What Is a Legal Virtual Assistant?
As a lawyer and business owner, you have a multitude of duties that can be hard to fit into a day’s work. If you feel you could be making better use of your time by eliminating administrative and customer service duties, you may want to hire a remote professional. Legal virtual assistants provide administrative support for lawyers remotely, usually from a home office. A wide range of tasks can be delegated to a remote assistant depending on the needs of your firm.
You may have heard of or utilized legal outsourcing services and are wondering if this is the same as hiring a paralegal remote assistant. Legal outsourcing service (LOS) professionals usually have a background in law or maybe lawyers themselves. Virtual Assistants (VAs) are not lawyers but can effectively handle many of the same administrative and customer service tasks as LOS professionals, usually for a lower rate than LOS professionals.
Virtual legal assistants can be enlisted to complete a wide variety of tasks, allowing you to free up your time and work more efficiently. Our paralegal remote assistants can help you with a number of projects including:
- Answering phones & taking messages
- Client support and communication
- Calendar management and appointment scheduling
- Gathering customer testimonies and reviews
- Obtaining client info and documentation
- Case index preparation
- Managing insurance claims
- Basic marketing and social media management
What Are the Benefits of Working With a Legal Virtual Assistant?
One of the main advantages of hiring a legal virtual assistant is the ability to outsource tasks, allowing you to use your time more efficiently. Having more time trickles down to other benefits including:
Increased productivity and revenue
By hiring a legal remote assistant, you can focus your time and energy on the tasks that only you can do, such as meeting clients, attending legal appointments, and preparing for cases. These high-priority tasks are usually ones that are directly related to generating income for your firm, versus low-priority tasks such as scheduling, social media management, accounting, and answering phone calls. These low-priority tasks can be delegated to a virtual paralegal assistant.
Expanding Your Client Base
At Virtual Latinos, we have bilingual virtual legal assistants who can help you expand your client base by offering seamless communication with clients in Spanish or Portuguese. By saving your firm time and being more efficient, you will also gain the freedom to take on more clients.
Increase your profits by hiring through Virtual Latinos where our support is very affordable compared to hiring a remote assistant from the USA, with rates starting as low as $8 hourly. By hiring a virtual legal assistant, you can also cut down on costs as compared to hiring a full-time employee who is entitled to benefits and requires office space provided by you.
Improved customer service
Hiring a remote assistant allows for increased flexibility when it comes to scheduling and availability. If you want your assistant to work later so customers are not sent to voicemail, that can be done more easily than hiring a physical employee to fill a seat in your law firm at late night hours. This flexibility allows you to especially cater to working clients who cannot call during typical business hours or international clients who are in a different time zone than your firm.
How to Get the Most Out of Working With a Legal Virtual Assistant
Getting the most out of your paralegal virtual assistant starts with choosing the right one for your business. This starts before the interview process even begins, because it is important for you to have a clear understanding of what expectations you will set for your VA before hiring them. This way you can choose candidates with experience in the areas you expect them to perform. Create a list of the tasks you plan to delegate to remote assistants before you start looking.
Some of the best legal remote assistants share these common traits:
- Attention to detail
- Work Experience
- Positive attitude
- Open to feedback
- Organization skills
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Are you wondering how you can get the most out of a legal virtual assistant who is already on your team? In addition to setting clear expectations, there are additional steps to take to get the most out of your VA, many of which are similar to your physical employees.
Get them acquainted with your business
Your legal remote assistant should be familiarized with your business and your company’s rules and regulations. In some cases, they will be answering phones and communicating with customers, so they should have at least as much knowledge as a physical employee who might greet clients walking into your office.
It is also crucial to introduce your VA to the rest of your team, whether that team is made up of additional virtual employees or those working in your physical office. Just because the VA isn’t working in the office doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the team. Ensuring that others know the VA is approachable and available to assist is important to get the most out of them. Include them as much as possible in team-building activities and find ways for them to remotely participate in any training you provide to your onsite employees.
