Ever find yourself needing help with odd jobs and tiresome tasks like translating documents, getting help with search engine optimization, tackling some typing projects. Want to find an assistant you can hire for a couple of hours at a ridiculously affordable rate. Think your office is not big enough to outsource? Think again. There is a resource out their called freelancing, that gives you the opportunity to hire professionals from around the world.
oDesk.com is a freelancer website. It is a global job marketplace with a series of tools targeted at businesses that intend to hire and manage remote workers. oDesk allows clients to create online work teams coordinated and paid through the company's proprietary software and website. (thanks Wikipedia). Let me give you a couple of examples.
I had a 20 page pdf discovery document that I wanted converted to Word so I could cut and paste pieces of it into a meet and confer letter. It would have taken me or my paralegal all day to type that pdf into Word. There are also software programs I could have bought to do the conversion for me, but I was not interested in making that investment, nor in spending the time doing the conversion with that software.
I went to oDesk and posted the job: Need typist to convert pdf document into Word document. Within a few minutes experts in such work from around the world had posted responses that they were interested in doing the job. I ended up hiring a talented professional from Egypt who completed the assignment in two hours at the stunning rate of $2 per hour.
I also had a template document in my forms library that needed to be updated to ensure the cited statutes and case law were still accurate. I could have spent a few hours doing the work myself, but I was too busy. I could have had my paralegal do it, but she was too busy. I could have spent half a day posting to craigslist to get a law student to do it -- but that would have taken too much time, and the cost could have ended up being more than I wanted to pay.
I went to oDesk and posted Lawyer needed to update California legal memo. This time I let the post stay up for a couple of hours before I checked for responses. When I did check I had a half dozen expressions of interest. Three of the lawyers were from India. One was from the Philippines. One was from Pakistan. One was a retired U.S. lawyer living oversees. All of the lawyers were law school graduates licensed to practice law in their respective countries. All had at least six years of experience as practicing lawyers. All had experience doing outsourcing legal work that focused on California law. The price bids ranged from a low of $11.11 per hour to $20 per hour (for the U.S. lawyer). I actually hired one of the lawyers from India (at $11.11 per hour). To my surprise the work product was surprisingly impressive, and done to my satisfaction.
Some folks might argue that hiring workers at such low rates is exploitation. I disagree. These professionals are looking for, and need the work. I presume the pay is comparable to what they can get at home, or else they would not be racing to bid on these jobs. Also, if I did not have such affordable options, I might not get the projects done. I see it as a win-win for everybody.
Other sites providing similar services include freelancer.com, Guru.com, vWorker.com, and Elance.
Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law
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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!