Paralegal Services offered to Attorneys
With a paralegal handling the administrative basics of the practice, attorneys are able to take on larger numbers of cases. Plus, since paralegal fees are less than attorney fees and can be billed separately to clients, it’s possible to do the same amount of work and make the same amount of money without charging as much. Word spreads as a practice becomes known for being reliable, affordable and successful. Along with the increased communication with clients that paralegals can offer, this opens the door to an expanded client base.
Whether this written document is drawn up by an
attorney for a party in a lawsuit or by a party himself
or herself appearing pro se case briefs are invaluable. A case brief concisely states four necessary elements:
(1) issues of a lawsuit;
(2) facts that bring the parties to court;
(3) relevant laws that can affect the subject of the dispute; and
(4) arguments that explain how the law applies to the particular facts so that the case will be decided in the party's favor.
In Propria Persona paralegals write legal arguments, in a format prescribed by the courts, stating the legal reasons for the suit based on statutes, regulations,
case precedents, legal texts, and reasoning applied
to facts in the particular situation;
to summarize a precedent case or lay out in writing a
legal argument. which means extracting the rule of law,
the reasoning (rationale), the essential facts, and the
outcome of giving a summary of important information to
the trier of fact.
In Propria Persona paralegals can help boutique law firms and single practicing attorneys with brief submissions to
lay out their argument for various petitions and motions
before the court (sometimes called"points and authorities"), to counter the arguments of opposing lawyers, and to provide the judge or judges with reasons to rule in favor of the party represented by the brief writer.
Once a lawyer has passed the bar exam, it does not take much to start his or her own practice other than renting office space and hanging up a shingle. Thus, it is not surprising that law offices of sole practitioners are probably the biggest single category of practicing lawyers.
Small and Mid-Size Law Firms:
Depending on your location, a law firm that has between two and 50 attorneys might be considered “small” or “mid-sized.” (In a small town, a firm often attorneys might be considered mid-sized, but in Chicago, that would be considered fairly small).
Given the duration, complication, and time consumption involved in the handling of legal matter; most boutique law firms and sole practitioners, unlike larger law firms, can only accept so many cases. Lawyers inundated with cases are so involved in the litigation for their clients' legal matters that they don't have the time for new incoming business.
Time management is the key to any law practice. The legal research necessary to find out if a client's case is worth taking is time-consuming. Cases that drag out past retainer payments or time billed against clients accounts leaves single practicing attorneys and boutique law firms scrambling for sources of income to maintain their overhead and the administration cost of their practice.
The fact is that many boutique law firms and single practitioners can not afford to hire and maintain paralegals to help them with their caseloads. This is where our experienced paralegals and legal document preparers can help these practitioners increase their workloads and finances. It's a simple process, we do the work so that single practicing attorneys and boutique law firms are able to expand their workloads. Let us to the research your case to see if it's worth pursuing. file out either the case brief or legal memorandum forms and let us help.
Elements of Information Provided
Our case brief formatting begins with the name and citation of the case.
The first section of the case brief contains a description of the facts of the case.
The second section will contain a brief description of the procedural history of the case, that is, a short description of what happened at the trial level and at the appellate level, or what types of motions were filed and when.
The third section usually contains a short statement of the main issue or issues that the case addresses.
The fourth section contains the holding of the case, i.e., the ultimate outcome.
The last section contains a discussion of the court’s analysis. The name of the judge or other information may be included in a miscellaneous section.
Concurrences or dissents receive some discussion.
Our briefs are no longer than two pages; easy to read so that the reader does not have to spend much time understanding the reasoning of the case.
Attorneys will often ask their paralegals (or associates) to prepare a legal memorandum about a particular legal issue. This invaluable informative memorandum used within the law firm serves to inform the attorney about the legal issue and includes citations to legal authorities.
We make sure that it will also point out a split of authorities or ambiguities in the law, if applicable. It is important to us that the attorney to whom the memo is addressed informs us of all aspects that are relevant to the issue, not just information that is favorable to your side of the case.
The Courtroom Legal Memorandum:
This particular memorandum is a persuasive document that includes a legal argument and contains legal citations supporting the legal arguments put forward in the memorandum. Attorneys, as well as paralegals, have an ethical duty to disclose any and all binding legal authority that is contrary to their position in their documents. The task of the memorandum is to convince the court that the contrary case should not be applied to the facts of the drafter's case.
The top of the first page of a memorandum being submitted to the court should have the proper caption as required by the local rules of the court, followed by the proper title of the memorandum.
With this synopsis of the case, the court is instantly attuned to what issue the memorandum addresses.
Statement of Facts
A brief statement of the facts of the case is essential because the judge familiar with your case may not be the person reading the memo and writing the resulting decision. We assume that the reader is learning about the case for the first time.
