It’s really amazed me recently how much busier my work has become as more and more legal professionals look to outsource their work. In today’s blog I’m going to share 5 legal tasks that could be outsourced to a Legal PA.
Most lawyers are used to having their own PA, it’s normal practice when you work in a law firm. However, when a lawyer decides to leave the firm and set up on their own, that PA support disappears leaving a lot of legal professionals knee deep in admin which isn’t good for productivity.
In today’s blog, I’ve listed 5 tasks which, as a legal professional, can easily be outsourced to a Legal PA.
1 | Audio typing
It’s no surprise that legal professionals are used to working on lengthy documents. I’m talking pages and pages of Agreements, Contracts, letters, Court documents, Deeds and reports.
So whether it’s a precedent document you need to amend, a document that needs clauses and schedules adding in or you’re starting a new document from scratch, being able to dictate the content for a Legal PA to type up will save you so much time.
If you’re used to dictating and you find your workload is quite heavy on the typing front, whether that’s typing up emails, attendance notes and letters etc, dictating these and getting them transcribed can save valuable chargeable time.
I’ve spent hours transcribing all manner of audio files from:
- Legal Agreements, Contracts, Deeds, letters, emails, reports and attendance notes
- Lengthy Court hearings
- Telephone calls
There are many different apps you can get on your phone now where you hit record and start dictating. All you’ll need to do is simply send the audio file to your PA and he/she will type up using his/her transcription software.
2 | Minute taking
Need someone to take notes during an important meeting? A Legal PA can sit in on your meetings and quietly observe and take notes. He/she will also help to prepare an agenda and circulate this, together with supporting papers, before the meeting.
The minutes will cover what was discussed and any action steps that need actioning by the meeting attendees.
Minute taking can take place at any type of meeting from:
- Board meetings
- Partners meetings
- Executive meetings
- Team meetings
3 | Financial admin
A Legal PA can help with many aspects of financial admin for legal professionals and law firms from:
- Creating, sending and chasing invoices
- Downloading WIP reports
- Downloading and preparing financial reports
- Help with postings to client and office account
- Help to save and organise receipts and invoices for bookkeeping
- Liaising with accountant
An understanding of how billing works in a law firm will be second nature to a Legal PA as they will already have experience. I’ve worked in the legal industry for 20 years so understand what “money on account” means and when a bill is paid into client the money is then transferred into office.
Lawyers record their time spent for a client or matter so a Legal PA will have an understanding of billable time v non billable time, retainer invoices and fixed fee invoices.
4 | Document work
From all my time working as a Legal PA, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’m asked to “tidy up” a document. The formatting is all over the place, the auto numbering and styles don’t work and the document is a mess.
Lawyers simply do not have time to make documents look pretty and let’s face it, spending an hour or two tidying up a document is such a waste of a lawyers chargeable time.
A Legal PA will be able to tidy this up much faster and know how to get the auto numbering working correctly too.
Templates and precedents
If you’re a new consultant or you’ve just set up a new law firm, have you thought about creating templates and precedents using your house style? A Legal PA can help set these up for you.
Document work might also include collating PDFs, Word docs, emails and Excel documents into an electronic bundle for Court. I have a great tool for this called HyperLaw which makes document collation so much easier. It creates the bundle with a table of contents, hyperlinks and also adds page numbers.
Another tool I use often for document work is Adobe Acrobat as I’m often asked to redact a legal document and add a date once it has been signed and executed.
5 | Diary management
Why waste time and energy arranging calls and meetings when you can simply share your calendar with a Legal PA and let her do all the organising for you?
I manage a few diaries and it really does take the hassle away from the lawyer. I’m cc’d in when the conversation reaches the “let’s arrange a time and date” part. I will either liaise with the lawyer’s contact or their PA/EA to find a convenient time in their calendar.
I’ll set the call/meeting up via Zoom or Teams and ensure all parties have been invited.
That’s it, 5 tasks that you could outsource today that will help you to free up so much time for the important tasks – chargeable client work.