Becoming a paralegal after obtaining a law license is not an uncommon career path. While some may wonder why an individual with a law license would choose to become a paralegal instead of practicing law directly, there are several reasons why this may be an attractive career option.
One of the main reasons for this choice is related to the work-life balance that comes with providing paralegal services rather than practicing law. The intense demands of practicing law can be overwhelming, often requiring very long hours and a lot of stress. In running a business providing paralegal services, however, an individual can have greater control over their working hours and can take on only the clients and cases that are of interest to them.
Another reason why some individuals may choose to run a business providing paralegal services is that they may wish to take a more specialized approach to the law. As a law firm, one is expected to take on a wide range of cases, or at least a wider range of cases than one might specialize in. Providing paralegal services, on the other hand, can provide a more focused approach that allows an individual to work in a narrower field of practice that they specialize in.
Costs may be another factor driving individuals to run a business providing paralegal services. Running a law firm or law practice can be incredibly expensive. There are many upfront costs to starting a new firm, including hiring a support team, securing office space, marketing, paying for ongoing legal education, and making high overhead expenses like insurance and taxes. Running a business providing paralegal services instead, on the other hand, tends to be more cost-effective and low-overhead, meaning the profits earned can be higher.
The highly regulated nature of law practice may also drive some individuals toward paralegal work instead. Practicing lawyers must meet numerous ethical rules and obligations, and there are many risks involved with the malpractice. While paralegals face regulations as well, they typically have fewer professional obligations than a practicing lawyer would, and thus face less risk of misconduct.
Finally, the choice to run a business providing paralegal services may also be motivated by the desire for a more flexible work environment, and the ability to be involved in the legal profession without having to go through the rigors of law school and obtaining a full license to practice law. Paralegal work allows individuals with a background in law to be involved in the field but without the same level of expense and restrictions that come with a full law practice.
In conclusion, while it may seem counterintuitive, there are many good reasons why an individual with a law license might choose to run a business providing paralegal services rather than practicing law directly. The benefits of this approach can include better work-life balance, specialization, lower cost, less risk of malpractice, and a more flexible work environment. For many lawyers, becoming a paralegal can be a very lucrative and rewarding career path that enables them to stay involved in the legal profession and have a significant impact without the intense demands of a law practice.