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For Attorneys Flying Solo Virtual Paralegals Are Indispensible

by Alisa Johnson

With the economic recession in full swing hundreds of lawyers have suddenly found themselves out of work, with even more graduating and waiting in the wings.  For many sitting around for the next job with a big firm doesn’t seem like a very feasible alternative.  Some have made the difficult choice to go it alone, and are quickly finding that virtual services are an important resource to keep costs down.

The market is daunting, especially once you’ve chosen to go it alone, but now that you are committed to your own ‘micro-firm,’ it’s time to start finding employees.  But do you have the capital to start from scratch with a huge office and full time employees who need numerous requirements to keep work going?  Probably not.

Even if you do, one of the main benefits to having virtual employees is that they can keep your overhead overwhelmingly low.  Independently contracted and independently operating, virtual paralegals can help lawyers keep costs down while keeping production up.  Consider these benefits to lowering overhead.

  • Training employees is now a thing of the past, because with so much fierce competition in the virtual market place, lawyers who know what they want can pick and choose the perfect addition, with a skill set that is up to par with expectations.
  • Office space can be kept to a minimum, since these employees operate in the virtual world.  Think of how much money could be saved if there was no need to rent extra office space for employee workspace.  No more renting furniture like desks and chairs and no more kitchens or break rooms.  And you won’t have to hire that cleaning service to keep all these areas spotless, because they won’t exist.  The law office of the future will be smartly furnished for meetings with clients and not much else, since the bulk of the work will be done outside.
  • With virtual employees, who only get paid for their support services on an ‘as needed’ basis, you can eliminate worrying about workers compensation if they were to be injured on the job.  This alone should spark excitement in any employer.
  • Personal leave, holiday leave, sick leave and maternity leave will all be a thing of the past.  On any given day, and at any time of day or night, there are literally dozens of virtual paralegals ready and willing to work hard for you to get the job done.  Of course you will want to build a solid relationship with those that you trust to get the work done in the right way, but if you’re ever put into a tight situation you know that reinforcements are only a few clicks away on the net.

Using a virtual paralegal can cut costs, for the savvy lawyer, down as much as 80% lower than the traditional office style firm, leaving more time and energy – and most importantly – money free for other interests.

This post was contributed by Alisa Johnson, who writes about best online college and universities. She welcomes your feedback at Alisa.Johnson1982 at


Tina Hilton

It's nice to see that more and more attorneys are seeing the wisdom in partnering with virtual paralegals and virtual assistants. One thing that attorneys should remember when looking for a virtual assistant is to do their research. Not all virtual assistants are created equal. It will be worth their time and effort to research and find a paralegal/assistant that fits their individual needs, looking for experience and training. By doing so, they will not only find themselves cutting costs as you mention, but they will also have the benefit of working with a true professional.


Thanks Alisa! Great article and I could not agree more. The flexible nature of virtuals is huge. If the work is there, it is assigned. If not, not overhead. Perfect!

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