Two ways to jumpstart using a virtual paralegal in 2019

Jumpstart your practice in 2019 with Best Virtual

Jumpstart your practice in 2019 with Best Virtual Paralegal, LLC

By: Holly A. Sheriff, MSLS, Editor: Lawrence A. Constance, BME, AS

As we begin the New Year, many attorneys are looking for ways to reduce their overhead expenses in the coming months and have decided to add a virtual paralegal to their team.

Here are the top two tips for utilizing a virtual paralegal in any size law practice.

 

  1. SEND ALL THE INFORMATION
  • Give the virtual paralegal what he or she needs to perform the services retained.
  • A virtual paralegal only has access to what you provide, since they do not work in your physical office. When you do not provide all the documents, information, or client biographical information, the assignment or project will take longer.
  • Always remember, the more time a paralegal has to invest in locating information asking questions or requesting documents, the slower the process of completing the assignment. It also adds time and money to your project.

2.  PROVIDE PLENTY OF FEEDBACK 

  • Attorneys must be willing to give plenty of feedback. Many times when an attorney and a virtual paralegal start working together, both parties must learn how the other prefers to work. The working relationship becomes more productive and efficient the more feedback the attorney provides.
  • The most important thing to remember is neither party is physically present. The paralegal and the attorney do not have the body language cues they would usually notice and use during the ordinary course of conducting business. Many times virtual paralegals and attorneys will be communicating via email, instant messaging services, text messages, and practice management software.
  • It is more than okay to give extra information as to how you wish your legal documents and projects to be completed, at least in the very beginning. The more information you provide at the onset of the relationship, the faster your virtual paralegal will be able to anticipate your needs without you having to say a word.

Other considerations

There are, however, circumstances where a well-trained virtual paralegal will be able to anticipate the needs of their attorney regardless of the new relationship. Nevertheless, by not providing feedback in regards to your personal preference of writing styles, grammar usage, fonts, and other stylistic formats, preferences, and legal requirements for a request you may be disappointed to a degree in the final work product.

It should not be assumed that everyone has the same writing style, font preferences, spacing preferences, and stylistic preferences, when in reality each lawyer, paralegal, court, or judge has his or her own preferred style.  Court rules often dictate the minimum requirements for documents. The rest of the formatting can vary from attorney and judge.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of tips and tricks for working with a virtual paralegal. Nonetheless, readiness and communication are the top 2 ways you can either jumpstart your relationship with a virtual paralegal or kill the relationship right outside the gate.

Communication is key to working virtually

Communication or the lack thereof will influence the effectiveness of a virtual paralegal’s service and work product

Bottom line

Communication between a virtual paralegal and lawyer is essential for jumpstarting a virtual relationship. Jumpstart your practice today!  Contact us to learn more!  

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