LAT Freelance Survey 2005

Fill out this online survey today for a chance to win $100!

Are you a freelance paralegal? Have you ever wondered how other freelance paralegals across the country are running their businesses? Now is your chance to find out! Legal Assistant Today has created this special “online only” survey specifically for freelance paralegals, and the results will be highlighted in an upcoming feature article in the magazine. Plus, of the first 100 surveys received, one name will be randomly selected to receive a $100 check!

Please COMPLETELY fill out this survey, including your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Since data is broken down for examination purposes, please answer each question individually, rather than including answers such as “see above.” Incomplete surveys, including those missing the starred (*) information below, will not be eligible for the drawing and will not be included in the survey results.

PERSONAL INFORMATION is kept strictly confidential.

Don’t delay! The deadline to submit the survey is APRIL 29, 2005.  Complete your online survey TODAY for a chance to win $100!






(* Required information for your survey to be considered complete and valid. Surveys without this
information will be discarded.)

Please check here if you agree to be interviewed for a follow-up story in LAT.




1. In what state(s) do you work? 
2. Gender:  Male      Female
3. What is your age (for demographic purposes only)? 
4. What is your official job title? (select only one)
            Paralegal                               Legal Assistant
5. Which title do you prefer as denoting higher professional status (select only one):
            Legal assistant          Paralegal          Either          Neither
6. Total length of time you have been a paralegal/legal assistant:   years   months
7. Total length of time you have been a freelance paralegal/legal assistant:
years   months
8. To which national professional organizations do you belong? (select all that apply)
            AAfPE                                             IPMA (formerly LAMA)
            AAPI                                               NALA
            ABA                                                NALS
            ATLA Paralegal Affiliates                  NFPA
9. Do you belong to your local paralegal organization?   Yes     No
10. What is the highest level of formal general education that you completed?
            High school              Master’s degree
            AA/AS degree          Some post-graduate education
            BA/BS degree          Some college (no degree)
11. If you earned a degree, was it in paralegal studies?   Yes      No
12. Do you have a paralegal certificate?                         Yes      No
13. If yes, is your certificate from an ABA-approved school/study program?
            Yes      No     
Don’t know
14. Have you completed any of the certifications listed below? (select all that apply)
            American Alliance Certified Paralegal (AACP)
            Certified Legal Assistant/Paralegal (CLA/CP)
            Certified Legal Assistant Specialist (CLAS)
            Certified Professional Paralegal (Certified PP)
            Registered Paralegal (RP)
            State Certification


15. In what area(s) of law do you specialize? (select all that apply)
            Banking/Finance                   Insurance
            Bankruptcy                           Intellectual Property
            Construction                         Litigation
            Corporate                             Medical Malpractice
            Criminal                               Mergers & Acquisitions
            Employment/Labor                Personal Injury
            Environmental                      Product Liability
            Estate Planning                    Real Estate
            Family Law                          Workers’ Compensation
            Health Care                          Other
16. What types of services do you offer as a freelance paralegal/legal assistant?
      (select all that apply)
            Clerical                                 Factual research
            Client relations                       Legal research
            Document management         Project management
            Drafting documents               Trial preparation & assistance
17.  What is the average number of hours you bill per week?
             Less than 10            11 to 25                  26 to 37
              38 to 40                   41 to 50                  51 or more
18. What is the average number of hours you work per week?
             Less than 10            11 to 25                  26 to 37
              38 to 40                   41 to 50                  51 or more
19. What range most accurately represents your average hourly billing rate as of February 28, 2005?
             $15 to $25         $26 to $35         $36 to $45         $46 to $55
$56 to $65         $66 to $75          $76 to $85         $86 to $95
             $96 to $115       $116 to $135      $136 to $155     $156 or more
20. What percentage of your time is spent on nonbillable tasks?
             0% to 5%            6% to 10%         11% to 20%        21% to 30%
             31% to 40%         41% to 50%       More than 50%
21. Where is your freelance business located?
             In your home                        Rented office space
22. What percentage of your time is spent working from your own office as opposed to working onsite at a client’s office?
             Less than 10%       10 to 20%       25 to 35%       35 to 50%
             More than 50%
23. Do you have employees or subcontractors?  Yes     No
24. If yes, please mark the number of employees or subcontractors you have in each category.
            Bookkeeper                     Paralegal/Legal Assistant
            Office Assistant                Secretary
25. How many regular clients do you have?
            1 to 5       6 to 10       11 to 15       16 to 20       More than 20
26. What types of clients do you generally work with? (select all that apply)
             Corporate law departments                Small law firms
             Public agencies                                Sole practitioners
             Large law firms                                 Other
27. How often do you bill your clients?
              Biweekly                Per project
              Monthly                  Weekly

28. Do you use written contracts with your clients for each project?  Yes     No
29. How do you monitor and prevent conflicts of interest in your practice?
30. What type of marketing do you use for your business? (select all that apply)
             Have a Web site                               Flyers
             Ad in association newsletter              Internet
             Ad in local newspaper                       Networking
             Brochures                                        Produce a newsletter
             Directory listing                                Referrals
31. During the slow times, what do you do? (select all that apply)
             Increase marketing               Solicit more business from existing clients
             Enjoy the free time               Never have slow time
32. What do you do when you have more work than you can handle? (select all that apply)
             Turn new projects away                    Refer the client to another freelance paralegal
             Subcontract the work                        Other

             This never occurs in my business
33. Are you considering expanding your business to offer more services to clients?
             Yes     No
34. If yes, what type of expansion are you considering? (select all that apply)
            Learn additional areas of law
            Hire subcontractors or employees
            Provide other types of legal support services


35. Do you use a laptop in place of a desktop computer?  Yes     No
36. What operating system is on your business computer(s)?
            Windows 95/98                  Windows NT
            Windows 2000                   Windows 3.1x
            Windows ME                     Windows XP
            Windows 2003                   Other
37. How often, on average, do you use the following technologies in your freelance business?
  Daily Weekly Occasionally Never
Fax machine
Handheld Computer (PDA)
Laptop Computer
Multimedia Equipment
Video Conferencing
Wireless phone

Case Management

Client Relationship Management
Document Assembly
Document Management
Electronic Discovery
Knowledge Management
Legal Online Service
Litigation Support
PDF Creation
Practice Management
Speech Recognition
Time & Billing
Trial Presentation
Word Processing
38. How do you rank your technological expertise?
            Above average         Average              Below average
39. List the last technology purchase you made for your freelance business:
40. List the next three technology purchases that you plan to make for your freelance business:


41. What resources do you use when researching purchasing decisions? (select all that apply)
            Conferences/conventions               Reviews
            Internet                                         None
            Magazines                                    Other

Reading Habits

42. How long have you been an LAT subscriber?   years   months
43. Select the type of feature story that appeals most to you (select only one):
            How-tos                               Tips and advice                    Trend analysis
            Personality profiles               Industry surveys                   Technology
            Topical debates                    Other
44. General comments you would like to share with the editors of LAT: