From filing affidavits, understanding what is legal marketing, to billing clients, legal professionals perform many tasks. At times, the amount of work involved in running a legal firm can be as daunting as a judge’s gavel—especially for new and small firms.
The good news is, there’s a solution: a remote legal assistant.
Remote legal assistants are administrative specialists. They help you knock out all of those burdensome chores of running a legal business so that you can focus on what matters most: representing your clients.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to effectively integrate a remote legal assistant or your virtual paralegal into your business.
Although remote legal assistant integration is relatively straightforward, you should take a few steps to make sure the relationship is strong.
Do the following to properly integrate a remote legal assistant:
1. Understand Your Needs
Firms have different needs depending on their size and type.
For example, a medium-sized firm specializing in insurance litigation is going to have different administrative needs than a small firm specializing in real estate law.
Your needs may include all (or some) of the following:
- Client intake
- Scheduling meetings
- Client communication
- Answering phones, emails, etc.
- Accounting and HR
- Processing legal documents
While most legal assistants are equipped to handle some or all of these tasks, some remote legal assistants may be better suited to a particular size and type of firm.
2. Do Your Homework
No matter if you’re outsourcing medical work, legal work, or catering, one thing is certain—a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t exist.
To integrate the right remote legal assistant into your business, it’s important to properly vet all candidates.
The ideal remote legal assistant is likely to be:
- Proficient in written and verbal communication – Given the communicative aspects of the job, remote legal assistants need to have great communication skills. They need to be able to calmly and efficiently engage clients.
- Technologically savvy – Unless your business is exceedingly traditional, your firm will probably use the latest administrative and legal technologies. Remote legal assistants need to be well-versed in all software that you use.
- Available – Anybody who works in a legal profession knows the law never takes a day off. Sometimes clients need emergency administrative support. Sometimes you need support to write that latest brief. Whatever your needs, good remote legal assistants are available 24/7/365.
Some remote legal assistants even take administrative support services to the next level, offering omnichannel support, analytics, and mass tort services.
3. Put Everything in Writing
As a legal business, you probably know the importance of contracts. That said, you may not realize just how crucial a contract is to properly integrate a remote legal assistant.
Set clear expectations for both you and your remote legal assistant by putting everything in writing.
Points to address in your contract include:
- Responsibilities – What will your remote legal assistant be doing? Will they mostly be processing and proofreading documents, intaking clients, or providing payroll services? Or, will they be doing all three? Outlining responsibilities puts everyone on the same page.
- Management structure – It’s good to address how you will work with your remote legal assistant. If you plan on holding weekly meetings with them, state this in your contract. Additionally, note your managerial style. Are you more hands-on or hands-off?
- Communication preferences – Some businesses prefer to meet legal assistants in person. Other businesses prefer to converse over email, via video conference, or on the telephone. State your communication preferences in your contract.
Once both parties agree to everything in the contract, it’s time to onboard the remote legal assistant.
You can then pour champagne and toast to the start of a beautiful relationship and enjoy the benefits of legal outsourcing centers or paralegal outsourcing services.
Like any relationship, working with a remote legal assistant is an ongoing process. To ensure a healthy relationship, consider heeding the following tips:
- Know your assistant – Vetting your remote legal assistant is different than getting to know your legal assistant. Spend time getting to know your team. That way, you’ll have a team of friendly faces committed to your business’s success.
- Communicate often – Business strategies and structures often change. Keep your assistant in the loop by communicating often.
- Educate – Although your corporate legal assistant may be an expert in the legal field, that doesn’t mean they know the ins and outs of your specific law firm. Take time to teach them the nuances of your business. That said, while it is your business, the discussion shouldn’t be one-sided. Welcome any questions they may have.
Alert: For All Your Remote Legal Assistant Needs
Running a legal business is a lot of work. While some firms have the ability to handle administrative tasks in-house, many others need the help of experts.
A remote or virtual legal assistant helps you wade through the murky waters of administrative chores so that you may enjoy the pristine blue of successful lawyering.
That said, not all remote legal assistants are created equally. For the best of the best, there’s Alert.
Alert puts the regal back into legal by providing:
- Legal intake services
- Legal contract and retainer services
- 24/7/365 availability
- Expert virtual legal assistant team
Your law firm works tirelessly to represent your clients. Let Alert work tirelessly for you.
Clio. How to Work With a Virtual Legal Assistant. https://www.clio.com/blog/virtual-legal-assistant/