Intellectual property law and paralegals go together quite well. The specialized area of law requires quite a bit of research that can be done by a non-attorney, and a paralegal can often help in situations where hiring a second attorney would be prohibitively expensive for both the lawyer and the client. If you are not sure about adding a paralegal to your small firm’s staff, consider the benefits of having another helpful professional around. Not only can you increase the amount of work that you get done around the office, but you can safely increase your client load with the knowledge that you have someone to help take care of much of your case work.
Few legal fields are in as much need of experienced paralegals as intellectual property law. Consider for a moment how much time you as an attorney spend doing research, filing paperwork, or simply catching up on the current state of the art. All of these tasks can be performed by a paralegal, freeing you up to concentrate on analyzing and interpreting the relevant issues. A paralegal with experience in intellectual property law will be able to perform research as well as an attorney, and may actually have more experience doing the menial tasks that are necessary to prepare a case for trial. If you are not working with a paralegal, you might be resigning yourself to too many long nights at the office.
You might consider hiring a paralegal to be an expense that your small firm cannot handle, but the truth of the matter is that a good paralegal can help you to make more money. If you can free up some of your time by assigning research and filing tasks to another individual, you will have the freedom to take on a heavier caseload. You will still charge the same rate, but you may be able to handle more clients at one time. A paralegal can help you to focus on the important tasks of practicing law while still allowing you to see to the needs of a number of different clients.
Consider the act of hiring a paralegal to be equivalent to that of hiring a new associate. You cannot simply take anyone with a paralegal certification; you will need someone with significant intellectual property experience. As you well know, intellectual property can be confusing, hard to research, and it requires incredibly specialized knowledge. There are many paralegals looking for work that have the skills that you need, but you should take your time to find the right person to help your firm.
Why hire a paralegal? They can help you to increase your billable hours while helping to decrease your overall workload. A good paralegal can handle many of the same research and filing tasks that you currently handle yourself, allowing you to devote more time and energy to managing your clients’ cases. Hiring a skilled paralegal may require a significant expense for a small firm, but it is an expense that will more than pay for itself over time.