Google “virtual assistants” and you’ll come up with about 1,850,000 results (in .46 seconds). Google “virtual assistants and lawyers” and you’ll narrow that down by a million to 871,000 results (in .43 seconds). So it’s no conspiracy that the virtual assistant profession, and the freelance profession as a whole, is growing rapidly in our entrepreneurial world. As lawyers, finding a good virtual assistant can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars annually in interview costs, the full time salary, the benefits and the taxes because virtual assistants are independent contractors, paid according to the project.
With the prevalence of cloud based software as a service, lawyers can outsource many day to day tasks associated with running a law firm. The question is, what can you use a virtual assistant for? Virtual Assistants are easily one of the best productivity tools for a lawyer. The tasks are only limited by the lawyer’s own imagination. Below are some examples.
Lawyers comfortable with working virtually, or those willing to work at it, will find that using a virtual assistant’s services will save them money and time. Time better spent practicing law.
Lawyers who enjoy accounting are a minority. Applications like Xero and QuickBooks Online go a long way towards easing the bookkeeping side of law practice management. Also, Clio’s practice management software integrations make bookkeeping even easier. That doesn’t mean, though, that bookkeeping becomes a faster process. After all, it is still taking time away from the preferred legal work. Even with the integrations, lawyers still have to reconcile accounts, prepare and send invoices, pay bills and keep track of account receivables and payables - in some instances contact past due accounts receivables - among other things. Use a virtual assistant with bookkeeping expertise to accomplish these tasks.
Answer the Phone and Schedule Appointments.
Telephone answering services like Ruby Receptionist can answer and forward incoming calls. But who handles the call after it’s forwarded? Who schedules the appointment or has the expertise to distinguish urgency? Remove the burden of handling phone calls by having them forwarded to a virtual assistant. This allows the lawyer to focus on his or her priorities and daily schedule and handle only those calls that are most urgent.
Prepare and mail documents.
Did you draft a pleading that you now have to mail to the Clerk for filing? Do you have documents that you have to assemble and send to the client? A virtual assistant can prepare and send mail.
Dictation and Transcription.
Did you dicate the pleadings that you need to mail to the Clerk? Or, did you dictate instructions for the document package to mail to the client? Send the dictation to a virtual assistant to transcribe for your review.