Many people like and crave at the idea of becoming a lawyer and being associated with the activities of the court and law, but not all of us have the opportunity to do so first hand. However, there’s still hope since there is a business which can be put in those lines as closely possible.
The business is providing paralegal services. Hence, to clarify any doubts, it’s important to mention that, as a paralegal, you can’t give legal advice or defend anybody in a murder trial, but you can complete simple documents and forms for individuals and attorneys, then take those papers down to the courthouse and file them. You’ll help lawyers with small practices by taking over the work that would be done by legions of assistants in a large law firm, and you’ll lend aid to individuals with matters like evictions and simple divorces so they don’t have to pay those high attorneys’ fees. The advantages to this business are that you get the charge of life in the law lane without the slavish hours you’d find in a corporate firm, and you have the satisfaction of helping your clients through the maze of the legal system. You’ll need a strong background in all matters paralegal; good communication skills; and excellent grammatical, punctuation and spelling abilities--no judge (or client) is going to be impressed by a mistake-riddled document. In addition, you should have terrific organizational skills and be a good time manager so you can pump out those documents in plenty of time for court dates and filings.
With regard to the market of this business, it’s important to note several attributes and or statistics which will make you see the light on the market of this business. According to recent surveys done it is clear that over 10 million cases a year are being filed at U.S. state courts. The given statistic above speaks for itself and shows how big the market for your business is. So getting in to the micro level of your market, basically, your clients can and will be individuals and attorneys with small firms in need of assistance. Your best bet for getting business from legal eagles is to send sales letters and brochures and then follow up with phone calls. Further it is important and helpful that you join local legal associations and network in professional and civic groups. To attract private clients, place ads in the Yellow Pages and local newspapers and get yourself written up in your local newspaper.
With regard to the needed equipment and finances to do start and pursue this business, the following set of information will provide you with an excellent idea.
Start-up cost: $3,000-5000
Potential earnings: $15,000-30,000 varies depending upon region and part time or full time work.
How to Find Clients: Advertise where other paralegals advertise then branch out. Solicit typing services to attorneys. Network, network, network.
Equipment needed: Computer, printer, fax machine, scanner, call notes or answering machine and letter head.
Qualifications: Paralegal/Legal Assistant Associates Degree or Certification. 3-5 years working with attorneys. Moderate knowledge of the court filing and ability to conduct legal research.