Paralegal: In-demand career — and efficiency for law firms

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for paralegals is growing. That’s why so many people entering the job market are seeking out paralegal training.

But paralegal training courses are not equal. Students need to find the ones that are going to put them ahead of the pack when it comes to getting hired.

Ziad Youssef, one of Whatcom County’s leading criminal defense attorneys, is the founder of the state licensed Legal Care Center Academy. His students are in high demand and he often fields calls from law firms inquiring about recent graduates.

“My students are trained in efficiency so that they can help firms deliver more and better legal care to their clients,” Youssef said.

In fact, he recently spoke with a family law attorney who had hired one of his graduates. The attorney recognized that this graduate, who had just 10 weeks of training at the Legal Care Center Academy, knew more about work flow in the office than two-year graduates from elsewhere. The difference is in the type of training.

“We give all of our students up to 80 hours of lab time during the 10 week program,” Youssef explained. “We teach them work flow strategies and the essentials of our practice areas which are DUIs, traffic infractions and auto injury claims. And then we show them how to manage all of the information using legal technology and practice management software.”

This creates a cutting edge efficiency and the more efficient a practice can be, the better care that it can offer its clients and the more affordable that care becomes. This is another reason why Legal Care Center Academy graduates are in demand and can garner higher starting salaries.

Youssef knows this efficiency and care formula works because he uses it in his own successful practice, the Law Offices of Ziad Yousef, and beyond through a network of legal care providers under the umbrella of the Legal Care Center and MyTrafficMan.net.

“It’s a network of legal resources for people who need legal care in our practice area which includes DUI, traffic infractions, and auto injury claims,” he said.

The Legal Care Center serves Whatcom and Skagit Counties and also has affiliates in Snohomish, King, and Clark Counties. It’s a new concept of legal care, Youssef explained. It’s a place where all of the resources clients might need are pooled, whether it be a DUI case, speeding ticket or an auto injury claim.

And those products and services include in-house trained paralegals. Youssef knows the value of a good paralegal. He has been in practice for 15 years but over the last six years, since he began implementing his care and efficiency models, he has not had to raise fees.

“We’ve maintained the same prices but have offered more,” he said. “When you combine training, talent and technology, you can actually offer better and more legal care to each client for less.”

Law firms are also able to increase their capacity to meet growing client demand. If a firm hires a paralegal and he or she is able to make the firm 10 to 30 percent more efficient, that means the practice can offer up to 30 percent more at the same price, cut prices because they’re now more efficient or are able to handle more cases by increasing their capacity.

It all comes down to the care you offer, how efficient you are and the type of paralegals you hire. Youssef is choosy about the type of paralegals he recruits too. He’s looking for people who excel at research because most cases have a research element whether it be legal, investigative, or factual research.

There is also negotiation element to many cases so he puts together teams who excel at negotiations and litigation teams to handle the litigation element to cases.

“We seek out people who excel in those areas and we bring them to the Legal Care Center so that we can offer their talents for the benefit of each of our clients,” Youssef said.

Law firms interested in learning more about Legal Care Center Academy graduates, cutting edge practice management tools and lead generation software products can visit www.mytrafficman.net and www.law2marketsolutions.net for more information.

Those interested in learning more about preparing for a career through the Legal Care Center Academy can go to www.legalcarecenteracademy.net.

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