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Outsourcing Work to a Virtual Paralegal or Legal Assistant Can Help Your Solo Law Firm Thrive

by Alexa Drago on July 13, 2015

By Guest Blogger, Melanie Fischer

As a solo attorney, having more work than you are able to handle on your own can be a nice predicament. Even though your workload is causing you to stay up until all hours of the night, it can be much more gratifying to be overworked rather than under worked. But if you’ve reached a point where you cannot get your work done in a timely fashion, and if you find you are not meeting important deadlines, it may be time to consider hiring a virtual paralegal or legal assistant.

Many solo attorneys are reluctant to hire a full-time paralegal or legal assistant. Even considering a paralegal or legal assistant for a part-time position can be cause for concern. The thought of hiring a permanent employee, whether full-time or part-time, may be fraught with feelings of uncertainty. The reason is that as a solo attorney, you may find it difficult to predict when your workload will peak and when it will be on the lighter side. As with most small businesses, a solo law firm can experience highs and lows in the number of clients each month. If your income fluctuates significantly from one month to the next, you might be hesitant to commit to hiring a permanent employee.

A Virtual Paralegal or Legal Assistant Can Help on an As-Needed Basis
Many solo attorneys opt for outsourcing work to a virtual paralegal or legal assistant when their workload is unusually high. While some virtual paralegals and legal assistants require a guarantee of a certain number of hours per week of work, many will work on a project-by-project basis.

Before you select a virtual paralegal or legal assistant, make sure to consider the following:

Evaluate where you need the most help. Determine the specific tasks that can be handled by a virtual paralegal or legal assistant, and make sure the individual you find has experience handling these responsibilities.

Always check references. If you are not going to interview the individual face-to-face, make sure he or she is able to provide excellent references. It’s incredibly important that you select someone with the right type of personality, work ethic and experience.

Ask for work and/or writing samples. There’s no sense in hiring a virtual paralegal or legal assistant who can’t complete the job.

Consider using a legal placement service. Organizations are available to help you locate a virtual paralegal or legal assistant. Such organizations typically charge a fee for their services.

Make a commitment to communicate with your virtual paralegal or legal assistant on a regular basis. No matter how busy you are, it is imperative that you make time to touch base frequently.

There is no reason for a solo attorney to work until 2 am, to spend Saturdays and Sundays working, or to constantly stress about a heavy workload when some tasks can be outsourced to a virtual paralegal or legal assistant. Using a virtual paralegal or legal assistant has many benefits, including the fact that he or she can be utilized on an as-needed basis. It’s simpler to budget for a virtual paralegal or legal assistant than it is for a permanent employee. Additionally, a virtual paralegal or legal assistant does not require a desk in your office, a computer or any office supplies.

The decision to hire a virtual paralegal or legal assistant can be a win-win situation for everyone involved. Not only will your job as a solo attorney be less stressful, but this type of set-up will also allow you to spend more time vetting new clients and growing your practice to the level you desire.

 

{ 1 comment }

steve rensch August 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Do work for Arizona lawyers?

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