Being an attorney is probably one of the most stressful and difficult jobs that you can find. It’s important that you find a solution to help you grow your law firm. But how do you start? Hiring someone new is hard enough and finding good workers is even more difficult. In this new article ProtopVA Agency has the answer: hiring a virtual legal assistant.
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What is a Virtual Legal Assistant or Legal Virtual Assistant?
A virtual legal assistant (VLA) or legal virtual assistant is a professional who provides administrative or legal support to lawyers and law firms. VLAs are independent contractors and work remotely, typically from their own homes, and use technology to communicate with their clients and colleagues.
Virtual legal assistants can work from home. All they need is an internet connection and a desire to succeed.
VLAs can provide a wide range of services, including:
- Administrative tasks: This could include tasks such as managing calendars, scheduling appointments, filing documents, phone calls and responding to emails.
- Case management: Virtual legal assistants can help with tasks such as organizing case files, tracking deadlines, and communicating with clients and opposing counsel.
- Legal research: Virtual legal assistants can research legal topics, draft legal documents, and prepare presentations.
- Document preparation: This could include tasks such as writing contracts, preparing pleadings, and organizing exhibits.
- Client communication: Virtual legal assistants can help with tasks such as responding to client inquiries, scheduling appointments, and providing updates on cases.
- Marketing and business development: Virtual legal assistants can help with tasks such as creating and managing marketing materials, developing and executing marketing campaigns, and generating leads.
Why to hire virtual legal assistants for a law office or lawyers?
Now that you know what a virtual legal assistant is and what they can do, you must know why having a proficient legal assistant team is absolutely necessary for any law firm.
Virtual legal assistants are just as important as their physical counterparts. But what exactly is their virtual equivalent? Virtual legal assistants work exactly the same way they work in every city. Those who work from home as a virtual legal assistant are becoming increasingly common. In fact, most solo practitioners and small law firms now use a virtual legal assistant.
There are several different ways a virtual assistant can help an attorney. Some routine tasks can be outsourced, such as handling client calls through a soft phone or providing proofreading services.
If your in-house legal assistant is capable of doing the job, your virtual legal assistant can help you do the job too. It may sound too good to be true, but sometimes it really is. It’s very important to grow your business by hiring a virtual worker.
Businesses aim to provide their clients with excellent services and, at the same time, to grow. There are around 163,000 law firms in the US and it’s difficult for them to grow. It’s extremely difficult to get your business to a level of success.
The sheer volume of competitors makes it extremely difficult to grow your business. It is very difficult to grow a law firm. But, with a virtual legal assistant on board, the process becomes a little easier. Here are the five ways that a virtual assistant can help you grow your law firm.
5 Ways a Virtual Legal Assistant Can Help in Law Firms Growth
Managing your time is very important for any business. Attorneys spend around 20 hours each week doing administrative work such as preparing court documents and doing legal research. This takes a lot of time and restricts the time that attorneys spend meeting with clients.
If there isn’t enough time to take on more clients, your law firm will be unable to grow. But the presence of a virtual legal assistant means that this administrative work can be delegated to someone else. This frees up time which can be used to help attorneys grow their law firm.
Virtual legal assistants only charge you for the work that they do. If they are able to put in the four hours that they need to do during the day, you are only paying for the work that they have done. This is in sharp contrast to in-house employees who are paid for their entire shift regardless of how much work they produce.
This is even more true when you realize that the full time employee only works for just under three hours a day. Cost savings are obvious, and you can then use the money saved to purchase new technology and services. You will also be able to invest in new products and services to help you grow.
Many lawyers finish their work at 5pm but, if they finish work before that time, all legal work doesn’t end. There are really only 24 hours a day! Luckily, the legal profession is one that works around the clock; this is where virtual legal assistant services can help you.
By allowing legal assistants to start work at any time that it’s necessary, you are able to operate as though your firm is operating 24 hours a day.
Virtual assistants are always available to assist you with daily tasks, so you can always stay on top of your workload. It provides a huge boost in productivity and save time, something that no businesses should attempt to ignore.
Growth and Scalability
Growing your law firm is possible through scalability, but this process is time consuming and far from predictable. Adding permanent staff to a law firm is necessary as part of a growth plan, but only if everything else works out smoothly. If this happens, you will have to issue severance payments for existing employees and your business plan will be negatively impacted.
