Paralegals Today:
Attorneys, law firms, legal departments of major corporations, and state and federal governments are currently employing paralegals by the thousands. The benefits to the client by utilizing paralegals, to name a few, are reduced costs, lower legal fees and increased client contact. The benefits to the employer are court-approved paralegal fees, Pro Bono opportunities, acting liaison with court personnel, proficiency in electronic filings, specialized services and being competitive in the legal community. As a result Paralegals have now become an indispensable asset to the legal community. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that paralegal positions will increase by 15 percent from 2016 through 2026, which is much faster than average.

Question:
What is a Paralegal?
Answer:
The Ohio State Bar Association Paralegal Definition:
A paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.

Question:
What does a Paralegal do?
Answer:
Paralegals generally work side-by-side with attorneys, judges, prosecutors, or public defenders. They assist with research, preparation and analysis of documents, client and witness interview and investigation. Increasing caseloads have encouraged lawyers to delegate tasks formerly reserved for attorneys, creating more opportunities for paralegals. T

Question:
What do the courts say about Paralegals?
Answer:
“We conclude that given the appropriate instructions and supervision, paralegals, whether employees or independent contractors, are valuable and necessary members in the effective and efficient practice of law. In re: Opinion 24 of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 128 N.J. 114 (1992).

“Encouraging the use of lower cost paralegals rather than attorneys whenever possible “encourages cost-effective delivery of legal services…” Source: Missouri v. Jenkins, 491 U.S. Ct. 2463, 2471, n. 10 (9).

Question:
What is a Freelance Paralegal?
Answer:
Freelance paralegals, also known as contract paralegals, are no different than traditional paralegals except that they are not employed by an attorney in a traditional setting such as a law firm, governmental entity or corporation. A freelance paralegal is one that is self-employed. They are available on an “as-needed” basis by many supervising attorneys in these settings to take on short-term or long-term projects.  Freelance paralegals are educated and qualified to perform paralegal work just the same as traditionally-employed paralegals. They may work in an attorneys office, law firm, governmental entity or corporation; or they may work remotely from their own office. Those that work remotely are known Virtual Paralegals (see FAQs).