It is important the statement of the facts is not convoluted.
it should offer a clear, concise description of the circumstances giving rise to and surrounding the case.
We include the procedural history of your case in the statement of the facts.
Statement of the Issue Addressed
To focus the reader’s attention, the memo should always include a statement of the issue addressed. Here lies the question of law. The testing of the legal theory. Does the party's argument have merit?
The longest, and most important, part of the memo is the discussion section. This is the section in which the party’s argument is maintained, legal authority is cited, and conclusions of law are drawn.
Finally, the last section in the memo is the conclusion, which summarizes the arguments contained within the memo.
Judicial Form and Document Preparation
Our legal document preparers are available to prepare judicial forms and document preperation.
Virtual Pro Bono Legal Services
Virtual Pro Bono Legal Services connects volunteer attorneys and legal services organizations with low-income community members in need of legal services remotely through technology and the internet. An attorney can provide legal consultation from any location with an Internet connection. A community member can go to a convenient local site, such as a library, local legal aid office, or community center, to seek services. The consultations are supervised and managed by a legal service organization that provides training, logistics, and risk management support.
The Pro Bono Project has spent the Last 26 years filling in the gaps in legal services to the low-income residents of Silicon Valley and making access to justice available.
Pro Bono Project has joined with its partners to take the next step using technology to tap into more volunteers and bring services to populations that have not had access because of the unavailability of attorneys.
What are the Benefits?
Benefits to Community Members
Convenience – A community member can go to a convenient local site, such as a library, local legal aid office, or community center, to seek advice and services
Affordability – Legal advice is provided at no cost to community members, attorneys donate their pro bono time to help community members with general legal questions
Quality – Receive quality and legal advice from experienced attorneys from across the bay, state, and nation
Benefits to Pro Bono Attorneys
Minimize wasted travel time. You can make a difference without ever leaving your office or home.
Efficient communication with clients and service agencies.
Reach the underserved in the community.
More opportunity for meaningful engagement
Risk management by legal services organizations
Logistics by legal services organizations
Training by legal services organizations
Supervision, mentors, and support by legal services organizations
Skills based service
Productivity increase of attorney
Ease of scheduling time
Benefits to Legal Services Programs
Serve more community members
Bring services to remoter areas
Web-based, open-source platform
Accessible from anywhere
Standard web technology, no proprietary coding
"Helping People ,Help Themselves..."
Shepardizing is an important part of being certain a law is still valid, or good, and thus important to a new case going to trial. Shepardizing is a crucial component to legal research, analysis and the way in which we determine what case law is relevant to today's issues. Cases are cited in a particular fashion according to what publication they are found in and whether they are state or federal issues. The Bluebook is the book that provides the standards necessary for proper citation. Shepard's Citations provide a way to search updated case law.
One of the more significant roles Shepardizing plays is the distinction of these three important elements:
(1) Determine whether your case has continued precedential value through the history letters assigned by the company's legal editors;
(2) evaluate and analyze significant decisions by reference to treatment letters, which indicate what other judges have written about your case; and
(3) trace the discussion of specific points of law or fact through the use of headnote numbers.
Shepardizing not only helps check if the authorities in the case are still good but also provides a way to locate other references relevant to your research. Statutes, constitutions, and ordinances can all be sherardized with success. When perusing books for case law, we notice supplements or pocket parts to those books. To ignore these additions may be missing out on something important or end up citing a law that isn't good anymore. The supplements and pocket parts also direct us to more recent cases which interpret a statute, or law, we are researching.
But even if you rely on cases from the most recent pocket part available, there could still be one that has been overruled or reversed since the printing of that pocket part. To be certain of current case law, using Shepard's Citations is the way to go. Every primary authority must be Shepardized, and this includes those cases such as Supreme Court rulings and courts in the same jurisdiction as your case to be considered. Every case, statute, and constitutional provision must be Shepardized so the opposing side or judge does not call your side on it. All the facts are necessary for a solid argument in any case.
Another advantage of using Shepard's Citations is being able to see the history of your case as it progresses. Once your case has been decided and documented in publications, Shepard's will continue to list it and other cases which may need to refer to the ruling made in your case.Shepardizing can be done all along the path of a case making its way to trial. In the beginning, it will give a solid base to relevant case law and as more research is necessary, it will continue to be a valid resource for locating other cases and validating those as well.
Shepardizing may seem like a lengthy process, which it can be at times. For example, you have learned of three cases that might be relevant to your own. So you decide to see if the rulings in those cases still stand. When you check Shepard's Citations, you find other cases which have mentioned those initial three and whether or not the first ruling is still good or if courts have reversed that initial decision. This is where it becomes vital to keep good track of which cases have been Shepardized so as to not get confused if the process becomes complicated. But with our organized system, it can be made easier to follow case law and provide beneficial research to your case.
Contact us if you or your law firm would like to offer legal services on a pro bono basis.