3 Common Reasons Solo Attorneys Call a Virtual Legal Assistant
Smart lawyers often learn from their peers by engaging in mentor relationships. Some take it a step further and retain professional services of a lawyer coach. From time to time in my 6-year virtual paralegal practice, I have been privileged to receive referrals from lawyer coaches. A recent referral caused me to re-examine just exactly why the referrals are made. After consulting with a number of lawyers who are prospective clients for Digital Paralegal Services, I find some common threads.
- A change in current staff support has caused them to re-examine support needs. For whatever reason, the part-time, hourly assistant who wore all hats (receptionist, legal secretary, legal assistant, paralegal) has decided to move on. Suddenly, the attorney who is fairly good at taking care of himself has to face the reality of doing E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
- They want to accomplish more without increasing expenses. Lawyers realize available time is being consumed by tasks which could be performed by someone with less skill, greatly hampering the income potential of the law practice
- These lawyers need help, but they are not sure how much. They know they don’t need someone full-time. They want to outsource repetitive tasks, but they are unsure how to gradually add this type of support to the law practice and where to start.
Lawyer coaches can bring fresh perspective when you feel stuck in the decision-making process. Solo and small firm lawyers have an awesome opportunity to create life on their terms, but that often means managing their practices without some of the resources taken for granted in larger firms. Lawyer coaches are often seasoned attorneys themselves, and they have gone the extra mile to train as coaches. They study the habits of effective lawyers. They know what works and what doesn’t. By investing in a lawyer coach, you can learn what they and other attorneys have learned the hard way. Your learning curve is shortened. You come closer to the work-life balance you long for. You move your practice to a higher level of profitability. Lawyer coaches can help you step back and think outside the box.
It is at this juncture that lawyers may find themselves challenged for the first time to consider outsourcing tasks to a virtual legal assistant or virtual paralegal. So, exactly why did your coach or mentor suggest you consider outsourcing tasks to a virtual legal assistant or virtual paralegal?
1. Technology now makes it possible for you to safely work with a virtual legal assistant or paralegal at a remote location within the good old United States of America.
2. An outsourcing relationship with a virtual legal assistant or virtual paralegal has become an accepted practice in the legal profession. The number of qualified and experienced legal service professionals offering their skills on a virtual basis is growing.
3. “As needed” help is available without the extra expenses which come with an employee: office space, computer and software, payroll taxes and reporting, office supplies, holidays, sick days, vacations, and health insurance.
4. It makes economic sense. You are spending too much of your time on tasks which do not call on your highest skills or what you enjoy doing.
5. There is a better way. If you keep doing it the way you have always done it, why do you expect a different result?
What would it be worth to you to know that you have put into place a plan for extra help on an “as needed” basis only? Virtual legal assistant or paralegal services can be just an email away.
First, email one or more virtual professionals and schedule a brief phone consultation. Discuss your support needs, technology, and fees. Confirm the arrangement — seasoned virtual professionals already have those forms in place. Do a conflict of interest check. When all systems are go, send your first test assignment. If you are happy, send more. Every completed assignment grows your trust and confidence in the new virtual relationship.
Remember, there are good reasons why your coach suggested this move!