The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Self Employed: Adams Legal Document Services Inc., 151 S. State Street, Hemet CA 92545 1 (800-942-7101)
Years of Paralegal Experience: 14 yrs
Specialty Areas: Family Law, Probate, Landlord Tenant, Collections, Step-Parent Adoptions, Estate Planning ( Living Trust, Wills, Power of Attorneys, Deed Transfers), Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Career Highlight: When I helped a divorcing couple who had been married over 20 years. After being tied up in the litigation world and spending thousands of dollars on attorneys, I worked with them for five months, got them out of court, saved them thousands of dollars and was able to help them work together to reach a resolution on all the difficult issues. They both were so happy when we were finally all complete. But, it was bittersweet, because it was still very difficult for them when they executed the final Divorce Agreement. It was emotional for all of us. I will never forget that couple, and I am sure they will never forget me.
Paralegal Practice Tip: Don’t ever give up. Listen to your clients. Start a strong network of attorneys.
Many of Practical Paralegalism’s readers are from jurisdictions that do not have legal document assistants. What are the main differences between legal document assistants (LDA) and paralegals?
A paralegal works under the direct supervision of a lawyer or attorney. A LDA works independently. A paralegal cannot accept compensation for preparing documents for clients. A LDA can charge for document preparation. Paralegals cannot work as an LDA unless meeting the requirements of being bonded and registered by the county.
As a successful business owner, what do you think is most important for paralegals thinking about starting their own freelance or virtual businesses to consider?
- In California – make sure that they are licensed as an LDA and follow California Civil Code 6400 – all guidelines.
- Introduce yourself to local attorneys.
- If hiring employees, have them sign a “Non Compete Agreement.”
- Hire a bookkeeper.
- Look into incorporating to save taxes.
- Join organizations in your local community, i.e. Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Rotary Club, etc.
Favorite Internet Resources:
Favorite Legal Software: Legal Solutions by West Group
Collier Top Form –Bankruptcy Program
Fun Facts: I am the mother of four and a grandmother – and I can still ride a standup jet ski and tear it up by jumping boat wakes! Love to dance too!
Do you Twitter? Yes Twitter handle: @Kymsmiles Professional Links: http://www.adamscourtservices.com/; http://www.linkedin.com/in/adamscourtservices