Lex's Paralegal Directory
We've made accessing our paralegal directory easier than ever. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org from your work email including your name and state and we'll send you the password to access the directory for free!
If you already have a password:
Relax. Let a Paralegal handle it.
We are thrilled to announce the Beta version of Lex's Freelance Paralegal Directory, which launched on Aug. 30, 2019. Attorneys can begin searching the Directory for qualified paralegal professionals for free!
To provide background, while investigating job advertising options for attorneys, we learned that attorneys spend thousands of dollars posting job listings on sites like Indeed or Linkedin. Or, they pay temp agency mark-ups, which are usually 50% or greater.
Considering these two expensive options, we saw a need for a better way to connect attorneys with paralegals. As a result, we began working with a web development team to find a solution. We came up with Lex's Freelance Paralegal Directory - where attorneys can connect with paralegals without an expensive middleman.
There's no catch. We promise. It's completely free for attorneys to use. If you do not handle job advertising in your organization, please pass this information along to your human resources office.
Features & Benefits
Credentialed & Experienced
All paralegals have met our requirements and have a minimum five years of law office experience. Our paralegals are certified by their state bar or a reputable paralegal association, have an undergraduate degree, or have extensive (more than 15 years) of legal experience.
Freelancers are able to work remotely, on-site (if local), or may be open to contract-to-permanent positions. More attorneys are collaborating with remote paralegals by using secure cloud-based web applications to facilitate communication and the exchange of work-product.
Search by name, location, languages, practice area, and state/federal court experience. In addition, each listing provides their availability (remote, on-site, contract-to-contract, contract-to-perm), phone, email, resume, website, education, certifications, years of experience, and notary commissions.
No Temp Agency Fees
Temp Agency mark-ups vary substantially between agencies and when normalized can have significant impact on the cost to law firms. For example, if a law firm specifies a $20/hr. pay rate and Agency A has a mark-up of 50%, the bill rate is $30/hr. If Agency B has a 60% mark-up, the bill rate is $32/hr.
Classified ads are expensive and not a viable way to fill staffing needs. A typical job ad on sites like Indeed and Linkedin cost hundreds of dollars. We connect you to talent without expensive flat fees or pay-per-click pricing. Lex helps you find top talent for free.
Save Time & Sanity
A classified ad is likely to result in dozens of responses from candidates who are unqualified. With our Directory, you can find a paralegal quickly anywhere in the nation and know that they have the minimum qualifications necessary to complete your assignments well.
Freelance v. Virtual v. Remote
What's the Difference?
The definition of a virtual paralegal varies depending on who you ask. The International Virtual Assistants Association defines virtual assistants as “independent contractors who, from a remote location, usually their home or office, support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services.” Therefore, “virtual” would require that the person work from a remote location, such as their home, rather than working in the office. We use the term "virtual" and "remote" interchangeably throughout our website. A freelancer, who works for themselves, may work virtually/remotely or on-site (at the supervising attorney's office).
There's no middle man, no classified ad fees, and no placement agency mark-ups. With our talent-pairing platform, even the most unique areas of law are covered. Once you find the talent you need and you agree to the terms, they start working ASAP.
Our freelancers thrive on repeat work. They want to turn in their best work, every time, to maintain the relationship. While staff members’ performance may have peaks and valleys, our freelancers know the contract is always subject to renewal.
By bringing in a paralegal who already has the training and skills to jump right into the job, you cut down significantly on the time needed to train a new person. Our freelancers are more efficient because they bring with them the specialized skills needed to complete the job well.
What is Legal Project Management?Legal project management is a proactive, disciplined approach to managing legal work that involves defining, planning, budgeting, executing, and evaluating a legal matter; the application of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to achieve project objectives; and the use of effective communication to set and meet objectives and expectations. Legal Project Management brings consistency and uniformity to the practice of law using unique principles and metrics.
What is a Legal Project Manager?A legal project manager is the individual on a legal team who typically facilitates development of the scope of work and project plan components and monitors budget performance throughout the duration of a case. The LPM may also resolve issues and manage conflicts within the project team and stakeholders, manage stakeholder perceptions and expectations, distribute performance information and handle any change requests regarding staffing, scope, resources, deliverables and timing.
