How to hire a Virtual Legal Assistant that works?
Outsourcing of legal secretarial services is widely used by multinational law firms, globally. In our previous blog post, Trends: Outsourcing legal secretarial services is here to stay, we shared the advantages of outsourcing legal secretarial services.
Advances in technology have made is possible for a flexible and a virtual workforce to thrive and perform. Even more so in the administrative or secretarial roles, virtual staff allows legal companies a freedom to get things done without paying for unnecessary overheads. In this post, I am sharing a handy checklist that law firms can consider before hiring a professional Virtual Legal Assistant (VLA).
The Right Match
Among the many benefits of outsourcing, the point that tops the list, is that outsourcing helps law firms to acquire more time for their staff that is directly proportional to more billable hours. The whole purpose for law firms to consider hiring a VLA would be vanquished, if the staff need to spend a considerable amount of time re-examining the work done by the VLA. Considering this, it is absolutely essential to look for a VLA from an established business support company. This means that a company that hires experienced Legal Assistants and trains them consistently to stay current in their skills set. Working with a business support company versus a freelancing VLA, ensures that there will be a minimum guarantee for the quality of the work done and also that the client is provided uninterrupted service all throughout the contract period.
Law firms deal with highly confidential information and therefore before signing up a VLA, a thorough Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a must. Signing a NDA upon entering a new business relationship is a dependable way to authenticate the principles of confidentiality. A VLA business support company will sign an NDA which forbids them from sharing confidential information. The NDA is signed by the VLA Company and also with each individual VLAs who will be assigned to the law firm.
Lean Standardized Processes
For a lean enterprise, the growth and success hinges largely on the lean processes for different tasks and functions. It is therefore, vital for the VLA company to have all the processes standardized and efficiently managed.
It is also important, that, the VLA outsourcing company is clear about their standardized process with their client. If the outsourced secretarial/admin tasks needs to be customized, the VLA company, at the outset itself, must agree to incorporate new processes or revise the processes in hand to fulfil the firm's prerequisites. . A strong Service Level Agreement (SLA) should be built.
According to a Deloitte Report – The resurgence of corporate legal process outsourcing (LPO) – LPO providers have been able to leverage the knowledge acquired in the business process and information technology outsourcing markets to create metrics that assess the quality of the work being provided. The increasing use of such performance metrics facilitates the development of SLAs that hold an LPO to a particular standard of quality. The use of metrics and SLAs can also facilitate a more formal governance relationship between an LPO and its client than may have existed in the past.
Reliable VLA companies can offer a satisfaction guarantee and a free trial for 30 days. In the event that the partnership does not work out, it is easier to part ways during the trial period. Only VLA companies who have the expertise and an excellent team can confidently provide this option.
In conclusion, virtual assisting is all about partnering seamlessly with the company in order to represent them and their business virtually. VLAs are virtual co-workers, who collaborate with existing teams and are labelled as white-collar workers, representing the firm. Partnering with a VLA from a business support company is more secure and reliable instead of working with independent VLAs.