How will a paralegal help in my divorce case? A paralegal is not an attorney, they are individuals who have gone through specialized training and who understand the rules of procedure and the guidelines and forms that need to be completed and followed in order to successfully proceed with your case.
Here at Lewis & Matthews we’re very fortunate to have Jodi Cochran as a paralegal onboard. She has 24 years of experience. Jodi’s hourly rate is less than an attorney’s hourly rate and represents one benefit for having a paralegal work on your case. In other words, our attorney hourly rate is $285 an hour while Jodi’s hourly rate is $155 an hour. Jodi is the case manager and the point of contact in your case. She is the person that you can call when you have basic questions regarding completing your sworn financial statement, completing your certificate of compliance and your financial disclosures. She also helps schedule mediation and gets the parties prepared for mediation. She does a lot of the background work at a much more reduced hourly rate than what an attorney would charge for the same process.
That is more effective for the client. It does help keep costs down, she can handle the preparation of your initial petitions for dissolution of marriage or for allocation of parental responsibilities or if you have a post decree issue that you need to file a motion on she typically does the first draft of those pleadings. Then our attorney will take a look at them and refine them and get them ready to file.
Jodi prepares all the sworn financial statements based upon the input of the client and then the attorney reviews them them before they’re filed. She coordinates scheduling mediation with mediators, she coordinates scheduling court dates, she handles a lot of administrative tasks as a discounted rate which is much more efficient for the client. She does it with avery high skill level based upon all the years of experience that she has. She has worked with most of the major divorce firms here in the Denver area. She’s very qualified and we feel very fortunate to have Jodi Cochran on board with our team.