My client is a Legal Director and set up his company 2 years ago. He’s spent those 2 years building up his business to a point where he can no longer do everything by himself. He knew he needed some support and that a Legal PA was the answer.
My client typed Legal PA into Google and my website came up. He had a look and said I looked kind and a nice person and with my legal background it made absolute sense to get in touch.
Problems my client was facing
During our consultation call I identified the following pain points my client was facing:
- Spending too much time working in the business, rather than on it
- Had no time to himself
- Was working all weekend and late into the evenings
- Feeling stressed
- Unable to take on new work
- Unable to focus on Business Development tasks to get new clients
- Wanted to hire another lawyer but hadn’t had the time to recruit
- Was disorganised
- Wasn’t utilising his software and systems to their full potential
After a lovely chat where I explained my career history and ways that I could help my client move forward in this business, he decided to go for it and hire me as his Legal PA.
Kick off call
During our first call we went through all the tasks that my client was currently doing and that he shouldn’t be doing. We discussed what I could take over and how I could simplify and implement better processes for these tasks which include:
1 | Client Care Process
My client sends a client care letter upon a new instruction. This letter asks for the new client to sign and return, together with identification documentation.
I recommended that my client use an online service such as Docusign or Signable so that his client can simply sign the client care letter online. I also recommended using Legl so they can easily upload their ID documentation online too (I use this format for another client and it’s so efficient).
His client doesn’t need to print off documents, sign, scan back in and email (this is a hassle if they don’t have their own PA). They simply do everything online, thus saving time and making my client look efficient.
2 | Utilising Clio
My client uses Clio which is a legal case management software. He uses it to open up clients and matters, record time and raise invoices. Having used many legal case management systems throughout my career, I identified that there were other ways he could be using the system to its full potential.
I recommended he start using the “communications” section to save his client emails. Currently all correspondence is sat in his inbox. When he recruits new lawyers and they need to do some work on the matter, how will they know the latest position with no email trail?
I did some research on Clio and saw we can add the Outlook plugin so that we can instantly file emails (also compatible with gmail). Another handy tool with this plugin is that my client can start time recording on a matter (in the event that he doesn’t have Clio open), thus saving time and increasing productivity.
As above, there is also a “Documents” section where we can create folders for Client Care, Court Docs, Agreements etc. Finalised copies of such documents can be saved here.
When my client receives his signed client care letter and identification documentation I create a “Client Care” folder and upload the documents. When an Agreement or Contract has been signed and dated, the finalised copy goes into the relevant folder. This will be very helpful when the team grows and all documents are saved under each matter keeping the file tidy.
3 | Invoicing
My client raises invoices from Clio but he says this can be quite time consuming and he wants me to take over. Also, when I looked at his billing dashboard he had a lot of unpaid invoices – most of which had been paid but the payment not recorded and the others needed chasing, which again is time my client doesn’t have.
We agreed to a new invoicing process whereby my client informs me which matters he wants to bill, I raise the invoices in draft, he approves and I send out to the client on the first day of the month.
Recording invoice payments
My client emails me every time he receives a bank notification – I then go into Clio and update the payment (Clio is not linked to his bank account so isn’t automatic).
Chasing overdue invoices
We discuss overdue invoices on one of our weekly calls. I make a note of which ones to chase and do so by emailing the client.
With me doing all of the above, it saves my client time so that he can get on with client work. If my client spends 1 hour doing invoicing, that’s 1 hour of chargeable time he has lost – that can be anything from £250 – £350 p/h. He is paying me £30 p/h which is much more cost effective than him doing it himself.
3 | Utilising Microsoft 365 (setting up meetings and file storage)
My client pays a yearly subscription but is only using Outlook, Word and Excel. He was using DropBox for file storage and Zoom for client calls but wanted to utilise his Microsoft subscription and get his money’s worth.
He wanted to start using Teams for video calling and OneDrive / SharePoint for his documents but hadn’t found the time to look into it/set it up.
Setting up meetings
I have a lot of experience with diary management and use Teams with another client so we agreed that my client would cc me on any emails where a call needs scheduling between him and his clients. I would go into Teams and set this up and he also gave me access to his calendar.
Having access to my client’s calendar means I can check his availability to avoid any double booking. I also have my own email address so if at any time I need to liaise with his clients regarding meeting availability, they are none the wiser that I’m an outsourced Legal PA, they think I’m the Executive Assistant for the company.
This is not only professional, but it helps me to keep all my client emails separate as I have different inboxes for each client.
After discussing OneDrive and Sharepoint with my client he knew it made sense to move away from DropBox and have everything synced in Microsoft via his mac. He has transferred all the files over and I now have access.
Having all the documents within Microsoft means we have everything under one roof. Using Sharepoint means we can work on the same document together if needed. If I have made some updates on a document and I need my client to approve / amend, I can simply send him the link or share the document with him.
Once a document is finalised (signed and dated) it is uploaded to Clio.
Clio also syncs with OneDrive so we can easily upload directly although this is something we haven’t looked at yet (but is on the list).
How is my client feeling now?
Since taking on my new client we’ve had a weekly Teams call whereby we chat about everything I’ve completed that week, he tells me what he’s been working on and we discuss tasks for action.
After each call my client tells me that it always feels so good to get everything out of his head. He said it’s like a weight has been lifted. I told him it’s like a brain dumping session, it’s very important to get all your thoughts out of your head so that you have a clear mind ready for the next task or project.
With a Legal PA on board, my client has saved time as I’ve been doing the tasks he would have been doing. This has resulted in him being able to recruit a new lawyer and his team is now made up of 3 people.
I would say that he is already reaping the benefits of hiring a legal PA and it’s going to be amazing to watch his company grow and be a part of its success.
☎️ If you need help with your busy and expanding business then please get in contact – I’d love to hear from you.