If you’re just starting your own immigration law firm and can’t keep up with case work, or want to simply get more help so that you can spend less time on case preparation and other administrative tasks, you might be thinking of hiring an immigration paralegal. But for many, hiring and managing a full-time, in-house paralegal may not be feasible financially, or may not be needed on a full-time basis. The solution? Consider hiring a virtual immigration paralegal to augment your staff.
Just like with receptionist tasks, which can be outsourced to a virtual receptionist, paralegal and other administrative case work can be outsourced. These tasks may include data collection, research, interviews, and drafting documents or reviewing forms related to your clients’ cases.
So let’s dive into what a virtual immigration paralegal is, how working with a virtual paralegal can benefit your immigration law firm, and a few specific virtual immigration paralegal companies, and broader immigration support services you can look at.
A virtual paralegal, is a paralegal that provides paralegal services remotely and often, though not always, as a contractor or outsourced service rather than as a full-time staff member. So, while a virtual immigration paralegal can be a full-time staff member who is simply working remotely, this article is going to focus on companies that provide part-time or as-needed immigration paralegal services remotely.
And in case you’re just getting started on your journey as an attorney and looking to hire your first paralegal, note that depending on your state, paralegals may or may not need to be certified. Make sure you’re aware of your state’s guidelines before you hire anyone. If you’re ever in doubt about the rules concerning working with paralegals, make sure you review the model rules set by the American Bar Association.
One major benefit of hiring a virtual immigration paralegal is saving you time by removing the need to train and directly supervise a full-time employee. Instead, by delegating these tasks to an experienced virtual immigration paralegal, you can free up time to work on more substantial legal or business tasks, or to simply have more time for yourself and your loved ones.
Another benefit is reducing overhead cost. Hiring full-time staff can be expensive and, depending on where your practice is, not sustainable. Given that virtual immigration paralegals are contractors, work remotely, have their own computer setup and have their own benefits, you can get the help of a paralegal without the potentially unaffordable cost of a full-time employee.
Finally, hiring a virtual immigration paralegal gives you flexibility, since you’re only utilizing them when needed. For example, in the employment- based immigration context, certain periods of the year, like H-1B cap season, may be very high-volume in terms of administrative tasks and paperwork. Outsourcing those tasks to a virtual immigration paralegal can be incredibly helpful, especially if your firm is small. However, at times when your workload is manageable, or during times when you’re waiting on action from USCIS, you may not have a need for a paralegal. Working with a virtual immigration paralegal service gives you the flexibility to pay for paralegal support only during busy times only when they’re needed.
Now that we’ve discussed at least some of the benefits for a virtual immigration paralegal, here are a few such services to consider. But before we get to it, please note that Docketwise does not endorse or otherwise have any affiliation with any of the below companies - we are simply providing a non-exhaustive list of virtual immigration paralegal services for you to consider. Always do additional independent research before hiring any professional service!
With that, let’s dive in.
As we noted above, virtual immigration paralegal services can support immigration attorneys flexibly, affordably and skillfully. In these short reviews, we’re focusing on the types of services each of these firms offer so you can get an idea of whether they are a good fit for your firm.
There are more options out there, since this is an industry still in a growth phase, but here are four options to get you started.
You may be wondering whether there are other outsourced support services you could use to get additional help with non-paralegal work. If you’re looking for more general, legally-focused virtual assistants, check out our blog post on hiring a virtual assistant for your immigration law firm.
But if you’re looking for more specific back-office or secretarial support, here are just a few options to consider. And again, as mentioned above, always do additional independent research to see if these, or other services might fit your needs.
Our main goal is to help immigration lawyers do what they do best - keep track of their work in one place. Docketwise can help you streamline and digitize your practice, so that you can spend more of your time applying your legal knowledge to achieve the most positive outcome possible for your immigration law clients.
If you want to learn more about how Docketwise can help you streamline your practice — from client questionnaires to form-filling to case management and more — schedule a demo to talk to one of our team members.
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