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Home » Articles » What is a virtual legal assistant? A quick 101

What is a virtual legal assistant? A quick 101

What is a virtual legal assistant A quick 101

A virtual legal assistant (VLA) handles repetitive essential tasks of a lawyer or law office–whether administrative or personal. Efficiency and expertise are what you pay VLAs for.

There are independent VLAs one can engage with, but virtual assistant service providers already exist for faster and easier processes.

This article explains the role of a VLA, the benefits of hiring one, and how to outsource the right candidate.

What does a virtual legal assistant do?

Cloudstaff, a provider of remote staffing solutions, offers virtual legal assistants help legal practitioners maximize their time and resources in advising and representing their clients. Clerical and paralegal duties are assigned to them.

They are outsourced remotely as an online secretary to add efficiency and effectiveness to law firms with many clients.

What does a virtual legal assistant do
What does a virtual legal assistant do?

Skills needed from a virtual legal assistant

Any existing virtual assistant can be a virtual legal assistant, but some lawyers demand the following for the finest legal assistance:

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  • Technical writing is a priority skill because all VLAs represent their lawyers. They should be able to construct error-free write-ups from spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.
  • Legal terminology must be known to provide relevant and well-constructed documentation and research for the client’s needs.
  • Written and verbal communication skills are essential to communicate with clients without misunderstanding the purpose behind it.
  • The combination of ethics, time management, and a positive attitude in dealing with ethics-related tasks. These prove a VLA can focus on what matters–preparation and confidence for legal proceedings.

5 tasks you can outsource to a virtual legal assistant

All VLAs are flexible and adaptable. But here are among the primary yet vital responsibilities one must master to be a law firm’s or lawyer’s virtual legal assistant: 

Administrative tasks

These include managing the lawyer’s schedule, appointments, documents, and correspondence draft. A virtual legal assistant will remind you of important deadlines and details, especially when meeting clients. 

These responsibilities’ significant benefit is to contribute to organizing the legal team’s workflow with proper and effective communication.

Conducting researches

A lawyer needs tremendous support to take advantage of an opportunity to protect and defend his client. A virtual legal assistant’s role is to finish a thorough investigation involving relevant past cases and statutes.

These are forms of preparing briefs, legal augmentation, and legal strategies. Creation and assessment of contracts and legal papers are also needed.

Pre-trial preparations

These shall only embody the truth and the appropriate format according to the law as a virtual legal assistant moves toward procuring documents. Examples of these are affidavits and formal statements.

The preparations can only be done with proficiency in professional guidelines and legal terminologies.

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Legal transcription

There will always be proceedings, dispositions, and interviews relevant to such cases. Patience and a good sense of hearing will give way to the most accurate transcriptions.

It can take you around 6 hours for a one-hour recording. Case files and pleadings require legal transcription for basis and validity.

Inbox management and client communication

Unread emails are standard among busy lawyers, and essential correspondence must be communicated. A VLA can navigate clients to understand legal documents.

From setting to billing, having a virtual legal assistant as a lawyer’s client support is crucial to strengthening their confidence in the service.

Inbox management and client communication
Inbox management and client communication

Outsourcing the right virtual legal assistant

VLAs can play a part in achieving greater client satisfaction with their additional management and organization. But it would still be up to law firms and their lawyers to hire the most qualified to their demands.

Consider the following when hiring a virtual legal assistant:

Define your outsourcing needs and expectations

You must create a list of skills and traits your virtual legal assistant must entail to attract the appropriate applicants for your job post. Be specific with your standards to lessen the time, costs, and mistakes with choosing VLAs.

Find suitable virtual assistant service providers

Referrals and recruitment platforms are open to cater to your virtual legal assistant needs. 

Evaluate every detail of the applicants’ resumes. It is best to put value on their credentials, backgrounds, and legal-related skills.

Onboard your virtual legal assistant

Prepare to talk to them about the working hours, salary, and agreements with confidentiality. Necessitate a trial period to check if the virtual legal assistant can deliver high-quality outcomes from the work procedures you obliged.

Improve communication with the hired virtual legal assistant

A good relationship with your virtual legal assistant defines how long he or she will continue to work for you. It is possible by giving respect and trust in how your VLA helps you. For a healthy work environment, feedback and guidance matter as they hit their KPIs.

With the right VLA, a lawyer or law firm can welcome more clients and do more for them without compromising their duties. 

Hire a virtual legal assistant through Emapta to keep your legal team on course with the stakes of handling each case.

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Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

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