In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven business landscape, law firms are constantly searching for ways to improve their processes and boost efficiency. Virtual paralegals have gained significant traction in recent years, offering skilled legal support to law firms on a contract basis and allowing them to scale and streamline their operations.
All over the world, virtual assistants are hired to help businesses and organizations in all industries and sectors. The beauty of virtual paralegals is that they can help law firms make money while simultaneously helping them save money. Let’s examine how a virtual paralegal can help your firm reach new levels of success.
What is a virtual paralegal?
First things first: what exactly is a virtual paralegal? A virtual paralegal is a paralegal who provides legal services through an online platform or communication system. Virtual paralegals offer their services on a per-case or hourly basis. These paralegals may get their experience from formal paralegal training/certification, learning on the job, or both.
Virtual paralegals and virtual legal assistants often work remotely or from home. While the definition can vary a bit, most agree that a virtual paralegal is a paralegal who works under an attorney’s direct supervision but outside of said attorney’s legal office.
Now let’s get to the real question: how can a virtual paralegal potentially help your firm?
They Improve Productivity
The most straightforward reason that law firms hire virtual paralegals is so the firm can be more productive. These virtual paralegals often boast skills such as conducting legal research/writing, handling legal billing duties, or even taking care of administrative tasks like transcription or setting appointments.
By hiring virtual paralegals, lawyers at firms can direct their attention and resources to more important goals and objectives like client growth or billable hours. Instead of dealing with mundane tasks, attorneys can become more productive and efficient thanks to outsourcing these duties.
The average paralegal salary in the United States is around $56,230 annually. Hiring two or possibly even three virtual paralegals for your law firm (depending on the area) is possible with one in-house paralegal's pay.
In short, virtual paralegals can significantly reduce costs at a firm. First, virtual paralegals are freelancers rather than full-time employees, which means that firms aren’t liable to pay for the following:
With a full-time employee, law firms must pay for overtime or downtime whether there’s work to be done or not. Because they can work on an “as-needed basis,” virtual paralegals can potentially improve a law firm’s cash flow.
They Have Specialized Skills
Another reason why virtual paralegals can be so valuable to law firms is that they often have specialized skills or expertise relevant to a specific law area. They may have years, or even decades, of experience within a particular legal field.
Many paralegals are versatile with a wide range of experience across different fields. However, law firms are also known to hire virtual paralegals with specialized expertise in a particular practice area.
Interested in a Virtual Paralegal?
There are some things to consider before hiring a virtual paralegal. Law firms should take the time and effort to define clear expectations for their role, establish clear communication channels, and establish processes and workflows to ensure that virtual paralegals remain productive and engaged.
If you’re interested in hiring a virtual paralegal, NextChapter offers virtual paralegal support for law firms that need help with their caseload. NextChapter also offers Spanish-speaking paralegals, which can prove incredibly valuable to law firms with a significant Spanish-speaking client base!
Whether you need help with document preparation, legal research, case management, or any other paralegal service, our team is ready to assist you. While our bankruptcy paralegals are available on a per-case basis, clients can hire our paralegals for other areas of the law on an hourly basis. Find out more about our virtual paralegal pricing here.
With NextChapter, you can trust that your legal needs will be met with professionalism, accuracy, and efficiency. Contact us today to learn more about how NextChapter's paralegal as a service can help you achieve your legal goals. Let us be your partner in legal success!