Isn’t it crazy how much the working world is changing at the moment? The office environment has changed massively as more people are now working from home and more companies are outsourcing services to freelancers.
One industry I’m noticing a big change in is law and I’ve been getting far more enquiries recently from independent consultants, small boutique firms and larger law firms who are looking to outsource their administrative tasks.
When talking to lawyers who are thinking about outsourcing and hiring a Virtual Assistant, I get asked the same question. So, how does it work?
This blog will take you through the 6 steps to working with a legal virtual assistant.
1 | ARRANGE A ZOOM CALL
Once you’ve found a suitable looking Legal Virtual Assistant the first step is to arrange a Zoom call. There is no better way to kick off that initial chat than face to face. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask the Virtual Assistant and make sure you cover everything you want to know.
The Virtual Assistant will explain how she can help and the next steps for getting you onboarded so that you can start to work together.
2 | CONTRACT and ONBOARDING FORM
The next step is to sign a Contract (and/or Terms and Conditions). Within the contract your Virtual Assistant will set out:
- Details of the tasks you are looking to outsource
- Pricing and rates
- Payment terms
- Confidentiality and rights
- Communication between yourselves
- Office hours
- Cancellation and termination
- Security / data protection etc.
Read the contract carefully and once you’re happy, sign, date and return.
Your Virtual Assistant should also send over an onboarding form which requests relevant information to allow her to carry out the services for you.
If she’s doing diary management then the form might ask for your preferred working hours during the week, your Zoom details, any restaurant preferences, dietary requirements etc.
If she’s doing travel organisation then the form will ask for passport details, preferred train station etc.
The form should also ask for your branding guidelines, especially if she’s creating invoices and documents as you’ll need to ensure these are consistent and showing the correct house style of for the law firm.
3 | SET UP
To ensure professionalism, set your Virtual Assistant up with their own company email address. They will create an email sign off so when emailing your clients and/or suppliers it looks like they work for your company.
You’ll also need to think of all the programmes and tools you’ll need your Virtual Assistant to access and ensure you share your logins and passwords with her. I recommend using LastPass for this.
If the Virtual Assistant needs to access your firm’s CRM system and/or Xero I would also set up a separate login so they have their own details.
4 | PROVIDE TRAINING
Once your Virtual Assistant has all her login’s and is ready to start work you need to remember that she might not have used your systems before and thus you’ll need to provide some training so that she is up to speed.
We all have different ways of working and processes in place so schedule an onboarding Zoom call so that you can share screens and show your Virtual Assistant where you file all your documents, how you open new client matters etc. Whether its you doing the training or another member of your team, this is very important.
Providing this training at the outset will save so much time later on. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for her to simply get on and do the job.
5 | SCHEDULE REGULAR CATCH UPS
During the first few weeks it’s advisable to schedule regular catch ups with your Virtual Assistant to ensure she’s happy. It’s also a great time to catch up on what tasks she’s been doing and what points are outstanding. You can also chat through any upcoming projects and/or tasks that need doing.
Face to face catch ups are the perfect opportunity for her to ask any questions or to let you know if she’s unsure of something. You’ll find yourself handing over more work during these calls and it’s such a great way to grow the business relationship as you get to know each other.
There you have it, if you’ve been thinking about hiring a Virtual Assistant but you’ve been wondering how it works, I hope this blog has helped.
If you work in the legal industry either for yourself or as part of a company and you’ve been getting bogged down with lots of admin recently, please do get in touch to see how I can help.