5 business development skills that will help paralegals to find the best paying work in any legal market

If you understand talent arbitrage and purchasing power parity, you would know that a lot of money can be made by doing remote paralegal work.

See this video on how you can make money as a paralegal and on which platforms you can use to find work.

You could be a specialized IP paralegal, and here we discuss that.

While there is a lot of money to be made, what about the skills you will need to do the work?

I get that, and here we spoke about 10 general administrative and procedural skills expected from paralegals.

However, a lot of you told me that you do not have these skills and it would take you a while to learn these things.

Is there any easy way to get started?

Nothing is really easy, because you have to do excellent work skilfully to stand out and get these opportunities. 

If you do poor work, you will be dispensed with very quickly.

But there are certain business development skills that are highly in demand across the world. And if you are a law student or young lawyer, I highly recommend that you learn these skills and help other lawyers with these skills. 

Even if you choose to build your own practice later, your experience with these aspects of legal practice development will be a great asset.

And while it would be important that you know English to do business with lawyers in other English-speaking jurisdictions, these are not technical legal skills, and these are useful everywhere in the world. 

What are these 5 skills you can use, irrespective of your other qualifications, to make money remotely from countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Singapore, and others?

  1. Lead generation

Lead generation basically means being able to reach out to the right kind of clients and make them interested in our services. 

While advertising is not permitted for lawyers in India, for lawyers outside India in many countries, there is no prohibition on running advertisements and therefore, they can even use advertising to generate leads. 

They can use all different types of advertisement like running facebook ad campaigns, advertising in newspapers, radio, TV etc.

In addition to advertising, there are many other ways in which leads can be generated, such as conducting webinars, creating videos, writing articles or even by meeting up people when you visit a particular city etc. 

Content marketing, rather than advertising, is the primary way in which lawyers across the world market themselves and generate leads.

However you need a method of lead generation and then you need to have a system for lead ‘nurturing’. 

You have to first get the attention of a potential client and then you should not lose contact with a potential client after just one interaction. You get the attention of the lead through an advertisement or a webinar or a meet up etc. However, this is step 1. How will you keep in touch with them, deepen the relationship, earn their trust and respect for the long run? That is essentially lead nurturing. 

You should choose a method of lead generation which can enable you to get their contact details, so that you can reach out to them with relevant content when you create it and keep deepening your relationship with the lead by giving them more value until they are ready to take your services. 

One of the ways in which you can generate leads is by creating free downloadable ebooks or whitepapers or checklists people can find on the internet. In this way, people will provide their email id for you to email to them the book / whitepaper or checklist which they find useful.

In this manner, when you create further content in that specific area, you can send it to them through email and you can stay relevant and on top of the mind of your lead. 

When the lead sees such content multiple times, they are convinced that you do possess the knowledge to deal with the issues they are facing and then, they may come to you when they have such work to be done.

For example, if you have created a book and a checklist on due diligence and you make it available to people who need it once they provide their email address, you can now reach out to them if you have written something else on due diligence or created a video for it or are holding a webinar on it. 

Lawyers need help to create such content/books/checklists/emails and also the mechanism through which they can keep on reaching out to the leads on an ongoing basis. If you are able to create such content and system, you can become a very useful person for any lawyer, be it in India or abroad.

It is not just writing, if you can learn some advertising, email-list building, youtube channel building and such other skills that help lawyers to generate more leads, you can get a massive amount of very well paid work.

  1. Article writing & Blog management

Writing articles and getting them published in different journals or on different websites which have good visibility and footfall can definitely help a lawyer reach out to a lot of different potential clients.

Many law firms maintain their own blogs and some even have multiple blogs on different areas of law. Take CAM for example, they have several blogs on corporate governance, private client practice, competition law etc.

However, these blogs need continuous updates and monitoring. You need to be able to consistently keep track of the developments in that particular area and write posts which would be relevant for people who are interested in that area of services. Unless the blogs are consistently kept updated, they can be very easily forgotten. 

Lawyers are busy people. They need help.

You need skills to write blog posts which would be read by people and can be useful for them as well as reflect the skills that the lawyer or the law firm possesses. When you are able to do this consistently for a law firm or a lawyer, they can generate potential clients through such posts since people will be assured that they possess the relevant knowledge.

If you can write good articles and blog posts, you can earn a lot of money, because this is not an easy skill to possess. Although people believe that it is easy to write about an area of law in which they are interested, this is not true. It needs a lot of practice and effort to write something that will actually be read, and then reflect the expertise of a law firm or a practice in a way that it attracts clients to engage.

Managing the blog itself is quite a task, apart from promoting those posts through online channels. You can get paid work as a blog manager. You can help to shape the pedantic articles that most lawyers write into readable, attractive, viral pieces. 

In addition to articles and blog posts, many law firms even run regular newsletters for their clients on areas which the clients can be interested in. It again helps with recall.  If you are able to write really well, you can easily earn INR 50-60000 just by creating content for blog posts and newsletters. If you are doing this work for lawyers outside India, they may even pay you $1000-2000 per month depending on what you do and the results you produce. 

