Virtual Assistant for Your Law Practice

When it comes to outsourcing in your law practice, the first nod is generally given to the administrative assistant or legal assistant who comes to work in your office. However, given the changing landscape for lawyers and law professionals, it’s the second nod that is starting to look much more appealing – the nod to the virtual assistant.

With the growing number of solo professionals, the need for marketing, administrative, social media, web and graphic services is increasing and the process of finding assistance for your business in this area can be overwhelming. Most solo professionals feel like they have to find a service provider in each of these task areas but what they may not know is that there are virtual assistance firms out there that offer all of these services and more.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant (often called a VA) is a service provider or a group of service providers that provides administrative, Internet marketing, social media, website, graphic, legal and real estate services to businesses that want to outsource but don’t want to hire in-house staff.

Virtual assistants are business owners themselves and are responsible for their own taxes, expenses, equipment, etc. The service is provided on a business-to-business level.

Virtual assistants generally charge between $20-75 per hour (depending on skill set) and most charge on an hourly basis but some do package their services or charge a monthly, recurring retainer.

Where Can I Find a Virtual Assistant or a VA Firm?

Referrals – The best method of finding a virtual assistant or a VA firm is to ask your colleagues for a referral. If your colleagues do not use virtual assistants, there are a couple other options for you to consider.

Do a specific Google search – I recommend going to Google and typing in virtual assistant + keyword and looking through the websites of some of the results you get. The more specific you are with your keyword, the more specific the result. A keyword could be ‘Internet marketing’ or ‘social media’ or you could look for someone who works with a specific tool that you need them to use.

Put forth a call for RFPs – Many of the virtual assistant organizations have areas where you can submit RFPs to receive a response from many service providers. This process does require you to do a lot more research and sifting through results but it will provide you with a large number of them. is also another place where you can post your project to receive multiple replies.

How Can I Use a Virtual Assistant in My Law Practice?

There are many ways that you can utilize the services of a virtual assistant in your practice. Here are just a few of those ways:

  • Marketing Assistance – If you are responsible for marketing your own practice and finding clients, your virtual assistant can help you setup different marketing channels and monitor their success rates.
  • Social Media Support – As more and more businesses take to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you can have your virtual assistant manage your contacts and your communication via the social media networks. Although it is best to have messages come from your voice, you can utilize the power of these tools even when you are pressed for time.
  • Website Updates – Being a solo professional means that you may not have an on-going website management and maintenance team. A virtual assistant, with the right skill set, can help you to keep your website up-to-date and fresh with new content.
  • Blogging – You may have heard that you should be blogging but if you’re not yet, now is the perfect time! Your VA can not only write blog posts that are keyword rich (to help drive traffic to your website) but they can add appropriate images, keywords and categories to create an excellent resource center for your clients.
  • Administrative Items – From scheduling to e-mail management to time tracking to invoicing, your virtual assistant can help you with many, many administrative items. The beauty is that you can turn over all of the day-to-day management to your VA and focus on what is important – your clients!
  • Create Passive Revenue Streams – This may be something a lot of lawyers and law professionals don’t think about – passive revenue! Instead of trading your time for dollars, you could get into the business of creating and selling e-books, audio programs, etc. that help your clients with some of their common problems. Your virtual assistant can help you come up with the content, prepare it into a proper format and more!

There are literally hundreds of options available for outsourcing to a virtual assistant. One thing to keep in mind however is that every virtual assistant and virtual assistance firm will have different skill abilities and will provide different services.

How Do I Determine What to Delegate?

The best place to start is to look at your daily workload. What is taking you away from working on client work? What is taking you away from the billable time?

Make a list and prioritize them into the biggest time wasters. These top level items are the first things you should look at outsourcing to a virtual assistant.

Additional Resources

For more information on delegating, here are a few free resources for you:


  1. Great post Erin! One thing that I think is really important to point out for lawyers to consider when outsourcing is to look for a service provider that has experience working with lawyers. Especially when it comes to marketing, the ethics rules and regulations that the State Bars place on attorneys for advertising, blogging & social media, are much different than most businesses, and varies from state to state, so it’s critical that their team has experience and can ensure that the rules are being followed.

  2. Avatar Jim Spencer says:

    Late last year I started working with a VA for help with QuickBooks. She was so knowledgeable and patient that it blew me away. For a few hundred dollars I got my entire year sorted out and learned how to move forward correctly in 2010.