What are the different project management methodologies and practices?Traditional project management projects are scoped and planned upfront. Formal processes take the team through the initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling, and closing phases. Comprehensive documentation in each phase acts as a guidebook for next steps. Its prescriptive methodology is best suited for medium to large-scale projects. Agile project management (e.g., Scrum, Kanban) projects use a continuous cycle of planning and execution in 1-week to 1-month periods. The focus is more on controlling work in progress, collaboration, and rapid feedback than prescriptive processes. It uses a lightweight framework with less documentation (compared to Traditional) to plan work before each iterative cycle. Its incremental approach allows the team to flex as needed and is suitable for small to medium-scale projects and smaller teams (≤ 9). Hybrid project management projects combine two (or more) different methodologies to create a new method customized to individual project needs. For example, one might take advantage of traditional project management's initiating and planning phase if a project would benefit from a comprehensive project plan but choose to execute and close the project using Scrum's more flexible (Agile) framework.
What is the difference between a Scrum Master and a Project ManagerWhat is a Scrum Master? A Scrum Master is an individual who ensures a project team successfully implements Scrum principles in a project. They can lead meetings and coach teams on best Scrum practices while supporting team members and resolving issues. You’ll sometimes hear the Scrum master called a “servant leader” because of the substantial supportive role that they play. Scrum master, along with product owner and development team, is one of the three roles on a Scrum team. Specific tasks might include: Facilitating meetings, including daily stand-ups, sprint planning, and retrospectives Addressing issues that hinder a team member’s capacity to work Fostering good communication and teamwork within the team What is a Project Manager? Project managers are professionals that organize a team to ensure projects are completed on time, within budget, and with their goals fulfilled. They are often tasked with leading meetings, creating schedules, managing budgets, liaising between the team and stakeholders, and managing risks. Project manager tasks can include: Defining project scope and goals Maintaining consistent communication with stakeholders Setting a budget and schedule Creating a communication plan Managing risk What's the difference? Here are the main differences between Scrum Masters and project managers: Scrum Masters are exclusive to Scrum projects and Scrum teams. Project managers can work on any project, like Agile or Waterfall. While Scrum Masters are focused on making sure a project team is successful, project managers are generally tasked with the logistics of making a project work, like budgeting and risk management. Is a Scrum Master a project manager? Yes and no. Scrum Masters practice project management and need specific project management skills like communication and organizational skills. In this regard, they can be considered project managers. Many project manager job descriptions also ask for experience with Scrum. However, the Scrum Master on a Scrum team does not necessarily need to be a formal project manager—though they often are. Scrum Masters can be product managers or professionals with leadership experience relevant to the project.
What is driving the change towards legal project management?The push for the use of project management in the legal services industry is a response to unprecedented financial and budget constraints, legal clients who are demanding greater cost control of their projects, and clients who want to see increased predictability, accountability, and responsiveness from their legal service providers. Clients are increasingly moving their business to legal organizations that have these attributes and are withdrawing business from legal organizations that can’t or won’t. Not that long ago, clients would define success by whether an attorney was able to obtain a favorable result in litigation or complete a transactional matter in satisfactory terms. The total billable hours to complete a case were less important and attorneys were rarely questioned regarding their invoices unless the client considered them to be outrageously high. Today, clients are redefining what a successful legal outcome looks like. Clients now define success by not only meeting their objectives, but by also providing predictable and fair pricing. Of course, inside the law firms, success is also defined by whether the case or legal matter was profitable for the law firm, regardless of the outcome. In general, the four main trends in the delivery of legal services that are driving the implementation of legal project management across the legal profession include: 1) increased pressure on legal departments and purchasers of legal services; 2) changing demands and expectations for outside or private counsel; 3) increasing competition for legal work, and 4) a changing profit equation for law firms. Another related issue is the recognition of the problems with the billable hour as a measure of value. The fact that clients have assumed a more dominant role in shaping legal service delivery does not mean that firms should just wait for the clients to call the shots or for the good ole days to return. Taking a proactive approach has become very important. The push for legal project management is not going away and offers extraordinary potential benefits to firms that take the initiative and reach out to clients in order to build joint, LPM-related processes and protocols. “Life used to be so much easier. The world has changed, and I think in a new environment, to preserve and enhance existing client relationships and to get our nose in the door for new client relationships, we’ve had to be more flexible on pricing, particularly in the alternative fee context. I think we’re in a brave, new world here, where we have to learn a lot of new sciences and employ a lot of new techniques.” - Association of Corporate Counsel
