What’s Hot for Paralegals

We may be about 4 months late with this report but heck, we just found it.  The ABA’s Law Practice magazine issued its 19th annual report on what’s hot; what’s not in the legal field. Here is a refreshing look at some interesting and exciting new developments specifically for paralegals:

Hot New Areas for Paralegals: Virtual Assistants.  A form of outsourcing that is new. VAs are paralegals and administrative specialists who work off site and online to handle legal projects.

Nonlawyer Staff on Websites: A handful of mostly smaller firms have been posting photos and bios of their administrative and staff personnel on their Web sites for some time. One midsize firm that recently did so is Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean.

Staff on Committees: Many firms have committees comprised of only staff. Now some firms are including staff with lawyers on committees such as technology, marketing and strategic planning. The results are improved staff retention and morale along with new and worthwhile ideas, plus improved implementation of plans.

Intellectual Property Firms: The conventional wisdom has been that these firms could not survive on their own. But IP boutiques continue to not just survive but thrive. One indication of this is the movement of IP lawyers and staff from large, general firms back to IP firms translating into more IP positions for paralegals.

Anyone have any other new trends and developments out there?  Let us know!