The Independent Paralegal's Handbook: How to Provide Legal Services Without Becoming a Lawyer

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Nolo, 2004 - Business & Economics - 360 pages
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Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering. Get it for less! Have one to sell? Don't have one?We'll set one up for you. The Independent Paralegal's Handbook: Everything You Need to Run a Business Preparing Legal Paperwork for the Public by Ralph E. Warner, Stephen R. Elias, Catherine Elias Jermany Search inside this book List Price: $29.95 Price: $29.95 & This item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping. See details. Availability: This title usually ships within 1 to 2 months. Please note that special order titles occasionally go out of print, or publishers run out of stock. These hard-to-find titles are not discounted and are subject to an additional charge of $1.99 per book due to the extra cost of ordering them. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this titleEdition: Paperback Other Editions: List Price: Our Price: Other Offers: Paperback (6th) $34.99 $24.49 See more product details --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Editorial Reviews Amazon.comNow in its fifth edition, Ralph Warner's The Independent Paralegal's Handbook is billed as a how-to guide for people who want to take the law into their own hands. This is a good road map for a profession that has grown quickly in recent decades, as motivated consumers seek to avoid intermediaries (lawyers) and handle their own legal matters in areas such as bankruptcy, personal injury settlements, and divorce, all with the help of paralegals. This is not, however, the book to read if you need to learn the ins and outs and daily responsibilities of a paralegal. The book assumes you received training elsewhere--either through schooling or working as a legal secretary--andinstead focuses on the challenges, triumphs and pitfalls of starting your own paralegal business. Those pitfalls, the authors point out quickly and frequently, usually involve harassment from bar associations and lawyers who fear that their monopoly over legal information is slipping away. Many pages, in fact, are devoted to reminding paralegals that they cannot give legal advice and that they must constantly remind their "customers" (not clients) that they are not licensed to practice law.The book covers which types of legal paperwork an independent paralegal can safely and profitably prepare; how to let customers know you are not a lawyer; how to minimize the chance of harassment by the bar; how to get the necessary training to work as an independent paralegal; what to call your business; how to get a business license and buy equipment; and how much to charge for your services. (Paralegals, the authors suggest, can significantly undercut a lawyer's fees--by as much as 70 percent--and still make an "excellent living.") The authors also make a strong argument for the virtues of being a paralegal, noting that there is an underlying goal to empower people. "The prospect of helping people with very little money," explains Jolene Jacobs, one of 12 paralegals interviewed for the book's appendix, "and sometimes without much education, put their own decisions on paper, file their papers at court and represent themselves before a judge was truly exciting." --John Russell --This text refers to the Paperback edition. From Library JournalLaw firms have been hiring an increasing number of paralegals in recent years. However, in some parts of the country (notably California), paralegals are goinginto business for themselves, helping people process the paperwork for routine transactions such as incorporations and uncontested divorces. Warner's practical guide highlights the historical background of self-help law, and then gives a great deal of nuts-and-bolts advice on establishing and maintaining a paralegal office. Warner emphasizes that "organized lawyerdom" will be quick to bring unauthorized-practice-of-law suits, and he suggests many strategies for dealing with this problem. The book closes with interviews of six pioneer independent paralegals. Highly recommended for public libraries.

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