough time to accomplish these tasks, perhaps it’s time to look into a paralegal to help alleviate your workload.
2) Caseload Management
Paralegals are at the front lines of caseload management. They know what cases should have priority and which ones have looming deadlines. They also know when and how to pass along messages to attorneys regarding important developments in the case, especially if the other counsel reaches out to make a pretrial settlement and it’s time to negotiate.
Would you rather just focus on the aspect of case law to focus on your clients? Or would you rather understand what cases need your attention first and foremost?
Paralegals can help you manage cases from start to finish. They use automated tools to keep track of things (Amicus is a good one), otherwise they would spend too much time doing extra busy work.
Automated tools and platforms also store information, documents, and filings, especially with cloud-based systems. Paralegals know these systems very well as part of their daily tasks, and they can alert you when to review documents ahead of filing them with the court.
3) Trial Prep
Preparing for a trial is a lot of work. You have to bring evidence, retrieve files, print out documents, and be ready for anything.
Paralegals can help you prep for a trial so you’re ready to follow court procedures, interview the other side’s witnesses, and learn how to talk to a potential jury.
Any paralegals you have on staff can take care of the paperwork and files. You should get ready to deliver the best possible results for your client.
Different court systems have varying procedures and filing deadlines. Your scheduling app keeps track of client meetings and court dates, but not necessarily when filings are due to the court.
Having a paralegal on hand gives you an extra helper to work on filings and documents ahead of deadlines so you don’t miss anything. Missing a deadline can cost you a case or give your opponent leverage against you and your client, particularly when there are motions due or if there’s a pretrial conference coming up.
5) Client Intake
How do you know what clients you should take?
There are varying levels of potential clients, from ones you know you should never take to ones that are great for your firm.
Paralegals have the know-how to understand what a good client would be for you. You can easily train a paralegal to handle client intake for you with a series of questions to ask potential clients.
Client intake interviews and questions are vital to making sure you can reasonably succeed in your case. You can’t win them all, but knowing vital information ahead of time can help you determine if you want to proceed.
Send along a list of questions (and the answers that a paralegal should know), such as:
- What is your reason for contacting an attorney today?
- Can you tell me more about your situation?
- Have you ever worked with an attorney before?
- Have you already consulted with an attorney about this matter already?
- What outcome would you like to see from this case?
- Do you have any documents you can show me?
- Have you been served with court papers?
- What expectations do you have with our firm?
- How would you prefer we communicate with you?
- Why did you choose to contact us?
- What are your biggest concerns with your situation?
- Have you considered attorney fees and your budget?
A paralegal can also answer many questions the potential client may have, such as what the next steps are, how much money should they pay, and what are any potential outcomes like.
Paralegals also understand the line between getting enough information and when talking to a potential client becomes a waste of time. Your paralegal has the panache to navigate client intake.
6) Maintaining Accurate Information & Documentation
Accuracy and details are everything in legal work. One wrong name, place, or date, and you could end up losing a case.
Paralegals are masters at knowing details and understanding what details are important. They document everything properly, save them in the right files, and help you maintain proper filing schedules.
When you have so many pending cases on hand, the details can slip away from you. Managing all of the information can fall to paralegals who are trained to handle such tasks.
Hire a Fully Vetted Paralegal to Assist You
Amata is an attorney services firm based in Chicago. We offer a wide range of support services, including paralegals who assist you with the daily tasks of your law practice.
Your paralegal can be virtual or on-site, whichever you prefer. We have a variety of on-demand options to fit your needs, whether you require a paralegal just to maintain caseload or need one to handle all administrative tasks. You don’t even have to hire a paralegal full-time.
Even better, the paralegal you hire is on our payroll and not yours, saving you money on benefits such as insurance.
Contact us for more information. Experienced help is just a phone call away thanks to our network of paralegals.