Should You Consider Hiring a Virtual Legal Assistant?
A law firm is a busy place and features a wide variety of tasks that must be completed each day to ensure you are providing the best services for your clients. Hiring a legal virtual assistant can help you accomplish both with ease. By using a virtual assistant for attorneys, you free up a significant amount of your time, allowing you to focus on critical legal proceedings while your virtual assistant handles clerical work and other day-to-day operations.
Virtual Legal Assistant Services
A law firm virtual assistant can help your firm to become more efficient, scale more rapidly, and provide your clients with a better overall experience. Virtual assistant services include completing routine administrative tasks and improving customer service by managing client-facing interactions as well as and coordinating important meetings and deadlines. This could also include scheduling appointments, conducting legal research, writing contracts, and even accounting.
In short, a legal virtual assistant is essentially an extension of yourself and your in-house staff when it comes to handling whatever tasks you choose. As a result, what and how much a virtual paralegal does depend on your specific needs. Some of the legal services that most often use virtual assistants include immigration attorneys, family lawyers, workers’ compensation lawyers, and personal injury lawyers. While these are most common, they are certainly not the only types of firms that can benefit from employing a virtual paralegal.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Legal Virtual Assistant?
As the digital age continues, many firms are turning to virtual assistance options, and the industry shows no sign of stopping. When you are seeking quality paralegal or clerical work but aren’t looking to expand the staff located on-site at your firm, virtual assistant services are a perfect solution.
General benefits include:
· Reduced Cost
Cost-effectiveness is one of the most significant benefits that comes with using a legal virtual assistant. Searching for and hiring a dedicated paralegal from a hiring agency can be prohibitively expensive. In addition, a full-time employee comes with overhead like health insurance, office space, and more. With a virtual paralegal, instead of hiring a full-time in-house employee, you can delegate the work to a skilled employee with zero overhead and a schedule that precisely fits your needs.
· Proficiency in a Variety of Tasks
Administrative tasks and paralegal work can be time-consuming and may take you away from the most crucial aspects of operating your firm. Especially in the field of law, time is money. Your virtual assistant will be able to handle a wide variety of administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on more important matters. Just a few of the tasks a virtual assistant for attorneys can perform include:
- Preparing memos and agreements
- Answering and making calls
- Booking appointments
- Conducting legal research
- Supplying transcriptions or translations
- Writing discoveries and pleadings
- Sending and managing emails
- Managing social media and other marketing
· Enhanced Focus on Core Goals
When you entrust your day-to-day work to a virtual assistant, you free up more of your time to focus on the larger business goals of your firm. This can help lead to more rapid growth, as well as better service for your clients. Improved focus also helps to boost the efficiency of your current team. With many of the hourly tasks being completed by a legal virtual assistant, they can focus on what is important: your cases and your clients.
· Customized Assistance
With a law firm virtual assistant, you have complete freedom to develop your task list according to the specific needs of your firm. You can then customize your assistant’s workload, driving focus on areas where you need the most support. This option also allows you to create a flexible schedule that can be tailored to your needs. Weekdays, nights, weekends, part-time, full-time—all are possible with a regionally appropriate remote assistant that works within your time zone.
· A Virtual Assistant Service Handles the Hard Work
Finding the right virtual assistant isn’t easy on your own. However, if you choose to use a virtual assistant company like Virtual Latinos, the service will handle the time-consuming work of selecting the perfect legal virtual assistant for you. You won’t have to worry about the process of finding, vetting, interviewing, training, and evaluating candidates. You’ll be able to select from top candidates that meet the requirements of your legal field and ensure they have the training they need to help grow your firm.
Benefits of Hiring a Bilingual Legal Virtual Assistant
Many companies are just beginning to realize the true benefit of hiring bilingual employees. In the U.S, Spanish is one of the most frequently spoken languages. Clients want to feel heard, especially when they are searching for legal representation. A bilingual virtual assistant can ensure potential clients can communicate in their native language, enabling them to feel appreciated and cared for.
