Virtual Paralegal Training Center

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Virtual Paralegal Training


  • 03 Jun 2020 7:12 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)
    • Paralegal Voice
      The Paralegal Voice look at the latest issues and trends in the world of paralegals and legal assistants. Hosted by Vicki Voisin, the podcast features leading paralegals and legal professionals who provide career tips and discuss hiring trends.
    • New Solo
      New Solo provides insight on transitioning from a law firm to a solo practice and answers questions that many have regarding all phases of a solo career. Hosted by Adriana Linares.
    • The Digital Edge
      This monthly podcast hosted by Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. and Jim Calloway, discusses the latest in legal technology news and provides legal professionals the tips and tools that are needed to be successful.
    • The Resilient Lawyer
      This series hosted by Jeena Cho and Keith Lee focuses on interviewing top legal professionals and examining how they succeed in practicing law.
    • Thinking Like a Lawyer
      This podcast focuses on everyday experiences by everyday people seen through a legal framework. Hosted by Above the Law editors Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice.
  • 03 Jun 2020 6:55 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Now that you have chosen your business name and business structure; the next step is to create a budget to keep your over-head costs down. After all, one of the main benefits of using virtual paralegals is to help lower client’s over-head costs.

    The general start-up cost for a virtual paralegal business can range from $500 to $5,000.

    If you do not have any client when starting your business, you should only purchase the basic items that you will need until you develop a clientele.

    The basic items should include a computer; a printer that also has a scanner and copier as well as your practice management software.

    Based on your preference you may use a tablet or laptop which will give you the ability to be mobile.

    You will also need a smart phone on which you can send and receive emails at any time, as well as to access apps that are essential to operating a virtual firm.

    The basic essentials for starting a virtual paralegal business will include the following:

    • First you want to create a dedicated space in your home for your office.
    • Determine your business structure
    • Choose your business name
    • Purchase home-base business insurance
    • Purchase notary public insurance & bond, if applicable
    • Draft your clients’ contracts & agreements
    • Finalize your office procedures
    • Laptop or Tablet
    • Printer, copier, scanner, shredder
    • Smart Phone – activate/download Google Voice or Skype

    Determine what software you will need to operate your business:

    1. Practice areas and case management software
    2. Billing and time keeping software
    3. Conflict check system or software
    4. Research software
    5. Document storage
    6. Business operating templates
    7. Court forms depending on your practice areas
    8. Apps commonly used by attorneys or law firms for your practice areas
    9. Fire proof safe – to store your clients’ originals
  • 03 Jun 2020 6:54 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Let me be honest with you, the virtual paralegal business is not for everyone.

    There are some paralegals that have a very difficult time working without an attorney’s supervision and the support of a law office; there are others that lack the entrepreneurial skills required to manage a successful business.

    Managing a business requires more than just your paralegal skills and expertise.

    Operating a virtual paralegal business comes with the challenges of the day to day activities of managing a business such as financial planning, accounting, scheduling and marketing.

    These challenges are separate from your duties as a paralegal, but they are just as important as it is to complete your clients’ assignments and deliver your services.

    However, with the proper planning and discipline you can successfully launch and manage your virtual paralegal business.

    The first step in managing your business is to create your policies and procedures.

    Policies and procedures are guidelines that you, your staff and partners must follow during the operation of your business.

    Your business policies and procedures should also extend to your clients, to give them a clear understanding of how to work with you and what to expect from you and your business.

    It is important that your policies and procedures are enforced always by everyone and are reviewed and revised as your business grows and changes.

  • 03 Jun 2020 6:48 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Client service is the support you offer your clients both before and after they hire you for an assignment that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. It’s often said that it’s cheaper to keep existing clients than to find new ones.

    Client service is one of the major factors in a successful business. It is very important that you treat your clients with respect and dignity. You should be known as the virtual paralegal that always goes the extra mile for her clients. Know the names, needs and policies of all your clients. Address and resolve your clients’ complaints in a timely manner. Be great at your job and always be reliable. Give them incentives to be return clients. Let you clients know that you appreciate their business.

  • 03 Jun 2020 6:45 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Standard Office Procedures (SOPs) is a system of written documents setting out procedures for all aspects of your business. SOPs are an important tool for your business to ensure that everyone in the company is following the same procedure and performing tasks consistently and correctly.

    Therefore, helping towards a smooth-running company. Every virtual paralegal business should include the standard office procedures of a successful business.

    • Greet your clients with a smile; which means being aware of your tone when speaking or emailing your clients.
    • Explain your services clearly to your clients.
    • Treat all clients with dignity and respect.
    • Always give your clients accurate, professional and timely work.
    • Keep your clients updated on their projects even if nothing has happened since your last update.
    • Send your clients texts or emails when having difficulty reaching them by telephone. Most lawyers spend their day in court or in meetings.
    • Let your clients know when you will not be available.  For example, if you are going to be out of the country let your clients know and tell them how and when you will be available.
    • Keep hard copies or online copies of all clients’ correspondence.
    • Clients’ texts, emails and phone calls must be returned within 24 hours. Client’s urgent calls and emails must be responded to immediately.
    • Notify your clients of potential project delays within a reasonable time frame.
    • Discuss with your clients your procedure for projects that are completed. For example, do you delete projects from your database after they are completed? 
    • How do you handle originals? What are your document storage procedures?
    • Discuss with your clients how does your Company accept payments?
    • Do you accept full or partial payments upfront?  Do you accept credit cards, checks or PayPal?
    • Try to create a paperless office; keep all originals in a fire safe box and scan all client files to an online folder that is password protected.
    • Always send your clients thank-you notes after their project is completed.
    • Follow up with your clients after their files have been closed to find out how you can assist them further and keep them abreast of all your new services.
    • It is your responsibility to convert your clients into repeat-clients and referral sources.
  • 03 Jun 2020 6:43 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    As paralegals, we all know the importance of confidentiality in the legal business. A virtual paralegal is under strict obligation to protect their clients’ privacy always.

