Today is the day you’ve gone virtual. You finally hired a virtual paralegal. You’ve signed a service agreement, and you’ve spoken to the virtual paralegal, now what? Even though the hiring or retaining process is over, your work is not complete. Adding a virtual paralegal to your practice is a fantastic idea! Learn the top 5 things you should do after you hire a virtual paralegal to help your law practice!
Review your service agreement and/or welcome letter.
The first thing you need to do is review the service agreement or welcome letter to make sure you and your receptionist or client relation team understand and comply with the terms of service.
Complying with the terms of service can include.
- Knowing the hours of operation of the virtual paralegal company you’ve hired;
- Understanding how the virtual paralegal company prefers to receive and deliver work product for you to review, approve, and collaborate on;
- Knowing the key point of contact of the virtual paralegal’s accounting and billing departments for seamless payments of services rendered by the respective due date.
Sharing your style and back up information.
Remember all law firms are unique in the way they prefer to draft pleadings, letters, and memorandums. When you first hire a virtual paralegal it’s important you take the time to have a conversation about your style and grammar preferences.
For example, I love using the Oxford comma! The Oxford comma is optional among some lawyers and they don’t use it. This would be a style preference your virtual paralegal would need to know.
If you haven’t already, be sure to give your virtual paralegal a copy of:
- Your letterhead;
- A final judgment or other pleadings with a signature block and your bar number or bar numbers listed on the pleading;
- The documents should be in Microsoft Word or Word-Perfect depending on your virtual paralegal’s word processing provider.
It ’s helpful to provide a copy of your calendar if you’re a solo or provide the contact information for your in-house staff as an alternative or back up contact person for assisting with answering questions.
The success of your relationship with your virtual paralegal relies on maintaining open communication.
Open communication is vital to the success of your new virtual relationship. Maintaining an open honest line of communication between you and your virtual paralegal can mean all the difference. Most new law firms struggle in this area because they get caught up on the idea that virtual paralegals are a vendor.
- It’s true we are vendors, but we are still part of your team;
- You should provide us with directions, case strategies, feedback and your needs regarding each case;
- If you need something, ask;
- Avoid using jargon (at least in the begin), provide clear, concise, and direct instructions.
Taking care of these things can ensure you and your virtual paralegal hit the ground running. If you have any more questions about what to do after you hire a virtual paralegal contact us.