One of the biggest issues facing lawyers today is the accrual of billable hours. During the early days of 2020, lawyers were forced to work remotely and reconfigure their entire practice. This led to a decline in billable hours across the board, with legal practitioners struggling to make ends meet. One study suggests that most law firms were only able to net an average of 2.5 billable hours each day.

To make a profit as a lawyer, you must net as much billable time as possible. Particularly for solo or private practice lawyers, this task may be insurmountable with the tools at hand. The best way to overcome this problem is through delegating tasks to support staff. But in a world that has largely moved towards home offices, finding paralegals and secretaries isn’t as easy as it once was.

The cost of hiring staff has also risen. In a labor market where even the biggest corporations are struggling to procure talent, it takes more money and time to interview and train employees. According to the U.C. Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, recruiting costs for a new employee can range from $2,000 to $7000, and the cost of a bad hiring decision can cost a minimum of 30% of that employee’s salary.

For lawyers working remotely that don’t have the resources to recruit new hires, a second option exists: hiring virtual legal assistants through an alternative legal services provider (ALSP). How do I find a virtual legal assistant, and what can these services provide my law firm? Read on, as we explore how ALSPs are revolutionizing the legal practice.

What is a Virtual Legal Assistant?

A virtual legal assistant offers a vital solution to the problems faced by lawyers today. Rather than working alongside you in an office, you can delegate various tasks to a decentralized team of virtual legal assistants that work with the same efficiency as in-house staff. 

Many virtual legal assistants fall into two categories: virtual paralegals, and virtual secretaries.

  • A virtual paralegal can perform the brunt of your non-billable work. Aside from routine law firm tasks, virtual paralegals can handle billing clients, document management, client communication, and more.
  • Virtual legal secretaries can handle your inbound calls and process leads that are suitable for your business. 

Hiring a virtual legal assistant through an alternative legal services provider means you can avoid the costly process of interviewing, vetting, and training your own team. They aren’t under your payroll, meaning you don’t have to pay for their benefits. Virtual legal assistants can be utilized as-needed, meaning they can hit the ground running to help provide greater time efficiencies in your practice as well as scale with your workload.

How to Find a Virtual Legal Assistant

Finding a virtual legal assistant on your own can be just as taxing as hiring an employee in-person. You’ll have to vet their work ethic, communication, project management skills, and work history. Once you’ve selected a candidate, you’ll have to spend time better spent on billable hours training them in on your process.

Alternative legal service providers like Amata Law Office Suites do all of the hard work on your behalf, so you can start seeing immediate results. Amata’s virtual legal assistant services are designed around the most pressing needs lawyers face. We charge our services by the minute, rather than by the hour, meaning you can rest assured that you are getting precisely the value you are paying for. For small practices, this can be an immense boon – you only have to pay when they are working.

Are you ready to start delegating and net more billable hours? Contact us today for more information about our services.

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