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This article has been written by Sharad Nayak, pursuing a Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation, and Dispute Resolution from LawSikho.

Introduction

Imagine a lawyer who charges $100 per hour. Should he spend time doing things he can delegate to someone who would do the same competently and will charge only $10 per hour? Definitely, the answer is No. The principle remains the same even if he earns $40 or $50 per hour. Since lawyers have a very busy schedule. They have a great range of tasks to do in their day-to-day life which they can’t manage only by themselves and if they still try to do so, they will end up doing nothing profitably. Their lives are full of stress as they need to deal with different types of clients. Stress impacts a lot on their professional as well as personal life. Therefore in such a situation, delegating their tasks can be beneficial for them. Also due to rampant coronavirus disease and lockdown, people are losing their jobs and facing difficulties to earn their living. As a solution, almost all things have started taking place online. Work from home has become the preferable option for everyone. Technology is helping a lot to survive in such a hard time. Hence, Virtual Assistants can be the perfect solution if you are thinking of delegating your tasks.

What is a virtual assistant?

Let’s understand here deeply what the word virtual assistant means and what it does. A virtual assistant can be defined as a person who provides his assistance virtually to anyone by using the internet. Virtual assistants are not present with us in person but can provide their services anytime and anywhere. We can communicate with them anytime by voice calling, video conferencing, or messaging apps. They can do those tasks easily that we are not able to do or don’t want to do. They can help us in increasing the efficiency of our work. They are skilled and qualified in their work and provide advanced quality services.

They have stepped into almost everything and do all those tasks that can be done via online mode. Administrative services, personal services, marketing services and financial management are some types of services provided by them. Administrative Services include scheduling meetings and appointments, data entry, answering phone calls, email management, making travel arrangements, calendar management, etc. 

They can do our personal tasks like making travel arrangements for weekends and vacations, maintaining personal to-do lists, online shopping, etc. They can perform marketing-related tasks like content writing, blog writing, digital marketing, managing social media accounts, website management, etc. They can help in financial management by doing tasks like bookkeeping, maintaining budgets and balance sheets, keeping records of purchases and expenses, etc. They can also be very helpful in doing customer service, receptionist duties, research works, event management, etc. As they work from their home so they can provide their services without any difficulty. 

They have everything of their own like their own workspace, personal computer, hardware and software,  internet connection, etc. so we don’t need to provide them any facility as we do for our office employees. We just need to tell them in brief, the work that we want them to do. Also, by using various technological tools, we can keep a check on the tasks performed by them and can get a record of the tasks getting finished with accurate timeline details. So we can focus on our work without worrying about them. We can pay virtual assistants on an hourly or project basis.

There are different types of virtual assistants available all over the world with different types of skills and specializations. We can hire virtual assistants from anywhere in the world. So we always have access to the best services available. There are many companies providing trained and experienced virtual assistants. So you can also have one of your choices.

Virtual assistants and lawyers

Nowadays everything has been made digitalized. Everything can be controlled and managed using the internet in some or another way. Since all the things have started taking place online, Virtual assistants become necessary if we talk about delegating our tasks. Lawyers also have a long list of tasks that can be delegated easily to a virtual assistant. Some common tasks performed by a lawyer are legal research, attending courts, doing case studies, drafting documents, collecting required information, booking appointments, interacting with clients, etc. But they can’t do all these by themselves. This brings inefficiency in the performance of a lawyer. Because all these tasks require a sharp focus and also are time-consuming. 

So some of their tasks can be delegated to virtual assistants. Virtual assistants can help a lawyer by doing tasks like legal research, booking appointments with clients, client follow-ups, drafting documents, managing clients, managing databases, preparing case summaries, legal data entry, bookkeeping, contract review, social media management, etc. There are different types of virtual assistants available for different types of lawyers. Like for a corporate lawyer, there would be a different virtual assistant specialized and experienced in corporate law, similarly, for a criminal lawyer it would be specialized and experienced in criminal law, and so on. So virtual assistants can act as a good tool for the working of the legal industry also.

Benefits of hiring virtual assistants for lawyers 

Lawyers can have several benefits of hiring a virtual assistant. Doors of lots of beneficial opportunities open for a lawyer after connecting with a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can work fast, finishing projects before deadline, reducing several costs, providing quality services without any error, enhancing productivity and efficiency, and there are many more other benefits. For example, many lawyers are very well versed in their legal field but they don’t know how to use a computer or other technological devices, so virtual assistants can be of great help to them. For many lawyers, competition is very high, but with the help of virtual assistants, they can beat the competition. If you are a new lawyer and want to start your own practice then an experienced virtual assistant can help you better in this case. So let’s see how all this is possible.

