What is a Virtual Paralegal?
A virtual paralegal is a highly skilled legal professional that performs the same tasks as an in-house paralegal on a remote and as-needed basis. Peachtree paralegals and legal administrative support staff are held to the same ethical and professional standards as in-house staff and produce high-quality work product at a fraction of the cost.
Despite not being physically located inside your office, we are equipped to seamlessly assist with all aspects of your practice via telephone, fax, email, Skype, Zoom, etc. using our own equipment and software. All of the firms we work with are pleasantly surprised with the ease and efficiency of working with a legal support professional based at an offsite location
Why Use a Virtual Paralegal?
Oftentimes, especially in today’s economy, solo practitioners and law firms of all sizes find themselves facing unpredictable workflows. There is either an overwhelming amount of work with countless deadlines or a sluggish, sporadic workload. In either scenario, a virtual paralegal is the ideal solution. Here’s why:
Not enough work to justify having a full-time staff: paying for full-time staff when you don’t have a steady flow of incoming work will harm your bottom line. Our team is available as needed, whether that’s 10 hours a week or 2 hours a month. We do not require pre-booking of our services, nor do we have a minimum amount of hours per week or month.
Too much work for existing staff to handle: there are times when firms have a tremendous amount of work that their existing staff needs a hand with. We assist many firms in this situation and refer to it as “overflow” work. Our team works seamlessly with your existing staff, who are always incredibly relieved and grateful for the extra help.
What are some other benefits?
In addition to being an efficient and convenient way to get the job done, utilizing the services of a virtual paralegal can increase firm profitability while also cutting costs. Here is why:
No overhead: because a virtual paralegal is not a traditional employee, your firm has no responsibility to provide insurance, benefits, or training. Because we work remotely and use our own equipment, there is no need to provide office space or office equipment.
You only pay for the time worked on a specific project: your firm does not pay the virtual paralegal for idle time during slow periods or overtime during periods of heavy volumes of work. You only pay for the work performed by the virtual paralegal.
Billable hours are passed on to clients: as with a traditional employee, all substantive legal work performed by the virtual paralegal is billable to your client at your agreed-upon rate, thereby generating a significant profit for your firm.
If you would like to read more about virtual legal assistance and how it can benefit your practice, please check out this informative article:
What type and size of firm is best suited to receive your services?
We perform a wide variety of services for a wide variety of firms. Typically, solo practitioners utilize us for a broader range of tasks that larger firms have the ability to delegate amongst various departments. Thus, our law office management and administrative services are more geared towards solo practitioners and smaller firms. We generally contract with larger firms for overflow paralegal work and assistance with larger projects, such as trial preparation.
How can I submit an assignment?
Attorneys have the option to create a profile under our secure login, where they can submit assignment requests to our virtual inbox, track progress on assignments in progress, view billing history and make payments. Alternatively, assignments can be requested and transmitted by email, fax, mail or by using a cloud-based document sharing program. We will complete the assignment per the attorney’s request and return the documents via the preferred method of transmittal by the date specified in the request.
What about confidential information?
Your satisfaction, privacy, and peace of mind are of the utmost importance. We utilize secure, encrypted services to transmit documents back and forth and do not store any sensitive information on our servers once a job has been completed unless specifically instructed to do so.
We have a strict confidentiality policy that every member of our team must adhere to, which is laid out in further detail in our Agreement for Legal Support Services.
We never contact your clients without being instructed to do so. When we are asked to contact clients, vendors, etc., on your behalf, we realize that we are representatives of your firm and understand the importance of professionalism and confidentiality. We strive to deliver exceptional results while being respectful of highly-sensitive matters under oftentimes emotionally-trying circumstances for your clients.
What are your hours of operation and what can I expect as far as turnaround time?
We are in the office Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and weekends by appointment only. We are happy to accommodate evening, weekend and rush assignments as needed. We take great pride in producing accurate, timely and professional work and are easily reachable to answer questions and provide regular status updates throughout the duration of a project. Although we are responsive to emails after hours, attorneys we work with are given a cell phone number to reach us after hours or on weekends in the event of a rush request or emergency.
Generally, assignments are completed within 24 hours of submission, but more complex tasks, such as discovery responses and drafting of more detailed documents may take a bit longer. We ask that when submitting an assignment, attorneys specify the desired date of completion, even if the assignment is not a rush request or facing a deadline.