How do you customize your services for niche companies?We use LPM tools, assessments, voice of the client, and other globally recognized standards to determine a legal organization's project management maturity level. We then decide on the best project management methodology for the organization as a whole taking into account the needs of attorneys and staff. The holistic way in which we assess and analyze each firm helps solidify successful project outcomes, ultimately determines best practices, and strengthens the connection between strategic planning and execution. We put focus on overall organizational strategic effectiveness and carefully consider high-level processes for tailoring project management methodologies that work for various legal projects within an organization. There are many available methodologies and we use a comprehensive approach in helping organizations choose what methodology would work best. Many legal organizations are interested in learning about Agile methodology. Agile – a departure from the step-by-step “waterfall” methodology of traditional industrial project management systems – complements the needs of legal services providers. Agile emphasizes constant team collaboration, rapid feedback, and continuous adaptation as events unfold which is extremely important in the legal services industry. It works well for small-scale projects (even leaderless projects in which team members assume various management/supervision responsibilities) and situations where rapid delivery time is imperative. Agile can frequently be adapted to the dynamic nature of the law firm or legal department, but of course we always consider a number of methodologies before suggesting a course of action.
My company is struggling in a changing marketplace. Can you help us stay relevant?There are several aspects of using legal project management for competitive advantage. These are applicable to law firm employees. The two primary advantages are 1) using LPM to win specific business and 2) using LPM to position the law firm as efficient and differentiate it from other law firms. One of the key benefits of working with one of our consultants is that we make the implementation of LPM less intimidating. It is completely understandable that the average attorney is very concerned about the transformative implication of inviting legal project management into their organization. However, we are confident that LPM will make a big difference in almost every legal organization. We know lawyers didn’t attend law school to learn the ins and outs of running a business. However, to fully understand the opportunity for maximizing profits and increasing revenue from project planning, we ask that you put down the scales of justice and pick up the abacus. From 2000 to 2007, law firms primarily increased their profits per partner by increasing billing rates. Every other factor that drives law firm profitability was trending negatively during that same time period (at least on average for law firms). Specifically, productivity (hours per lawyer) were trending down from the high in the late 1990s, realization rates were dropping (though not as much as they did after the fall of 2008), overhead costs were going up at rates exceeding 10 percent a year in many firms, and leverage was declining. Today, opportunities for billing rate increases are very limited. While many firms have some opportunity to raise rates in selective practices, across the board rate increases of 5 to 10 percent seen in the first part of the last decade are almost unheard of. So, if law firms cannot just arbitrarily continue to raise rates, what can be done to a struggling law firm? Most other professional service industries wouldn’t think of starting a new project without first having a detailed plan. Skyscrapers, your city's infrastructure, your home, your car, etc. was not built without a plan, was it? Of course not! And while you may think those are extreme examples, the idea of starting a project for a client without a well thought-out, well designed plan would be completely foreign for professionals in almost every other field including engineers, IT professionals, architects, etc. Seasoned project managers in other industries think this argument by litigation attorneys that you cannot apply project management to law is an excuse to avoid change. With no margin for error in performance or pricing, construction project managers have learned to successfully scope and price incredibly complicated projects that must accommodate a vast range of factors and risks. They do this by contingency planning, which breaks up complex projects into basic component phases, and by soliciting process input from the key performers in each phase about factors that may affect scope, timing, and cost. A similar approach to that found in industrial project management can be applied to scoping legal projects that involve strategic/tactical decision points leading in different directions with unpredictable consequences (the decision in litigation, for example, of settling or going to trial). In fact, there are very situations that are completely unpredictable. Unforeseen is not the same as unforeseeable. Most legal events have happened at least once before, and experienced lawyers are seldom taken completely by