By having a virtual legal assistant, you are able to delegate more tasks to them. This gives you more control over the things that you plan to do in the future. You are granted the chance to think more carefully about hiring employees; you also know that there will be fewer difficult transition times.
Budget constraints are a major constraint when it comes to growing a business. And the costs of hiring and training staff can play a major part in the size of your business. First and foremost, you are paying them a good salary. But it’s not just the wages that you need to pay; there are other important costs that you need to consider as well. Taxes, medical insurance, sick pay and other factors affect how much your staff make.
A in house employee may cost your company from 1.25 to 1.4 times his annual salary. If you use a virtual legal assistant, there is no need to spend time calculating the benefits of working with one. For example, there will be more money available to invest in future expansion plans.
Growth is crucial right now, in order for your business is able to safeguard itself. By continuing to grow, you will have a certain level of security which will help you to weather the storms that may be thrown at you. But growing small businesses is not as easy as simply working hard. It takes planning and working smart to reach your goals.
You need to make sure that everyone in your law practice is able to work hard and plan efficiently. If your legal department doesn’t have a solid plan, you will never have a solid foundation on which to start growing. Virtual legal assistants are a great way to start developing the foundations that will support your business growth.
Track Working Hours
Hiring a VLA, you have control over the workflow. You can easily know what your assistant is working on in real time. This way you can measure VLA’s work and improve productivity.
If you are worried about monitoring your virtual assistants, you can use a project management system to do it. There are plenty of options that capture the screen activity like Time Doctor, Hubstaff, Clockify and more.
Once you hire a Virtual Assistant and this feature has been installed, you can expect that your virtual employee will be able to start working, and you will have the ability to monitor them remotely.
Is a Virtual Legal Assistant the same as a Virtual Paralegal?
Virtual legal assistant (VLAs) and virtual paralegal (VPAs) are both professionals who provide administrative, technical, and legal support to attorneys and law firms. However, there are some key differences between the two roles.
- Education and Experience: Virtual legal assistants typically have a high school diploma or equivalent, while virtual paralegals typically have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. Virtual paralegals may also have some experience working in a law firm or other legal setting.
- Duties and Responsibilities: The duties and responsibilities of VLAs and VPAs overlap somewhat, but there are some key distinctions. VLAs typically perform administrative support to handle repetitive tasks.VPAs, on the other hand, typically perform more legal tasks, it means, be more involved in providing assistance to the attorney and may attend the trial with the attorney
- Supervision: Virtual legal assistants and virtual paralegals are both typically supervised by an attorney. However, virtual paralegals may have more independence in their work, as they may be qualified to perform tasks that are typically reserved for attorneys.
- Cost: Virtual legal assistants and virtual paralegals typically charge by the hour. However, virtual paralegals may charge more than VLAs, as they have more education and experience.
Which is Right for You?
The best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements. If you are looking for an administrative assistant who can help with day-to-day tasks, a VLA may be a good option. If you need someone who can provide more specialized legal support, a VPA may be a better fit.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to hire a VLA or VPA is a personal one. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best meets your needs.
How to Hire a Virtual Legal Assistant?
Hiring a virtual legal assistant (VLA) can be a great way to free up your time and focus on the more important aspects of your law practice. However, with so many qualified candidates out there, it can be tough to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect VLA for your needs:
- Define your needs. What tasks do you need help with? What are your expectations for the VLA’s work? Once you know what you’re looking for, you can start your search.
- Do your research. There are a number of online platforms where you can find qualified VLAs. Read reviews, compare rates, and interview potential candidates.
- Consider your management style. Some VLAs prefer to work independently, while others prefer more direct supervision. Be sure to find someone who is a good fit for your management style.
- Ask about previous experience. Make sure the VLA you hire has experience in the legal field. They should be familiar with legal terminology and procedures.
- Provide clear instructions. When you’re working with a VLA, it’s important to provide clear instructions. Be sure to give them deadlines and let them know how you prefer to communicate.
If you find this a time-consuming process for you, you can let a company like ProtopVA take care of them. We will help you find and select the best virtual paralegal for your form of attorneys. We invite you to learn more about our process.