Here are the answers to some common questions:
What is a virtual paralegal?
A “virtual” paralegal uses technologies which enable her to assist you with paralegal tasks from a remote location. Using email, phone and fax, and secure cloud-based document sharing platforms, a virtual paralegal can perform and exchange work from her own office instead of yours. A virtual paralegal is a contractor, rather than an employee.
How can a virtual paralegal benefit my law practice?
A virtual paralegal is able to provide competent and efficient paralegal services remotely. A virtual paralegal saves her attorney time by performing skilled paralegal tasks, freeing her attorney to focus on tasks that require his or her expertise. A virtual paralegal saves her attorney money and resources by providing her own office space, equipment and supplies. Attorneys benefit by utilizing a virtual paralegal’s services only when needed, without the added costs of overtime, vacation pay, benefits and payroll taxes.
How would I communicate with a Virtual Paralegal?
Frequent and clear communication is the basis of a productive working relationship. Your virtual paralegal can communicate with you by any means you prefer, be it email, telephone, fax, Skype or other VoiP system, or web conferencing. Documents can be transmitted back and forth via email, fax, or via secure cloud-based document sharing platforms.
How can I be sure my client files are secure and safe with the Virtual Paralegal?
At CLD Professional Services, all client documents are stored in separate folder systems, so that your clients’ data will never be co-mingled or confused with the documents of another attorney or client. All client documents are backed up in two separate, secure and encrypted back-up systems, one on-line and the other on a standalone drive. Your Contractor Agreement will address the return, deletion or other handling of your documents upon completion of a project or a case. Your virtual paralegal will consult with you regarding the security of any cloud-based platforms on which your data are stored, and regarding the safe transmission of your confidential materials.
How are services paid?
CLD Professional Services offers an hourly rate for most substantive paralegal tasks. Time is billed to the nearest 6 minute increment, and the minimum charge for any project or aspect of a project is 0.2 hours. Flat fees are available for predetermined discreet projects upon arrangement. Any expenses or costs incurred for a project are approved in advance and itemized separately. Routine office supplies are the responsibility of CLD Professional Services, and are not billed to attorney clients.
Cost saving retainer rates are also available, to assure clients have a designated block of time set aside for their work every month. Utilizing a retainer guarantees that Drescher ProParalegal will be available for your work, and saves you money because retainers are priced at a discounted rate.
How are invoices paid?
A detailed invoice is issued twice a month, once around the 1st of the month and second around the 15th. Payment is due upon receipt, and in no case should payment exceed 30 days from the date of the invoice. Payment is accepted by check, Venmo or PayPal. Credit card payments are not accepted at this time.