    Every virtual paralegal business should have a written confidentiality policy describing both the type of information considered confidential and the procedures you must follow for protecting clients’ information. At the very least, it is recommended that paralegals adopt the following procedures for protecting their clients’ information:

    • Do not discuss clients or clients’ projects with anyone including family and friends without your clients’ permission.
    • Be aware of your surroundings when having telephone conversations with your clients. It is best to find a quiet place to talk with your client.
    • Keep all clients’ files locked away in a password-protected file. Your family and friends should never have access to your clients’ files.
    • Never release clients’ information to anyone without your clients’ authorization.
    • Use shredders or other secure disposal methods to dispose of client sensitive material.
    • Make sure all your partners and independent contractors sign confidentiality agreements.
    • Use software that is password-protected for transmitting documents.
    • Your duty of confidentiality continues after your clients’ projects are completed.
  • 03 Jun 2020 6:41 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    From the first day a paralegal starts their business, he or she must maintain a record of clients. A good conflict-checking system will detect possible conflicts of interest before you accept an assignment.

    Every virtual paralegal should develop policies for handling conflict situations as they arise. Per the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA®)

    • A paralegal shall act within the bounds of the law, solely for the benefit of the client, and shall be free of compromising influences and loyalties. Neither the paralegal's personal or business interest, nor those of other clients or third persons, should compromise the paralegal's professional judgment and loyalty to the client.
    • A paralegal shall avoid conflicts of interest that may arise from previous assignments, whether for a present or past employer or client.
    • A paralegal shall avoid conflicts of interest that may arise from family relationships and from personal and business interests.
    • To be able to determine whether an actual or potential conflict of interest exists a paralegal shall create and maintain an effective record-keeping system that identifies clients, matters, and parties with which the paralegal has worked.
    • A paralegal shall reveal sufficient non-confidential information about a client or former client to reasonably ascertain if an actual or potential conflict of interest exists.
    • A paralegal shall not participate in or conduct work on any matter where a conflict of interest has been identified.
    • In matters where a conflict of interest has been identified and the client consents to continued representation, a paralegal shall comply fully with the implementation and maintenance of an Ethical Wall.
  • 03 Jun 2020 6:39 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    The unauthorized practice of law is engaging in the practice of law by persons or entity not authorized to practice law pursuant to state law or using the designations “lawyer,” “attorney at law,” counselor at law,” “law,” “law office,” “J.D.,” “Esq.,” or other equivalent words by any person or entity not authorized to practice, the use of which is reasonably likely to induce others to believe that the person or entity is authorized to engage in the practice of law.

    Per the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA®)

    • Every virtual paralegal should avoid UPL by working exclusively under the supervision of attorneys. 
    • The legal restriction for operating a virtual paralegal business is, virtual paralegal should NEVER give legal advice. Typically, paralegals are not permitted by law to give legal advice. In most states, it is a violation of the law for anyone other than a licensed attorney to give legal advice. Always represent yourself as the paralegal and never an attorney.
    • A paralegal's title shall clearly indicate the individual's status and shall be disclosed in all business and professional communications to avoid misunderstandings and misconceptions about the paralegal's role and responsibilities.
    • A paralegal's title shall be included if the paralegal's name appears on business cards, letterheads, brochures, directories, and advertisements.
  • 03 Jun 2020 6:35 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    Time management refers to a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals.

    Your role as a manager in your virtual paralegal business is to always know about the market that you serve, provide client services; and generating profit.

    • First you will need to start by prioritizing your time.
    • Write everything down, there are several apps available for note taking.
    • Create a “to do” list.
    • Prioritize your “to do” list using a calendar.
    • Update your “to do” list daily.
    • Set your deadlines days apart.
    • Know your limit.  Ask for help and know when to say no.
    • Learn to delegate.
    • Eliminate bad habits that are taking up your time.

    As your virtual paralegal business grows you must juggle several projects at one time.

    You will find yourself with several deadlines on the same day and not enough time to meet them. Consider the following tips to help you manage your time efficiently.

    • Always review your calendar for current project deadlines before accepting new projects.
    • Schedule your project deadlines at least a couple of days apart when possible.
    • Your client will always prefer if you reject a project instead of accepting it and missing the deadline.
    • If you think you may not meet your deadline, always notify your client within a reasonably time to have them approve an extension or make other arrangements.
    • Do not take on more projects than you can handle. If you are offered more projects than you can handle, consider hiring help or a partnership.  You may also refer the client to another virtual paralegal.
  • 03 Jun 2020 6:33 PM | Cordina Charvis (Administrator)

    New client on-boarding is critical to ensure that you deliver a great first impression to keep your clients. It is also important for operating your business efficiently. The following process is a guide to help you create your client procedures for your business.

    • Review your calendar of current project deadlines before accepting new projects.
    • Schedule your project deadlines at least 3-5 days apart when possible.
    • Perform conflict checks before accepting new assignments.
    • Add all clients’ projects to your conflict database.
    • Notify clients in writing of any potential clients’ conflicts.
    • Clients must sign conflict waiver if a conflict was determined.
    • A new client matter number should be opened for all new projects, even for existing clients.
    • Create a new client matter specific to each client and assignment/project.
    • Each file should be labeled with the name of the client, assignment/project and client matter number.
    • Each client should have an online and a manual folder.
    • All originals should be kept in the manual folder and a copy should be scanned to the client’s online file. 
    • When the file is closed, originals must be returned to client.
    • Active files should be separated from closed files.
    • Closed files should be separated from collection files.  

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