Before going into details of what constitutes paralegal services and what they have to offer, it will be relevant to know who a paralegal actually is and what his duties are. A paralegal is one who is trained in legal functioning and has knowledge of the various aspects of law and legal procedures. However, there is a subtle difference between paralegals and lawyers. Paralegals are prohibited from offering legal services directly to clients and must work under direct supervision of a lawyer. They can be employed by a law firm or the legal department of a company or even work freelance at the same places.
Lawyers more often than not are always short on time. This is because the bulk of work in preparation of cases is time taking backend tasks that prop up the main litigation on hand. Most of these are tedious, revolving around research and writing where no real interpretation of law is required. However, these are absolutely necessary with two options to have them done. The first is to hire lawyers at high salaries to basically do work that does not form a part of core activities. The second is to hire paralegal support services at a fraction of the cost but with the same level of competence and output.
Services Offered by Paralegal Agencies-
- Secretarial Services Legal – These are services required by a client to constantly be in the loop about the progress of a case and comprises of Calendar Management, Mailing Services, and Transcription Service. It also includes data entry, proofreading and editing of important documents and court related papers and preparing presentations to be made to the client about various facets of a case.
- Preparation of Documents, Contracts and Agreements – In many cases, agreements and contracts have fixed formats but in others, fresh clauses have to be incorporated that are specific to the case only. Drawing up loan agreements, retainer agreements and pre and post nuptial agreements are some of the examples in this regard where the law must be followed to the last letter and there is no discretion to interpret the clauses in any other manner. Framing employee manuals, preparing documents for divorce proceedings and Bill of Sales are some of the other tasks taken up by paralegals.
- Litigation Support Services – Paralegals are well adept in offering EDD (Electronic Document Delivery) solutions that facilitate quick communication between the legal firm and client. Working on dispositions, ESI processing and most importantly reviewing all documents are some of the other litigation support services that can be had from paralegal services.
Beneficiaries of Paralegal Support Services –
- Large Corporations and Legal Firms – Both these entities prefer to opt for external services to cut down on expenses and time. Any increase in legal requirements can be easily met by parceling off services to external agencies without having to hire lawyers for a short term. Again with a large bank of ready paralegals to back up work at short notice, there is no delay in preparation of cases even when there is a sudden surge in litigation cases. With overheads under control, law firms can structure their fees attractively for quality clients and thereby facilitate business growth and development. There is no need by legal luminaries to get tied down to such mundane tasks as legal research and drafting and preparation of documents.
- Small Legal Firms and Solo Practitioners – For these sectors paralegals have a great role to play; in fact, it would not be wrong to say that they survive largely on the support of these services. Small firms need not be limited by the size of their staff strength to take on more cases; they can bank on the professional expertise of paralegal agencies to support them without scalability issues looming large before them. With such services being very affordable, small firms and solo practitioners can parcel out the bulk of support services while focusing on the very minimum that is, court appearances.
Hiring paralegal services is the best option for legal practitioners looking for exponential growth of business without a corresponding rise in overheads.
One of the industry leaders in paralegal services is Cogneesol. Our team of qualified and experienced paralegals is well conversant with the finer nuances of a law of most countries. To know more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.