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How to Best Work with a Paralegal

By Emily Ploch

Throughout your case, you will be working with your attorney’s paralegal. Paralegals bill at a lower hourly rate than attorneys and assist with the “legwork,” but that shouldn’t deter you from using a paralegal efficiently. Here are some tips on how to best work with a paralegal:

  1. Be Thorough – If it has been requested of you to fill out paperwork and provide documents, do so all at once and completely. Multiple emails, office visits, and follow ups lead to a higher bill. If you need clarification, a paralegal will be happy to have a telephone call to answer any questions.
  1. Provide Clean Documents – Don’t write on documents. Don’t staple documents. Don’t take pictures of documents with your cell phone. Keep documents organized. If you want to be even more efficient, scan and email the documents to the paralegal instead of bringing hard copies to the office. Scanning and file management take a lot of time and doing this yourself will save you money.
  1. It’s the Little Things – Paralegals have more availability than attorneys and can quickly answer your questions about upcoming deadlines, updates on your case, and scheduling a telephone call or meeting with your attorney.
  1. Trust the Paralegal – Paralegals work under the direct supervision of the attorney. The legal process can be hard to understand, but trust that the paralegal is doing the job they are trained to do.