Re: What's needed to work with Attoneys?
I work with attorneys and paralegals on a daily basis. In my opinion, the number one factor is experience. A certificate is icing on the cake, and shows commitment to go to and finish a program, but if it comes down to either/or, in my personal experience it is definitely experience. This probably differs from region to region. I am not saying that a certificate and/or degree is not a valuable thing because it certainly is.
Manyy law firms, big and small, had been laying lawyers and paralegals off, but in my area, there has been an upturn and things are getting a little better jobwise and dealwise. I think this makes a perfect time for a VA to offer paralegal services to small to medium companies/law firms. They are not willing to make the commitment yet to hire someone directly not knowing if they will always have work to keep the person busy. A VA is a great answer to this.
This also depends on the region of the country you are in and what is typical.