Can Paralegals Work from Home?

If you’re considering a paralegal career, it’s important to know that the position is challenging and fulfilling.

Paralegals offer a range of services from drafting complicated legal pleadings and interpreting legalese for clients to intensive legal research and assisting clients, so they don’t become overwhelmed by the legal process.


The best paralegals are exceptional communicators who can liaise between court officials, experts, witnesses, clients, and attorneys.

While it seems like the paralegal career has an in-person requirement, there are plenty of virtual paralegal jobs available for those who prefer to work remotely.

Keep reading to learn more about working from home as a paralegal!

What Is a Virtual Paralegal?

Virtual paralegals are typically independent contractors who support many clients from remote locations.

Paralegals assist attorneys and clients by delivering legal services.

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Paralegals work under the direct supervision of attorneys, and many virtual paralegals are directly employed by the firm.

Others are employed as independent contractors and work for multiple attorneys.

Before entering the virtual paralegal field, it’s important to understand the pros and cons, including:


Learn Several Areas of Law

If you enjoy variety, then working as a virtual paralegal allows you to work within several areas of law, which makes you a more effective and well-rounded employee.

By accepting various jobs from different attorneys in different fields, you can expand your knowledge and business with experience in different legal areas instead of only concentrating on one or two areas.

Set Your Hours

Virtual paralegals can generally set their hours when not on conference calls with attorneys or clients.

If you are more productive working in the morning or at night, you have the choice to choose when you work, as long as you meet all deadlines.

Work from Home

The most obvious advantage of working from home as a paralegal is your scheduling flexibility from being home.

Working remotely allows you to spend more time with family and friends and avoid work schedules, dress codes, and the daily commute.

For those in major cities, commutes can be over an hour one way, so you will gain that time back by walking into your home office or living room to start work.

Work for Multiple Attorneys

Virtual paralegals who opt to work as independent contractors can take on as many jobs as they can manage simultaneously.

The more jobs a virtual paralegal accepts, the more money they make.

On the flip side, fewer jobs mean more free time, so the flexibility is endless.


No Benefits

For those who plan to work as independent virtual paralegals, you are responsible for sick leave, vacation, retirement, and health insurance since you are not employed by a firm.

Those who are virtual paralegals employed by a company may have these benefits.

This is a critical point if you have a family who relies on you for healthcare.

Pay Self-Employment Taxes

Independent virtual paralegals are required to pay your taxes, including self-employment-related taxes.

When working for a company, your paycheck is set up to take taxes from each pay to eliminate the financial burden once tax season begins.

Luckily, independent virtual paralegals have more options than ever to pay taxes from jobs or contract work, similar to earning a paycheck through a company.

Tremendous Competition

Given the change in working locations following the Pandemic, the number of virtual paralegals continues to increase as qualified individuals seek to own a business due to benefits like flexibility, spending more time with family, and having more control of their careers.

Although the opportunity for independent contractors is growing due to firms seeking a cost reduction, the competition is also increasing for these jobs as more professionals are opting for remote work.

Deciding to Become a Virtual Paralegal

Before making this critical career-changing decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of moving into this type of work.

Luckily, many resources exist to help you on this journey.

Speak with an accountant to understand tax issues that may arise as an independent contractor, or talk to an attorney to better understand the role.

Weighing all the pros and cons will help determine if becoming a virtual paralegal is the best fit for your lifestyle and family.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a typical day look like for a virtual paralegal?

Paralegals are the glue that helps ensure cases run smoothly.

To do so, virtual paralegals assist clients, conduct legal research, draft case-essential documents, and organize paperwork.

Most of these tasks can be done remotely, which is why some law firms employ virtual paralegals.

Regardless of the location, all paralegals are supervised by the attorney they are working under.

A typical virtual paralegal workday may include the following tasks:

  • Analyzing court records
  • Corresponding with witnesses and counsels
  • Interviewing clients
  • Maintaining financial records
  • Organizing case files
  • Preparing clients for hearings
  • Providing basic services
  • Researching case laws
  • Writing legal documents and briefs

What are some important tips for working as a virtual paralegal?

Making the transition from working in an office environment to working from home can be challenging.

Several tips will help with working from home:

  • Create a home office – creating a designated space in your living area is crucial to your productivity and mental health. This can be the corner of an apartment or a spare bedroom at your home. Working from the couch or bed does not lend to a productive day. Also, always keep the area bright and away from distractions.
  • Maintain a schedule – although this tip is easier said than done, it can have a tremendous impact on your day. Try to maintain the same routine as if you were going into the office. If you’re changing from an office to working from home, then just continue waking up at the same time, showering, and maintaining your old schedule, without adding the commute.
  • Schedule short breaks – scheduling short breaks throughout the day to stretch and take your mind off work is crucial to productivity as a virtual paralegal. Take the dog for a walk to get fresh air, stretch, take a lunch break, or just go and sit outside. These will make a huge difference in your workday.

What are the necessary skills to be a virtual paralegal?

Virtual paralegals need to practice active listening and have excellent communication skills since they will be liaising between attorneys, clients, and other legal professionals.

Also, time management and organization are crucial skills to ensure the workload is completed accurately.

Furthermore, virtual paralegals must have effective research abilities and sharp attention to detail.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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