It is sad for me to watch as some law firms protect their bottom line over the interest of the clients. If you think this doesn’t happen in Minnesota, think again. There is one firm, that rhymes with locker, that has five lawyers and five paralegals. Now, this firm advertises for Minnesota guests to come in to see them for a free “bankruptcy analysis”.
The trouble is this: paralegals are not authorized to practice law and, therefore, cannot give you a free “bankruptcy analysis” without breaking the law and violating numerous ethical rules. Why do lawyers do this then? Because the owners of the firm figure it will increase their take home pay if they can skimp on the service they give you. Terrible? We think so. We think it is not only terrible, we think it is illegal and unethical as well.
Minnesota lawyers cannot delegate to a paralegal 1) the responsibility to establish a lawyer-client relationship; 2) responsibility for establishing the amount of a fee to be charged for a legal service; and 3) responsibility for an opinion rendered to a client. If lawyers CANNOT delegate these responsibilities to a paralegal, how is one firm in Minnesota has half their team comprised of paralegals, who meet with and sign up clients? This is both illegal and unethical, not to mention a real crappy way to treat their guests.
If a paralegal does anything beyond collect information for the lawyer, they are practicing law. If the paralegal tells you should or should not file bankruptcy, they are practicing law. If they evaluate the information you give them and/or make recommendations to you based on that information, they are practicing law.
At Kain & Scott, we like our guests and our guests like us. We would never have a guest meet with a paralegal. Our guests always meet with lawyers.
When the time is right, or when you are ready, reach out to Minnesota’s Nicest Bankruptcy Law Firm Guaranteed or 100% Off Your Fees at www.kainscott.com.