Other benefits of a bilingual legal virtual assistant include:
· Tapping Into a New Customer Base
By hiring a bilingual virtual assistant, you are opening your firm to greater business opportunities. Your services become available to a wider range of people who speak another language. As the demand for bilingual employees continues to grow, you’ll only benefit from taking advantage of these opportunities early.
· Improved Verbal Communication
Being fluent in two languages is no easy task. When dealing with legal issues, spoken accuracy and proper understanding are key. The ability to communicate accurately with potential clients or colleagues helps your firm avoid mistakes and potential misunderstandings. Having bilingual legal virtual assistants provides peace of mind for both you and your clients when you must conduct virtual or phone-based meetings.
· Improved Digital Communication
In this day and age, much of your communication is electronic—however, while translation engines are available, the translation supplied often seems unnatural. By hiring a bilingual virtual paralegal, you’ll reach a greater audience with accurate emails, statements, and legal documents. This is especially important for firms dealing with international law, immigration law, and other areas where there is a strong likelihood of multiple different languages.
· Better SEO
Internet search engines are the top tool used when an individual must find and select a law firm. As a result, you want your website to be approachable and useful for as many users as possible, including Spanish-speaking potential clients. A bilingual virtual assistant can help ensure that your website is as approachable in Spanish as it is in English. This makes your website more effective, which will naturally boost your site’s rankings and increase visitor traffic.
· Further Cost Savings
While hiring a virtual assistant will naturally help save you the cost of a full-time employee, a bilingual assistant will save you even more by preventing the need to hire two different virtual assistants to complete a task in English and then again in Spanish. Having someone available to supply customer service, email follow-ups, billing, and more in both languages without added expense is a great benefit.
What to Look for in a Virtual Assistant
There are several factors to consider when looking for a virtual assistant. Much of what you are looking for is likely specific to your firm. In general, however, find a legal virtual assistant who possesses some of these key qualities:
· Contributes to Growth
The whole point of hiring a virtual assistant is so that they can free up your time to focus on critical, case-centered concerns. In turn, this should allow you more time to grow your business. However, meeting those goals requires a virtual assistant with the right skill set for your firm. Search for a virtual assistant who is flexible, takes time to understand your specific needs, and acts quickly to contribute to the health and growth of your firm.
· Excellent Communicator
It is one thing to be able to approach someone in person to ask a question; it is quite another to rely solely on remote communication to maintain standards. Poor communication can result in delays, generate extra costs, and even hurt relationships with clients. It is important to be able to trust your VA will stay in communication with you, your team, and your clients, especially if there are any risks of delays or misunderstandings. Hire a virtual legal assistant who is self-motivated and can easily navigate your chosen communication methods, whether email, FaceTime meetings, or project management software.
You should feel confident that your legal virtual assistant can produce high-quality work. This employee should exhibit a high level of responsibility and an ability to perform all the tasks assigned to them successfully. To determine this, you might look for an excellent rating or even testimonials from former clients—or utilize a virtual assistant agency to help you find reliable individuals.
Since a virtual assistant is there to help benefit your firm, you’ll want to hire an individual who is truly looking to help benefit your business. A good virtual assistant should be able to carry out each of the tasks at hand, find solutions to any issues, and be an expert in their craft. In short, you want someone who endeavors to do more than just get through their task list and stop for the day—and you can trust a professional virtual assistant company to select resourceful workers for you.
Most law firms need a paralegal or virtual assistant who can handle a variety of tasks at once, often under pressure. An ideal virtual assistant is thus someone who can stay organized and keep moving in the face of a stressful situation. They should possess the ability to prioritize tasks while providing excellent customer service. Since tasks will be completed remotely, self-motivation and task setting are also key.
In addition to these qualities, there are some common tasks that any law firm virtual assistant should be able to complete with ease. Some of these include:
· Client Communication
This involves answering the phone as well as taking messages. Your VA should be able to request necessary information, transfer calls, or take a detailed message. This involves handling both inbound calls and making outbound calls that include client follow-ups. The VA should be capable of getting all questions answered as well as ensuring that any documentation needed is secured.
