Help From The Paralegals' Desk!
At Surratt Law, we do everything we can to keep things affordable but hiring an attorney can still be taxing on the wallet. We put together a few tips to help you save money and reduce stress during your journey!
TIP #1: When a response or action is requested by your attorney or paralegal, promptly respond confirming you are in receipt of the request and advise when you will be able to answer/address/provide the requested information. This will keep us from guessing if you received the request and/or having to reach out to you in multiple ways.
TIP #2: When providing electronic copies via email or portal, make sure the documents, i.e., financial institute statements, tax returns, and credit card statements, are not password protected. When they are password protected it does not allow the paralegal to redact or Bates stamp the documents without having to print and scan them, which are fees (paralegal’s time) and costs (paper copies) billed to you. In the alternative, provide the passwords for the protected documents for the paralegal’s use. Also, be sure not to write memos or highlight on the actual documents provided – use a post-it!
TIP #3: When emailing pictures or proofs, providing these items in pdf format is preferred. For example, when screenshots of text messages are provided in jpeg format, we must take the time to download, copy, save, etc. to a pdf format for our use.
TIP #4: When providing paper copies, make sure the documents are unstapled but organized, i.e., separated by account, paper clipped, tabbed, and not still in the envelopes. By proving the documents in an organized fashion, it takes out the guesswork and puzzle piecing for the paralegal. Again, be sure not to write memos or highlight on the actual documents provided – use a post-it!
TIP #5: When you have a question about your matter, email (preferred) or call the paralegal first; or at least cc the paralegal in your email to your attorney. Most often it is not only the fastest way to receive a response (attorneys are inundated with so many emails within a day), but it is also more cost effective to you. In the event the paralegal cannot assist you with your question, then the attorney will address your question. The same is also true with phone calls. In the event you have an urgent matter, either call our office or in the subject line of your email state “URGENT” before the subject.
We hope these tips will help you save both money and valuable time.