Tips for Hiring a Virtual Assistant for your Law Firm

Is your law office swamped with inbound client inquiries? Are you struggling to keep up with follow ups, client communications, documents organizing, and more? If so, it may be time to consider hiring a legal virtual assistant to help relieve the workload from your current team.

You may be asking what can a virtual assistant do for my law office? The answer is anything you want. They can schedule client calls, handle administrative tasks, track minutes, manage client calls, coordinate meetings, and handle calendar management. These tasks are just the beginning of things that you can pass of to a virtual assistant.

When is the right time to hire a legal virtual assistant?

It may be the right time to hire a legal virtual assistant if you are growing but not quite ready to hire another full time inhouse employee. Virtual assistants can save your office money since hiring a virtual legal assistant is more affordable than hiring in house staff.

Determine what virtual legal assistant services you need

Think about all the non-billable work that you are doing. If you passed this work off to a virtual assistant you could spend more time focusing on billable hours. In addition to standard administrative tasks, do you need your virtual assistant to work on marketing, social media, management, accounting, legal drafting? All of the above are possible to find as most virtual assistants are generalists and specialize in many different areas.

Set your law firm up for success with a virtual assistant

Here is an overview of what we recommend to set your team and office up for success with a law office virtual assistant.

Dedicated Training and Onboarding

In the initial training period, get to know your virtual assistant. Bring them into the team. Learning how to incorporate your virtual assistant into your team meetings and facilitating them getting to know the office will help establish a good working relationship built on trust and mutual respect.

Training and onboarding is the foundation of your virtual assistant’s success within your firm. If you are not prepared to train and provide them with clear, detailed insight into your firm, they will spend more time having to learn on their own and figure it out as they go. In order to set your firm and employee up for success, it is imperative to make sure that you dedicate time to work one on one with your employee to help them get up to speed with your processes and their new position.

Clear Communications

Determining when and where you will communicate will help make sure that tasks are completed and nothing gets lost in chat channels. Having a weekly 15 minute sync where you virtual assistant can ask questions and check in for the week will help maintain clear communications. It is also important to make sure your employee knows what are the best communication channels to get a hold of you. If they have an urgent question, who should they call and on what channel?

Set Expectations

Your employees’ success is determined off the expectations that you set. How often do you expect updates and reports on their work? How often and in what way will you provide them with feedback? Make it clear what your priorities are for your virtual assistant.

Define Process and Workflows

Every law office is different. Even if an employee has worked within a law firm previously it is most likely that your workflows and processes are different than other Spending time during onboarding to make sure that these system and workflows are clear will save time down the road.

Be consistent

Ambiguity is one of the hardest hurdles for employees and employers to overcome. Consistency aligns with have a clear organizational structure within your law firm. Since your virtual assistant is not an in-house employee, they will not have full visibility into what goes on at your law firm every day. If you normally perform legal briefings in the morning, make sure that your assistant performs these briefings in the morning. Maintaining your existing structures and keeping workflows consistent will make for a seamless integration of a virtual assistant into your law firm.

Conclusion

If you run a law office, you probably rarely feel like there is enough time to complete all the tasks on your calendar. When hiring a virtual legal assistant for your firm, be sure to vet potential candidates and companies thoroughly. Once you have found a virtual assistant, make sure you communicate clearly to set expectations from the start. With clear instructions, consistency, and the right software, virtual legal assistants can help you focus on doing more billable work. Ultimately, this helps you become a more profitable law firm. Consider using virtual legal assistant services like BBL Outsourcing where you can rely on hiring qualified, vetted, and experienced candidates for your firm.