· General Clerical Work
These tasks include filing mail (both physical and virtual), preparing office reports, improving the organization of document libraries, drafting short articles and helping with in-house memos, procedures, and other forms of office communication.
· Calendar and Staff Needs
A legal virtual assistant can schedule appointments and ensure staff can manage their calendars appropriately. They can also help to notify clients of important dates. In addition to the calendar, your VA can help with staff management tasks such as training, time requests, hour logs, as well as any minor HR needs.
· Case Prep and Management
Your VA can help to organize and create any reports, statements, or affidavits needed, as well as important case documents. This also involves conducting research for cases, finding legal documents on government sites, and contacting other agencies.
Your virtual assistant can manage your marketing needs to ensure that your business remains a top choice in your area. This can include creating newsletters or emails that highlight what your firm can do, as well as enabling client testimonials on your site. Marketing can also include social media management.
When it comes to hiring a legal virtual assistant, many firms turn to companies that handle the process of vetting, interviewing, and providing potential options that meet the needs of your firm. It is important to take the time to ensure that your values align with those of the company you select to find your virtual assistant. You want to work with a company that is transparent with its hiring process, requirements, and what your virtual assistant can do for you. A little bit of research can go a long way when it comes to selecting a trustworthy company that has a reputation for providing quality VAs.
Common Concerns About Hiring a Virtual Legal Assistant
As with any business decision, it is normal to experience some concerns about turning to a virtual legal assistant. Frequently, many of these concerns are tied to hiring a virtual assistant located outside of the US—law firms demand English and Spanish proficiency and are often concerned that the working hours of an offshore virtual assistant will not align with their needs. Additionally, when it comes to legal work, you must ensure that whoever you hire has a deep understanding of the US legal system. This is where selecting a reliable company comes in.
Virtual Latinos is dedicated to mitigating these concerns. We pre-screen all candidates and interview less than 7.5% of all applicants. After intensive screening, testing, and interviewing, only the top 2% of candidates are approved to become virtual assistants. Virtual Latinos also has dedicated customer success agents for VAs and clients to prevent any issues. Our virtual assistants are fully proficient in both English and Spanish, and our locale in Latin American countries ensures your legal virtual assistant works in the same time zones as your North American staff.
Tips for Hiring a Virtual Legal Assistant
· Do Your Research
When hiring any employee, it is beneficial to conduct some basic research to vet your prospects. Using a professional virtual assistant company like Virtual Latinos can save you a tremendous amount of time. They will handle the work of gathering potential assistants, vetting them, interviewing, and providing a list of top candidates.
· Get to Know Your Assistant
Even when someone is remotely working for your firm, it is crucial to build a strong working relationship. This means taking the time to get to know the person, building two-way trust and getting them invested in the success of your firm. This type of communication also assures the assistant has a high level of professionalism, is willing to learn, and is a good fit for your firm’s work style.
· Provide Clear Expectations and Instructions
Your virtual assistant should have a clear idea of the tasks at hand, as well as the preferred methods of communication. There should be a clear understanding of priorities and expectations. Your virtual assistant should not feel as though they must guess your needs.
Virtual Latinos is dedicated to supplying only the best bilingual virtual assistants for US law firms. We will consult with you to assess your needs, handle the vetting and interview process, and provide you with 3-4 candidates we believe best fit your needs. In addition to being bilingual professionals proficient in both English and Spanish, many of our VAs have a strong legal background as an attorney or law student in their home country. While others may need some basic training regarding the specific practices you expect at your firm, you can tailor this training to provide a custom fit to your needs.
Invest in a Legal Virtual Assistant Today
At Virtual Latinos, we take pride in our process and our ability to supply top-quality bilingual virtual assistants who bring value to your firm. In the many ways mentioned, the right legal virtual assistant can save you time, money, and help you grow your firm. If you are looking for a customizable experience that will provide you with a professional legal virtual assistant, Contact Virtual Latinos today.