I often hear that I went to school, earned my paralegal certificate and now I can’t get a job. Or I’m working as a paralegal and “hate” my job!! We also hear that it’s not legitimate to operate as an independent paralegal in many states!
Well, I have news for you. If people can file for a divorce and other legal matters in your state, then you can operate independently, and there are many ways to do that.
One of our fairly new providers in Florida came to us shortly after completing her paralegal certificate. She had tried for six months to get a traditional paralegal job unsuccessfully—everyone wanted experience. She had lots of work experience but little working in a law firm. And she had a pretty good job that paid far better than any paralegal jobs offered to her. However, she was concerned that her current job might end and she would not be able to support her standard of living. So she opened her office as an independent paralegal and works that part-time in addition to her current job. It takes time to build a business, so she’s building her business while still working the other job.
She was scared to operate independently because of all the negative comments she had heard about independents. We worked with her to find support referral attorneys and mediators and establish a limited scope relationship with a family law attorney who also worked in our Network. She also searched and found a state association that supports independents. So she feels pretty good about helping her clients with the paperwork for their divorce. She knows that she can only do three things for her clients:
- Type their documents under their supervision
- Give them materials prepared by attorneys, which we helped her put together for her client packets
- File documents for them at the courts
We also helped her find an executive office suite, so she doesn’t have to pay a lot for office space. Now she’s able to have her own business, which she’s building, and, yes, she’s still working her other full-time job. However , she’s starting to build her reputation in the community and develop a client base which is essential in getting referrals. She’s also working on her networking and marketing, and going through our Local Social Networking Class so she’ll be able to more effectively market online.
And, she’s operating safely; doesn’t take chances, refers her clients to an attorney if need be and is able to earn some money while doing this. Eventually, she’ll build her business so she can earn enough income to support a very nice standard of living. It takes courage and time to build your independent paralegal business, but it’s a great alternative to the traditional paralegal job. And you’ll be able to help your clients, while having independence and earning a good living. We even provide you with all the tools you need to set up your own Divorce With Dignity office if you need support in doing this on your own. It does take time to build success, so if you don’t act now, you’re wasting valuable time. Take a chance, go for it!