What is the difference between an independent paralegal and a freelance paralegal?

Asked by: Adrianna O'Hara  |  Last update: August 23, 2022
Score: 4.6/5 (35 votes)

Freelance paralegals are different than independent paralegals, although the two can sometimes be confused. Freelance paralegals work with law firms and attorneys while independent paralegals provide their services directly to clients.

How do traditional paralegals differ from freelance paralegals?

In these states it would be more important to use the terms separately and make the distinction between freelance and independent paralegals: Freelance paralegals provide their services to law firms and attorneys on a contract basis, while independent paralegals provide their services direct to consumers.

What are the disadvantages of working as a freelance paralegal?

Lack of paid benefits.

Freelance paralegals don't have access to employer-paid health insurance, vacation time, or sick leave, and they often work more hours than the average law firm employee does (although they also directly reap the benefits from all their hard work).

What is freelancing in terms of paralegal employment?

A freelance paralegal is any paralegal who operates only on contract. Freelance paralegals have business law knowledge, an understanding of legal services, and experience working with attorneys.

What types of paralegals make the most money?

Here are the 30 highest paying paralegal jobs:
  1. Paralegal Manager. $104,775. ...
  2. Legal Project Manager. $87,375. ...
  3. Intellectual Property Paralegal. $86,800. ...
  4. Nurse Paralegal. $82,687. ...
  5. Employment and Labor Law Paralegal. $80,685. ...
  6. Government Paralegal. $78,478. ...
  7. Senior Paralegal. $69,995. ...
  8. Corporate Paralegal. $66,134.

PARALEGAL CAREER FROM ANYWHERE: How to become a freelance paralegal

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Where do the highest paid paralegals work?

Below is a list of the top-10 highest-paying states for paralegals.
  • New York average paralegal salary: $58,750.
  • Colorado average paralegal salary: $58,350.
  • New Jersey average paralegal salary: $58,260.
  • Nevada average paralegal salary: $57,600.
  • Delaware average paralegal salary: $57,290.

Where are paralegals paid the most?

Geographic area can also have a major impact on salary. According to the BLS, the states with the highest average annual salaries for paralegals in 2020 were Washington DC at $83,330, California at $66,250, Washington at $63,050, Colorado at $62,950, and New York at $62,530.

How can paralegals make extra money?

Paralegal Side Gigs
  1. Write Articles About Paralegal Topics and More. Businesses are always looking for writers. ...
  2. Start a YouTube Channel or a Podcast Show. ...
  3. Create an Online Course. ...
  4. Teach a Course at a Local Paralegal School or an Online Paralegal School. ...
  5. Be an Affiliate.

What are some advantages to allowing paralegals to work as independent contractors to lawyers?

There are several advantages for attorneys who hire virtual paralegals as independent contractors including:
  • Billing clients for the entire cost for the contract paralegal.
  • No overhead costs for an employee.
  • No downtime for training.
  • No taxes, benefits or insurance costs.

Can paralegals be independent contractors in California?

However, Business and Professions Code §6450 does set forth educational requirements which California paralegals must satisfy. A contract or freelance paralegal is someone who performs substantive legal work for law firms or corporations, or other entities but is self-employed.

What is one of the benefits of being a freelance paralegal?

Flexibility. Freelance paralegals are not tied down to one office or one attorney. They can pick and choose the work that best fits their experience. They also have the freedom to take time away as needed because they are under no particular obligation to any office.

Can I work remote as a paralegal?

While some paralegals do work in legal offices, much of the work can be done remotely, making this career ideal for remote work. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is promising, with employment of paralegals and legal assistants projected to grow much faster than average—10% between 2019 and 2029.

What are paralegal soft skills?

5 Necessary Soft Skills To Work As A Paralegal
  • Research Ability.
  • Written Communication.
  • Empathy.
  • Interview Skills.
  • Organization.

Would you ever consider performing work as an independent paralegal?

Freelance paralegals have more freedom than paralegals on payroll and can often choose their own work that interested them. Working in a freelance capacity can give you access to more diverse work environments, a greater variety of duties and types of cases and the potential to earn more money.

What tasks can a paralegal bill for?

In general, paralegals can only bill for substantive legal tasks. These are tasks that require legal skill, training, education, and experience—which paralegals complete on behalf of a supervising lawyer.
What can paralegals bill for?
  • eDiscovery.
  • Preparing legal documents.
  • Legal research.
  • Client communication.

What are the three ethical issues of which paralegals must be particularly aware?

These are requirements of Competence, Diligence, and Professional Integrity, requirements of Client Confidentiality, rules concerning Conflicts of Interest, responsibilities of supervisory lawyers' regarding nonlawyer assistants; and prohibitions concerning the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

Can paralegals appear in court?

A paralegal can also do research for their attorney and appear in court.

In what ways does law school education differ from paralegal education?

Paralegal studies programs are usually no more than two years. Law school is usually a minimum of three years, on top of the four years it takes to earn an undergraduate degree. Law school students must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) after earning their Bachelor's degree in order to attend law school.

Does California require paralegals to be licensed?

Although there is no license, you must have a certification to be a paralegal in California. Specifically, you must get a certificate from an American Bar Association-approved program or an institution with regional accreditation.

How do I make the most a paralegal?

Three (3) Ways to Earn the Paralegal Salary You Desire
  1. Get a Quality Paralegal Education.
  2. First, Get Understanding. Later, Consider a Specialty. Paralegals may enhance their salary by specializing in a certain area of law. But a comprehensive understanding of the law must come first. ...
  3. Look for ways to Gain Experience.

How do I advance my career as a paralegal?

The good news is there are many ways to advance your career that don't require returning to school or sitting for a certification exam.
  1. Online Networking. ...
  2. Join local and national paralegal organizations. ...
  3. Volunteer. ...
  4. Read blogs, articles, and case summaries. ...
  5. CLE materials. ...
  6. Move to another city. ...
  7. Change industries.

Why are paralegals important?

The paralegal plays an important role on any legal team. They help support lawyers during trial and to prepare for cases. The paralegal is the heart of a law firm as they are taking on more duties formerly given to legal secretaries and entry-level lawyers.

What state has the highest demand for paralegals?

Top States for Paralegals
  1. Connecticut. Connecticut is a promising state to work as a paralegal, as attorneys hold them in high demand at numerous top-name law firms throughout the state. ...
  2. 2. California. ...
  3. Washington. ...
  4. Massachusetts. ...
  5. Alaska. ...
  6. New York. ...
  7. Colorado. ...
  8. New Jersey.

What are the pros and cons of being a paralegal?

Pros and Cons of Being a Paralegal
  • Pro: Training. If the legal business calls to you, but years of law school and the bar exam don't, then being a paralegal may be a great alternative. ...
  • Con: Salary. ...
  • Pro: Less Debt. ...
  • Con: Job Stability. ...
  • Pro: More Job Opportunities. ...
  • Pro: Freedom. ...
  • Con: Juggling. ...
  • Con: Time.