    On the service provider side I have been working with on a retainer basis providing marketing, blogging, SEO, WordPress and Thesis updates, analytics and security reviews of the site/blog.

    I get to perform the many small tasks that really boost the effectiveness of his online presence on an ongoing basis and he learns and sees his business grow. Well, he tells me that more than 50% of his new business comes in through the web now.

    So, seeing it from both sides, I have to say that working with a virtual assistant can be a huge benefit. I should have started earlier.

  3. Well said Erin!!

    You have aptly described and analysed Virtual Assistants and the various advantages of using their services.
    Our company Cerebra LPO India Ltd., also is in the business of providing virtual assistance to Attorneys, law firms and legal departments.
    Any one needing us may email me at or call 678 261 8818.
    Thanks and Regards,

  4. Avatar Janine Gregor says:

    Another option to finding a suitable virtual assistant is to create an RFP (request for proposal) at Virtual Assistant Forums.

    I mention this because membership on VAF is over 2500 and it is free for all VAs to join as opposed to having to pay a membership fee on some of the other RFP sites. “The only membership fee is participation.”

    Many US-based VAs do not use Elance because once clients see the $3 an hour fees the overseas operations charge; bidding for a job can become a nightmare.

    Thank you for your post.


    Janine Gregor
    Virtual Assistant

  5. Avatar Avish Sharma says:

    Great post Erin,

    Also, I would like to add here International Legal services firms’ having lawyers specialized in US legal services. Further, trained in legal softwares to prepare bankruptcy petitions, divorce filings, foreclosure complaints, etc. Attorneys can get rid of their routine work and concentrate on core practice matters. Increase in efficiency and savings.

    You can visit for better idea.

    Thank You,


  6. Avatar Susanne Scaldino says:

    Excellent post, Erin! Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the most cost effective ways for law firms (especially small firms and solos) to manage and grow their practices. One thing they definitely need to consider when hiring is the level of experience in dealing with attorneys. Law firms don’t operate exactly like other businesses and there are not only ethics but procedural requirements that need to be adhered to. And the world of social media and marketing have made these considerations even more important. Having said that, VA’s are definitely the way to go. The firm saves money on salary, overhead, benefits, etc. If the attorneys use their VA to handle marketing responsibilities such as blogging, writing articles and speeches, SEO copy for their websites, managing Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., they save billable hours that they (the attorneys) would have been spending on these enterprises. It’s a win/win. Just make sure you hire a VA with lots of experience in law and the background (preferably copywriting experience) to actually handle your marketing.

  7. Avatar Sheila Ward says:

    Great post Erin,

    Very well said. A law firm can definitely benefit from hiring a virtual assistant, especially the small or solo practitioner. Having previous experience working with lawyers is very important. You not only understand the terminology and documentation better but you also understand the importance of confidentiality. Having worked in the legal environment for over 20 years I can attest to the fact that a Virtual Assistant could definitely benefit a lawyer. Whether it is the typing of interrogatories, briefs or PowerPoint presentations the more experience in the legal industry, the better. If the VA has had experience with the different practices within a law firm, especially a large firm, this is indeed very beneficial. For example, attorneys working with the mortgage end of things may need particular forms retyped to fit what they are doing. Knowing how to properly format these forms while at the same time remaining consistent with all formatting is very important.

    The attorney will save money on salary, overhead expenses, benefits, equipment etc. Using the VA for marketing responsibilities such as blogging, website creation and maintenance, establishing the attorneys presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., will also save the attorney from having to try and do this and wasting valuable billable time.

  8. Avatar Kimberly R. Harris says:

    Enjoyed reading! Thank you!

    Kim Harris

  9. Avatar Gary D. says:

    Nice article. Thanks!

  10. Avatar Mark Arther says:

    We are
    lucky working with taskbarge, a VA company from India. They are just
    excellent in understanding our requirements. Their plans are something
    everyone get attracts to. Most economical comparing to any other professional
    Indian VA companies. Thanks taskbarge.

  11. Avatar Victoria Waje says:

    Excellent post. You certainly hit the points here. It is not that easy to pick a virtual assistant that are 100% reliable and knowledgeable. We should determine first what are the needs in the company/firm, then set a budget. Time table is always considered. You can hire either project-based VAs or for long-term employment. Sharing a blog post that gave me ideas and might be helpful to you too – What can you law firm outsource to a VA

  12. Avatar Drew M. says:

    FYI The e-book link is dead.

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