Set duties and responsibilities
Just as you would with any employee, you need to set clear duties and expectations for your VA. Make a list of tasks you expect your VA to regularly complete, such as customer service tasks, bookkeeping, and marketing. Discuss how they should prioritize tasks and how to communicate when their tasks and assignments are finished. Effective VAs know how to schedule their time efficiently, so providing them with as much notice for assignments and responsibilities as possible is beneficial to ensure they deliver the high-quality work you expect when you expect it.
Develop communication skills and methods
Since you can’t pop across the hall and knock on the door of your VA, it is crucial to establish how and when communication will occur between you, your teammates, and the VA. Discuss how you expect them to communicate regularly (e-mail, text, phone, video calls), and how often you anticipate this communication to occur. For example, you may want them to check in daily via email and schedule a weekly video call to touch base face-to-face and follow up on any written communication that has occurred.
Train them during onboarding and beyond
It is important to train your legal virtual assistant in your current processes and software during the onboarding process, so they can work efficiently right away, without having to teach themselves your methods. Choosing the right VA means you won’t need to train them on how to do the work they were hired to do, but they may need training on the software, tools, and processes that are specific to how you run your business.
In addition to training upon being hired, it is essential to include your VA in any other pieces of training you are providing to employees throughout the year. As your VA grows and becomes an integral part of your team, consider individualized training they may benefit from to grow their skills, which could also increase productivity for you.
Develop a relationship and foster trust
During interactions, get to know your VA on a personal level in some capacity, just as you likely would your onsite employees. Learn about their family and acknowledge major life events they share with you. Pay your VAs on time and work to develop a sense of mutual trust as they show their value, and you show appreciation for their work.
Include them as your business grows
Hiring VAs allows you to grow your business, as it frees up your time. This means you may need to hire additional legal virtual assistants in the future. As your team grows, reward and promote your remote professionals as they become experts in your business processes. While you may need to train your first VA, they can potentially take on the role of onboarding and training future virtual legal assistants you add to your team, which allows you to focus on high-priority tasks.
How to Find a Legal Virtual Assistant That Is Right for You and Your Law Firm
Finding a high-quality and trustworthy virtual assistant can be an overwhelming task considering all the different platforms available for hire. Regardless of how you choose to hire, the first step will be creating a job post with all the information you’ve considered, including components like job tasks, responsibilities, availability, and software that will be used.
Generally, you will choose whether to hire on your own using social networking platforms or hire a legal remote professional through an agency. Hiring on your own allows you to vet candidates personally but be prepared to search through a huge stack of applicants to determine which ones are worth interviewing. An agency can do some legwork for you to reduce the time you spend on the hiring process from weeks or months down to just days.
Virtual Latinos is an agency that takes the guesswork and stress out of hiring a virtual legal assistant. We find qualified, experienced candidates and do the vetting for you, which saves you time versus going through a list of candidates and vetting them on your own. We can provide you with a small handful of candidates at all experience levels specifically selected for your position.
From here, you can prepare for your legal virtual assistant through standard operating practices and updated software, so by the time you’re onboarding your remote professional, the process is seamless for both of you. Establish whether you and your paralegal remote assistant will communicate via video call, phone call, text, email, or another virtual platform. How will you manage productivity and the completion of tasks? These are all freedoms you have the power to manage, all while saving money, time, and energy without compromising the quality of work.
You could be hiring a virtual assistant to join your team in as little as 7 days through Virtual Latinos and be on your way to increasing productivity at your firm.
Next Steps to Hire a Legal Virtual Assistant
As recent attendees at the 2022 AILA Expo, our talent base continues to grow to support the increased demand for virtual legal assistants. If you’re looking for full support throughout the process of hiring a legal virtual professional, trust Virtual Latinos to help.
Adding a member to your firm’s team is an important decision. Virtual Latinos is available to make the process easier and more efficient. We have helped more than 50 law firms find the perfect legal remote assistant to help them increase productivity and efficiency at their company. We support law firms worldwide in finding high-quality bilingual legal remote professionals, including those in the U.S. and Canada.