Independent or freelance paralegal in texas
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Independent or Freelance Paralegal in Texas. Legal or Not?. What is an independent or freelance paralegal?.

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What is an independent or freelance paralegal?

  • A freelance paralegal is one that is essentially self-employed. They are available to take on short-term or long-term projects ranging from assisting with litigation preparation to covering employee absences to coming into an attorney's office on a daily basis to pick up overflow work that one may need assistance with.

  • A freelance paralegal, also known as a contract paralegal, is no different than a traditional paralegal except to the extent that s/he is not employed by an attorney in a traditional setting such as a law firm, governmental entity or corporation. Rather, a freelance paralegal is retained on an as-needed basis by many supervising attorneys in these settings.


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In Texas, paralegals are fortunate to be very well supported by our State Bar and even have their own division – the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. Paralegals in Texas have been recognized by the state bar as a separate field since 1981. The State Bar issued guidelines for paralegals in 2005, and includes recommendations for attorneys hiring paralegals with respect to education, experience, and certifications.


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A paralegal is prohibited from engaging in the practice of law, providing legal advice, signing pleadings, negotiating settlement agreements, soliciting legal business on behalf of an attorney, setting a legal fee, accepting a case, or advertising or contracting with members of the general public for the performance of legal functions.


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After doing research at the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division; there is nothing keeping a paralegal from working as an independent or freelance paralegal. The only requirement that is placed upon them is not to engage in Unauthorized Practice of Law. Paralegals can set hourly rates to charge for their clients and charge to perform the earlier mentioned jobs.

A freelance or contract paralegal can help by offering flexibility and experience! Specifically, they are available to help with preparation of pleadings and correspondence, transcription, file organization, litigation preparation, legal research, and even provide coverage for that person who is on vacation or maternity leave.


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How many attorneys are hiring freelance paralegals? Division; there is nothing keeping a paralegal from working as an independent or freelance paralegal. The only requirement that is placed upon them is not to engage in Unauthorized Practice of Law. Paralegals can set hourly rates to charge for their clients and charge to perform the earlier mentioned jobs.

  • Research shows about 30% of attorneys hire freelance paralegals.

  • Most of the attorneys that seem to be hiring freelance paralegals are in the civil litigation field.

  • Attorneys will hire temp paralegals if they are really in a need to basis. Big case small staff.


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How would I market myself to an attorney? Division; there is nothing keeping a paralegal from working as an independent or freelance paralegal. The only requirement that is placed upon them is not to engage in Unauthorized Practice of Law. Paralegals can set hourly rates to charge for their clients and charge to perform the earlier mentioned jobs.

  • Avoid expensive and unnecessary employment or recruiting agency fees

  • Reduce payroll taxes and worker’s compensation insurance, They are a 1099 independent contractor

  • Reduce employee benefits such as sick, holiday or vacation pay or overtime pay, 401K

  • You are not paying for “downtime”, you only pay for the work performed.


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