Thank you for visiting the Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice blog. My name is John Harding. I am a family law lawyer practicing in Northern California. Long ago I realized that I could practice law more effectively and more efficiently (i.e., better and easier) by availing myself of the technological tools that are out there. I also learned that a successful law practice requires successful marketing. Hardware and software working together make me a better lawyer, and make my life easier. Marketing helps to bring in the business necessary for professional survival. By this blog I hope to share the tips, tricks, and technology that I have learned about so that others may benefit!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Effective Use of Paralegals

University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law professor Barbara Glesner Fines has published her article "Effectively Using Paralegals in Family Law Practice" in the American Journal of Family Law. Here is the abstract:
Non-lawyer assistants are critical to a family law practice: whether secretaries, document managers, investigators, or bookkeepers, attorneys who structure their practice to include extensive use of these non-lawyer assistants must remember three basic rules: keep control; set clear policies; and educate both your assistants and your clients about limits. Finally, train the assistant and revisit that training regularly. Having these policies and asking assistants to read them is not adequate training. Regular training is necessary to maintain competence. This training should be grounded in the discrete problems that arise in your office. A medical model of “grand rounds” would be an effective training mechanism for insuring that policies are understood and kept current. With the demands of efficiency required of today’s attorney, proper use of non-lawyer assistants is, for most attorneys, a necessity of practice. With proper attention to supervision, clear policies, and regular training, these assistants can make an attorney’s practice more efficient and of a higher quality overall.
Please click here to read the entire article.

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