If you’re looking for freelance paralegal jobs, then this article is for you! The freelance paralegal business has exploded in recent years. In the next five to ten years, it’s expected that there will be a shortage of qualified professionals to meet the demand from law firms and corporations.
Freelance paralegals are in demand these days and for good reason. These professionals can choose their work hours and work from anywhere they desire.
If you’re interested in succeeding as a freelance paralegal, then read on for some tips that can help get you started!
What does a freelance paralegal do?
A freelance paralegal performs legal research for attorneys and assists them with drafting pleadings, memos, briefs, and other documents. They’re also responsible for keeping up with the docket sheet of cases they work on to ensure deadlines are met. Freelance paralegals can work from home or from their local law office.
What are the top 11 tips to succeed as a freelance paralegal?
Get your education.
While every state has different requirements for freelance paralegals, having a degree or certification will set you off in the right direction.
Freelancing can be tough, especially if you’re just starting out. Oftentimes, it may take several months before the right opportunities come along that are a good fit for your experience and skillset.
Learn what skill sets companies will value most.
Not every freelancer is going to land his or her dream job the first time around. However, if you’re able to adapt your skillset and become a more well-rounded candidate then there’s a good chance that the right opportunity will come along fairly quickly.
Understand what companies are looking for in an ideal freelance paralegal.
Not every company is going to place the same emphasis on certain qualifications. Some firms may be looking for recent graduates while others may require someone with several years of experience under their belt.
Network and market yourself effectively.
As a freelance paralegal, it’s all about selling your skillset to potential employers in the best way possible so that you can land more freelancing opportunities in the future. This means networking with local attorneys and other legal professionals, as well as marketing yourself through sites like LinkedIn.
Be open to relocation if necessary.
While the vast majority of freelancing jobs can be done online, certain companies may require more face-to-face interaction with clients or want someone who is willing to relocate for a period of time. If you’re not opposed to relocating, then it may be well worth considering.
Don’t give up!
Freelancing can definitely take some time to get used to especially if you haven’t had much experience with this type of work in the past. However, keep at it and remember that every company has a different hiring process so just because one job didn’t work out doesn’t mean the next opportunity won’t be a good fit.
Don’t cut corners when it comes to your qualifications.
Make sure that if you’re asked for professional references, transcript copies, etc., then provide them promptly or risk losing opportunities altogether. Give yourself enough time to complete these tasks and always follow up with any potential employers.
Take time to evaluate each opportunity to ensure it’s the right fit.
As a freelance paralegal, you may be tempted to jump at anything that comes your way just so that you can keep earning money and pay your bills on time. However, freelancing is all about building relationships for future opportunities. If you’re offered an opportunity that doesn’t quite fit your skillset or experience level, then it’s probably best to turn it down.
Be prepared for the unexpected and have a plan B in place.
Freelancing is all about being flexible. Sometimes you just won’t know when work will come through. Be sure that you’ve got another plan in place to earn money if you don’t have anything lined up.
Know your worth as a freelancer and charge accordingly.
If the company is unwilling to pay what you believe your work is worth, then it’s probably best not to take on that opportunity. Other clients will recognize how valuable of an employee you are.
What skills do I need to be a freelance paralegal?
Successful freelance paralegals have an excellent grasp of the English language with strong writing and communication abilities. They must also have a very good understanding of legal terminology, which includes being able to use correct grammar and punctuation when writing.
What is the demand for freelance paralegals?
The need for freelance paralegals has increased exponentially over the past decade and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon. In fact, a recent survey by Robert Half Legal showed that 74 percent of companies polled are hiring contract professionals including legal departments.
How do I become a freelance paralegal?
If you’re interested in becoming a freelance paralegal, the first step is to earn your bachelor’s degree. Depending on your area of specialization, you can enroll in a bachelor’s program related to legal studies. If you’re interested in working for larger law firms or corporations, then it may be beneficial to earn an advanced degree like a Juris Doctor (JD).
Can I work from home as a paralegal?
It depends on the type of freelance paralegal job you’re looking for. If you want to work from home, then you should look into virtual assistant positions or similar opportunities in which there is a strong emphasis on customer service and communication skills.
What can I do if I don’t have experience?
If you lack extensive previous legal experience, you can still become a freelance paralegal with the right mix of education and skills. For example, if you have an undergraduate degree in English or another related field, then it may be beneficial to pursue certification through one of several organizations like NALA (National Association for Legal Assistants).
What are the benefits of working as a freelance paralegal?
Freelance paralegals can make a very good living. The average annual salary for a freelance paralegal is around $49,000 to start. It has the potential to increase by as much as 25 percent after one year of experience. In addition, most legal professionals work from their homes which means you won’t have to spend money on gas and other costs associated with commuting.
What are the drawbacks of working as a freelance paralegal?
While freelancing can be very rewarding, it’s not for everyone. The biggest drawback is that you won’t receive traditional benefits like health insurance or paid time off (PTO). You should also expect to work longer hours with fewer breaks.
How can I find freelance paralegal jobs?
If you’re looking for a freelance paralegal job, then the best place to begin your search is online. Websites like Indeed and Craigslist frequently list available positions that can be tailored to your experience level and skillset. You should also consider reaching out to local firms and agencies to see if they have any available opportunities.
Here are some great places you can find freelance paralegal jobs;
The Upwork website allows you to list your freelance paralegal skills and land freelance jobs. Apart from paralegal jobs, you’ll find jobs in other categories that might complement your skills.
Robert Half is among the leading paralegal temp agencies. While the focus is on legal, you’ll also find other positions such as administrative, accounting and finance, technology, creative and marketing. The site allows you to search for jobs by location.
LinkedIn is an excellent source of freelance paralegal jobs. You can find many opportunities by using the search bar at the top of your homepage to filter results based on location, title, industry, and experience level.
Find your Next Freelance Paralegal Job!
Freelance paralegals are in high demand and the potential to make a good living is very promising. If you’re interested, it’s important that you have an undergraduate degree or advanced education before pursuing freelance work.
One of the benefits of freelancing over traditional employment is working from home but this also means there will not be any health insurance or paid time off (PTO).
You should also know that many positions require extensive experience so if you don’t have much under your belt yet, then it may be worth researching certification programs to help give yourself some credentials.