  • Mostly, lawyers have a very busy schedule as they have different types of jobs to do. Virtual assistants can help them in time management by reducing their workload. It consumes a lot of time for lawyers to search for the required documents, scheduling meetings and appointments, and many more similar types of tasks due to which they can’t focus on the main tasks that are actually making money for them. All such tasks can be managed very well by a virtual assistant. 
  • Virtual assistants can also finish the work fastly in comparison to lawyers because lawyers work manually but virtual assistants use computers that are equipped with the latest and advanced technologies.
  • Suppose if a lawyer had to delegate his tasks then what would he choose out of advising the clients and legal research? Definitely advising the clients because it’s the main work of a lawyer but legal research also can not be avoided because it is the basic part of his business without which he can not do his main work. Lawyers have a long list of such monotonous tasks as legal research, legal writing, proofreading, reviewing documents, making presentations, etc. 
  • Lawyers can not keep themselves busy with clerical work all the time. And lawyers often procrastinate such tasks if they do them on their own. They can’t make money by doing only these tasks. Such tasks consume a lot of time and are less profitable. If they delegate such tasks to skilled employees of their company then also they may lose their skilled employees. So in such a situation, virtual assistants come into play. 
  • Virtual assistants can do all such tasks without any hesitation and without any error and lawyers can focus more on their legal work, in a better way. They can focus on their more profitable tasks. This will help them in providing better services to their clients. They will also get a lot of free time in which they can learn something new to upgrade their skills and can have time for fun with their friends and family. They can focus on their health by doing meditation and workout in their free time and can live a peaceful and happy life.
  • Lawyers can run their business 24*7 hours by hiring virtual assistants from several different continents because different continents have different time zones. Virtual assistants can maintain our online presence through website management, blog writing, and social media management. It will attract more new clients. And all the clients can be responded to immediately due to all the time running an online business. Also, they can serve the clients of other countries.
  • Businesses are all about saving money and utilizing it wisely. If you are trying to save money by not hiring a virtual assistant then you are doing it all wrong, because a virtual assistant is a multi-talented person who is ultimately going to save a lot of money instead of becoming an additional expense. We can hire virtual assistants from anywhere in the world so we can choose one with lower charges. 
  • Virtual assistants can be a good option for lawyers with limited budgets. If you hire a virtual assistant, then you won’t have to incur those expenses which you incur for your office employees. For instance, you won’t have to pay for employee taxes, payroll, vacation pay, worker’s compensation, employee benefits, insurances, travel costs, office equipment, computers, laptops, other required hardware and software, internet bills, etc. 
  • Virtual assistants have all their own resources and also are skilled and qualified whereas you have to provide resources and facilities to the employees because they only have skills and knowledge. And it is hard to find multi-talented and all-rounder employees. So if we hire employees then we have to make arrangements for their training. However, If you hire virtual assistants you won’t have to waste time and money on training them because virtual assistants are already trained, and experienced professionals. So you are going to save a lot on training costs. 
  • Also, you will not have to spend money on the recruiting processes. In offices, it is necessary to ensure the maintenance of the resources used to sustain the business. Suppose if the computer or any other related hardware gets malfunctioned then you will have to pay charges for its repair. Similarly, there are lots of maintenance charges that only you have to bear but in the case of virtual assistants, there will be no such maintenance charges. And if you work from home then you can also save the rent and maintenance charges of the office building. So we are going to save a lot and the money saved can be used back into the business to take the business to the next level.

The quantity of work with a lawyer is not the same all the time. There may be times when there will be no work and there may be times when the workload will increase suddenly. So virtual assistants can be very useful in such situations because they work on a contract basis and can be hired immediately when we need them. And we can pay them on an hourly or project basis. This means we can pay them according to the number of hours they worked or according to the projects completed by them. So there will be no issue like keeping employees unnecessarily if we have no work for them. So hiring a virtual assistant is really affordable.

Case studies

  1. Read this case study about how a Virtual Assistant helped Tiffany Coleman’s Law firm reduce labor and administrative expenses by 66%: Bankruptcy and Debt Negotiation Law Firm Case Study.
  2. Read another case study about how a Virtual Assistant helped a Litigation Law Firm reduce labor and administrative expenses by 60%: Litigation Law Firm Case Study.

Conclusion

Now we have understood very well how a virtual assistant can boost the lawyer’s business. Virtual assistants can be a great deal for lawyers. With their help, Lawyers can scale up their business, increase their efficiency and productivity, by focusing on their core tasks, and can live a relaxed and satisfying life. A virtual assistant could be the perfect solution to all the problems of a lawyer. Also, virtual assistants have become the need of the hour due to the coronavirus pandemic, where people need to maintain distance from one another. In this time, virtual assistants have become a great boon. Hence, We can say that Virtual Assistants can really benefit a lawyer in a tremendous manner. So what are you waiting for, just go and hire one for yourself also?

References

  1. Delegating to Freelance & Virtual Legal Assistants | Lawyerist
  2. What Exactly To Outsource To A Legal Virtual Assistant – Law Technology Today
  3. 7 Ways Your Law Firm Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant (jurispage.com)
  4. Why You Need a Virtual Assistant in 2020 – SquareFish Inc.
  5. The 10 Biggest Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant – BELAY (belaysolutions.com)
  6. What a Virtual Assistant Can Do for Your Law Firm – BELAY (belaysolutions.com)
  7. MyTasker Blog | Top 16 Reasons You Should Hire Virtual Assistants Today
  8. Virtual Assistants: What They Do & How to Hire (2021 Update) (timedoctor.com)
  9. Virtual Paralegal Pros – Industry Leading Paralegal Services

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