  1. Managing and growing social media presence of lawyers

Social media is one way through which lawyers can create their brand and also use it to create visibility for themselves to potential clients. It also helps to establish your expertise and authority in a field if potential clients look you up online and find that you have a huge following on social media. And clients increasingly look you up online before hiring you, this is not going to change anytime soon.

Also, there is a massive potential of generating clients from social media.

Social media presence doesn’t just mean posting on the relevant platforms, there is a whole science and art attached to it.

It requires consideration of who the connections are, what is the kind of content you are posting, what is the time at which you are posting, how many followers you have, how many people are engaging with those posts, what is the dwell time of people on your posts etc. 

Busy lawyers hardly have time to manage these details themselves. Their social media accounts are managed by their juniors or a team of experts.

Normal social media experts can’t do a good job for lawyers because they lack legal knowledge, and do not understand how the legal industry functions. Which is where young lawyers and law students with a good understanding of social media have a huge advantage. 

Even if you are a law student, if you have great social media skills i.e. you know how to build and audience and engagement, what is the kind of content that will go viral, what is the time of the day when you should post, which platforms are better for what sort of content etc., you can build the social media presence of a lawyer or a small law firm step by step. 

Social media is what can sometimes make someone suddenly popular or unpopular. 

Therefore, this presence needs to be carefully managed and it requires people who are skilled at creating the right type of content. 

If you can develop this skill, this is something that is transferable across geographies and across different sectors. It is also relevant irrespective of whether you are working in an in-house role or supporting a practitioner. Developing social media skills can land you really good opportunities. 

In fact, you can use your social media skills even to demonstrate to a potential employer how you can impact their clients. 

You could offer to manage their presence on a platform for free for a period and if that makes a difference to their visibility and clientele, then you have already made a case for yourself while requesting paid work.

  1. Video and webinar production

Videos are something that can immediately create an impression of the lawyer in the minds of people. 

Short, crisp videos are something that will be watched by many people if they are useful or relevant. Video today is the king of content and video skills are highly sought after.

If a lawyer frequently posts insightful, knowledgeable, shareable videos on various platforms, and manages to build an audience and engagement, chances are that potential clients will notice the lawyer’s expertise and approach for specific legal help. Generating leads from video platforms have become the norm for many lawyers, especially in countries where there is no restriction on advertising or marketing legal services.

Again, lawyers who have some technical video skills plus an intuitive understanding of how to get and keep attention on social media can guide law firms and independent lawyers with such services.

If you have some knowledge of video production, and we are not talking about movie making kind of quality here, you can easily get work from lawyers who are looking to leverage YouTube, Instagram etc to reach out to clients. The skills you need includes a basic understanding of video recording, lights, basic editing, posting on various platforms, responding to and moderating comments, how to put subtitles into videos, how to edit and remove disruptions etc. 

However, just knowing these skills is not useful, it is your additional knowledge of law and legal industry that makes you even more suitable for this job. 

These videos then would need to be placed on channels or platforms which have a high footfall. 

You can even make a list of appropriate YouTube channels with their number of followers and then help a lawyer to seek collaborations with those channels to attract more attention!

If you are starting out, why not make a list of topics on which the lawyer could produce videos and place on such channels to attract new clients? Or maybe build his own YouTube channel and attract thousands of viewers? Approach a lawyer with the groundwork that you have already done, and offer to help for free for a while. This might make the lawyer clearly see what you can do and make them realise that you are worth their time and money.

Similarly, you can help a lawyer to organize a series of webinars or get invitations to speak at other webinars or podcasts. Such services can help a lawyer with his or her outreach and get more clients. 

  1. PR and media relations

This would involve approaching different journalists or media platforms on whether they want to run a write up or do an interview with the lawyer you are working with. Although this can involve a lot of prospecting and reaching out, if people get media mentions in popular dailies or channels, this can shoot up their visibility really high. This is why it would be a valuable skill if you are associated with a lawyer. 

Many lawyers hire assistants who go through every day in order to find journalists who are doing relevant stories where they can contribute and build a richer profile in the media. You can definitely pitch this as a service to lawyers.

Which one of these opportunities will you try out?

These five business development skills can make you a valuable asset to any law firm or independent practitioner. You do not need all of them in fact, just one is great to get started with.

These skills are harder to find and in greater demand than hard legal skills. You may find it hard to believe, but try to find someone who can do these things yourself, and you will realise how low the supply is, while demand is universal and infinite.

I recently conducted a workshop on paralegal opportunities. This workshop is not available as a recording, but if you watch the following videos, these should help you greatly to make money as a paralegal.

Top platforms for finding freelance paralegal work online: 

The 3 big traps to avoid when you are applying for your first paralegal job:

How to prepare a kickass proposal or application when you are applying for a paralegal job:

What business development skills are going to make me very attractive as a paralegal?:

How to plan your US LLM and make it the turning point of your legal career:

Why IP paralegal jobs are your gateway to an international IP career:

Wishing you build a cracking career through paralegal work!

If you are interested, you can directly join our group by clicking on the link below.

The group is specifically curated for paralegals.

You will also get access to some other amazing resources through the group as well.

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