surprise. Attorneys can learn much from these industries about best practices for planning, managing and utilizing resources. With LPM, attorneys can offer flat fees while at the same time ensuring profitability. Yes, you read that right. That sounds like a fanciful concept for many attorneys, but it is true and many successful and forward-thinking firms already know this. No longer must you look back at a so-called similar matter to see if it’s profitable, LPM allows you to calculate the profitability of a legal matter before you begin the engagement. How frequently has some part of a legal matter taken longer than what you budgeted and is now losing that margin of profit? Instead of taking a loss on that task, with LPM, you can correct the issue through risk management and change management and ensure the matter stays profitable. The rub is that regardless of the size of your firm or the areas of law in which you practice, all attorneys need to have an understanding of the basic phases of LPM and how it will impact your firm's marketing, services, and profitability in the short and long term. For attorneys who are just coming to understand the importance of legal project management, it is certainly not too late to catch up. There are those that still hope that the changing profit equation for law firms and legal organizations will return to the way things used to be, but business analysts and industry experts have reported for quite some time that this simply isn't going to happen. Clients expect law firms to find ways to decrease, not increase, their cost of doing business and, therefore, their legal fees. And, while many lawyers are unhappy to hear that raising rates will not fix the problem, most clients of law firms are in industries where reducing product costs year after year is the norm and necessary for market competition. If you think your clients somehow escaped the financial pressures of recent years or are indifferent to the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their counsel, you are not talking to your clients enough. Some may have a stronger opinion than others, but the vast majority of legal clients report that even if they don't fully understand what legal project management is, they all want what it provides.
What are AFA's - Alternative Fee Arrangements?“AFA” stands for Alternative Fee Arrangement. It is also commonly referred to as value-based billing. Examples: Fixed fees are used to affix a price to a “deliverable” or a distinct piece of work, with all ancillary preparation and effort reflected in that price. Data can come from multiple sources (historical information, other items in the portfolio, bids or price quotes from existing firms or new firms). Capped fees under an hourly rate approach are commonly used to set a ceiling on what the client will pay the law firm on a particular matter, or for a particular piece of work. Flat fee per month (or some other period) is typically used to cover services delivered during the course of a specified period. There are many other types of AFAs. AFAs are limited only by a firm’s creativity and the rules of professional conduct. We work with lawyers to help determine the best pricing structures for the areas of law in which they practice.
What is the Iron Triangle or Triple Constraint?Coordinating scope, time and cost is sometimes referred to as the “triple constraint.” This is a term used in traditional project management to identify the three primary variables that must be controlled in a project which are scope, time, and cost. Changes in one of these variables will impact and may require adjustments in other variables. We work with lawyers to teach them how to properly manage these constraints.
What is Scope CreepScope creep in legal project management refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in the scope of your legal representation. This occurs when you are under an alternative fee agreement or other type of flat fee agreement and your client continues to add additional tasks to the scope of your legal representation. This occurs frequently when the scope of a legal project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. Unfortunately, simply having a retainer agreement that provides vague wording of what you will be handling is not enough. We work with attorneys to build in processes to help avoid scope creep.
What is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)A WBS deconstructs a particular deliverable into component phases and tasks and then sequences them in an efficient timeline. It shows dependencies and tasks that cannot be started until a prior task is completed. It produces visual work layers going from the abstract to the specific. It may include time-to-complete-project expressed as a percentage; and ties activities to task codes so that performance tracking can be used.
What is the difference between legal project management and legal process improvement?Legal Project Management (LPM) is sometimes confused with Legal Process Improvement (LPI). They sound very similar and the line between the two disciplines can be confusing because they are both support quality and efficiency in the delivery of legal services. However, they have different functions and elements. In LPM, the primary elements include planning and organization of project phases, tasks, and teams, and the tools used to monitor progress against project performance standards, especially those relating to project scope, time, and cost. LPI, on the other hand, is a discipline devoted to how legal tasks are planned and managed in order to improve the efficiency by which legal tasks are completed. This includes reducing the time it takes to complete tasks and the number of steps a task takes to complete without losing service or product quality.