Challenges With Paralegal You May Not See Coming

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11 14

Despite the increasing number of paralegals and the wide-spread availability of paralegal services or fbi accountant salary, there are still a number of challenges that must be considered before hiring one. One such challenge is not being able to see what a potential paralegal will have to offer until it’s too late; when the client has already made up their mind. It will be hard to convince them otherwise after wasting so much time, money, and energy hiring someone else. However, with careful research and an equally careful interview process for your prospective candidate, these situations may improve in future clients.

1. No Credentials

Just because a person claims to be a paralegal doesn’t mean they actually are. Anyone may make such a claim, but that doesn’t make it so. Some employers want to be sure that their “paralegal” is actually certified as one. This way, they know they are getting what they need and paying for. Before you hire someone, ask them for their certificate in the mail or online (depending on where you plan to hire them). If they don’t have one, look elsewhere.

2. Slow Completion of Work

This can be a hard one to determine before you hire someone, but it’s still important to check. Ask what type of work they specialize in, and how long it typically takes them to complete said jobs. The more urgent the matter (a court date, a deal with a client), the more likely it is that they will get it done quickly. If not, don’t hire them for that type of work.

3. No Good References

This can be tricky since some people aren’t good at giving references and are looking for something else entirely. It’s important to know this before you hire someone though, so make sure they are willing to provide references on their own or give them during an interview.

4. No Microsoft Office Skills

A paralegal should be able to work with Microsoft Office. This is a given. If they can’t, or won’t be willing to learn, then they will have a hard time working at the job you need them for and you should look elsewhere.

5. Not Clear on the Job Requirements

This is kind of obvious but it still happens sometimes. Before you hire someone, make sure they understand exactly what you want them to do, and how much time that will take. If not, make sure there are no misunderstandings in the beginning so you don’t spend extra money or time on something that isn’t needed or wanted.

6. Lack of Experience

This is also obvious but not always easy to determine during the interview. There are many paralegal companies that have multiple levels of experience in their field, so be sure to ask what their qualifications are for the position you offer them. If they don’t meet those qualifications, look elsewhere.

7. Unstable Housing Situation

Some paralegal employers want a job done quickly and cheaply, which usually means one thing: live-out or temporary workers. Generally, these positions cost less than regular employment as well, which means you may be paying someone with no set schedule or fairly low wages for an extended period of time in exchange for a completed job that probably won’t get noticed by review boards or other employers . . . something no one wants.

8. Their Personal Interests Take Precedence Over Yours

Some paralegals really take an interest in their clients and their stories. If they do, that’s great, but it can also be a problem every once in a while. Some clients are just looking for a quick solution to their problems and don’t want to be bothered about the details; it’s not personal, it’s just business (remember?). Also, some paralegals may even want to become involved in your case despite your unwillingness to let them do so; again, for various reasons. If they are willing to risk your happy experience in order to help, don’t hire them. It’s not worth it.

9. Unreasonable Requests

This one is really simple; don’t hire anyone who makes unreasonable demands of you or your company. If they want you to pay a particular amount for a service, show it to a few other paralegals and ask for their opinion on the price. If most think it’s too high or too low, trust their judgment since you’re the one who will be paying the bill in the end.

10. No Time to Train

This one can be an issue, but only if you aren’t willing to invest the time and energy yourself. Don’t think that the answer is a fast paralegal who can train you in a few days or weeks; it really isn’t. It will take longer than that (and sometimes much more so) because it takes time to understand how their job works and how they work their job. It takes a while to get used to and comfortable with their work, but once training has started, it will last for quite some time as well.


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