Freelance Paralegal Job Search Tips

Being a freelance paralegal offers a lot of freedom and independence to the legal professional. Yet it also means that you must constantly be on the look out for the next paying customer. The search for clients can be a daunting one. In this article, we will briefly touch on how a freelance paralegal can get that next job.

First, let's look at some of the pluses and minuses of the freelance paralegal profession. As a freelancer, you will not be tied down to a specific attorney or law office. You will be able to set your own hours and fees and choose the projects you work on. This provides a lot of freedom in some ways, but it also puts a lot of responsibility squarely on YOU. You'll need a lot of discipline to keep your mind on the task at hand; you won't have a boss looking over your shoulder. You will need to manage your time very effectively and not get distracted. You are your own boss, so you will need to keep your own records for tax and accounting purposes. There is a lot of work that goes into being a freelance paralegal!

If you are up to taking on that responsibility, then you'll need to establish a regular client base. First, do not consider freelancing if you are not an experienced paralegal. If you don't have a solid history of employment with a law firm, do not consider this path. Clients are not interested in using the services of somebody just learning the ropes. However, if you do have that experience, then emphasize it! Put together a resume to present to prospective clients that highlights your achievements.

Such a resume might include career highlights like these:

  • extensive experience in civil litigation work, including cases where clients received judgments over $500,000;
  • strong background in family law with Smith, Smith and Jones;
  • Responsible for managing legal support team of 10 employees at Johnson & Brown

Networking is absolutely essential in getting freelance paralegal work. If you've already worked with a variety of clients at a standard law firm, then you have contacts who can help you get work. Word of mouth is still a great tool for attracting customers. Keep in touch with any firms you may have worked with, even if they were on the opposing side. See if they might be interested in your services or if they know anybody else who might.

Attend meetings of legal professionals and distribute some professional-looking business cards. Make contact with the local bar association, a great source of legal contacts. If you are working in a particular legal specialty, focus like a laser on those professionals. Network, network, network--that's the key to getting freelance paralegal work.

There are other avenues to getting your name to the public. You may want to consider putting a "paralegal services offered" advertisement in local newspapers or in online sources such as Craigslist. There are many Internet sites where you can advertise your freelance services or look for prospective employers. One of the best for freelance paralegal work is www.ifreelance.com.