Course Code: PLBA 4502
Academic Year: 2020-2021
This course provides students with the tools for launching a successful independent paralegal practice. The course focuses on the appropriate fee structure for the paralegal practice, the scope of the retainer, the timely performance of services and the skill set required for rendering the services. Following coverage of the practice management obligations under the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, students analyze the proper staffing of a paralegal practice, supervision and delegation issues and employment-related legislation. Marketing and advertising are examined within the context of permitted areas of practice, using appropriate promotional materials. The insurance requirements receive special attention, including dealing with claims made against the paralegal practitioner. Cost-advantage strategies and marketing-advantage strategies are developed by examining market segmentation and its variables and niche marketing. Building on their knowledge of tax, accounting and the legal framework of business enterprises, the students learn to develop an effective business plan from the lender's and the investor's perspectives. Promotional and pricing strategies receive special attention, including advertising practices, sales promotion and pricing analysis. In the operations phase, the course covers the obligations to maintain a conflict checking system, reminders systems and electronic or written records. In regard to client files, systems analysis addresses file organization, retention requirements and the interaction of technology and Law Society precepts. The financial performance of the small business enterprise is evaluated using accounting statements, and assessing liquidity, profitability, stability and return to owners.