28 May Strategies to get the best from your paralegals
Paralegals do some of your most valuable work completing the work at the bottom line so that you are able to focus on more complex and customer centric areas. However, there is likely a way that you can boost their productivity by upskilling them and making them responsible for more work.
So many lawyers treat their paralegals like secretaries and thus do not get the most out of them. Here are a few tips that could you change this.
- Get the most out of your billable hours
In many cases you will bill clients for the work that your paralegals do. This is all very fair but if you are not delegating work to the paralegals that could be successfully completed by them then you are going to end up charging your clients higher rates.
Whilst this isn’t the end of the world and it may feel like you receive more money, it could be beneficial to go the other way. Delegating work to your paralegals gives you more time to complete the more important tasks and complete work to a higher standard. Additionally, if work can be done faster at a lower cost, clients will be happier and are more likely to recommend you to others.
- Provide development opportunities
If you are not giving your paralegals opportunities to develop their legal skills in a real setting then you are not only hurting them but you are hurting your business. Upskilling them is beneficial for the work they are currently doing as they will have a deeper knowledge and it also enable them to learn faster and likely move up the ranks. Whilst this may mean increased salary it also allows you to hire internally, something most firms prefer.
- Outline expectations and guidelines
Often one of the downfalls is not having adequate management of your paralegals. You may want to hire someone who coordinates them specifically but it is vital that you set clear expectations and deadlines on the allocated work. This ensures tasks are completed on time and in the right manner.
- Provide incentives and rewards
It is proven that rewards and other incentives increase motivation. This doesn’t mean that you need to boost their pay every time they do something well but it does mean that you should be periodically rewarding them for their good work with days off, lunches or activities.