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An Inside Look at what Virtual Paralegals & Legal Assistants Do

Jul 02, 2015

An Inside Look at what Virtual ParalegalsA virtual legal assistant completes an assignment from her home office

As digital technology becomes more sophisticated and widely used, many administrative legal tasks can be performed virtually – from home, on the go, and wherever there’s a reliable internet connection.

This means that small firms, solo attorneys and even corporate legal departments may choose to outsource administrative and research work during busy times to qualified paralegals and legal assistants who work remotely.

By nature, paralegals and legal assistants are independent problem solvers who enjoy a challenge and can work with little supervision. By working virtually, they are able to take on several jobs from multiple employers at the same time, diversifying their workload and controlling their own schedule.

If you’re an organized self-starter who has strong multitasking skills, then a career as a virtual paralegal or legal assistant could be your perfect fit!

Read on to take a closer look at what virtual paralegals and legal assistants do, and what makes this such a rewarding career choice.

What Types of Duties do Virtual Paralegals & Legal Assistants Perform?

Paralegal schools cover the same curriculum for remote workers as they do for in-office legal professionals. Students are prepared with the skills and knowledge they will need to help attorneys:

  • prepare documents
  • perform legal research
  • draft deposition summaries
  • offer transcription services

However, since virtual paralegals and legal assistants don’t work on-site at the office, they typically aren’t asked to interview clients and witnesses.

Communicating with Law Offices

Virtual paralegals and legal assistants work on a contract basis. Terms and assignments are usually set through electronic communication, such as email or video conferencing. Because of this, it is essential for these legal professionals to feel comfortable utilizing the latest technology.

In some cases, virtual paralegals and legal assistants set up task and deadline calendars for assignments using cloud-based software. These types of software programs can be accessed by several parties, which gives lawyers the ability to stay in the loop, oversee projects, and assign new tasks when necessary.

The Advantages of Working Virtually for Paralegals & Legal Assistants

If you’re considering enrolling in paralegal or legal assistant training, working virtually has several advantages for both you and the law offices who will contract your services.

  • When they hire virtual employees, law offices save big on things like extra office space and other expenses, and these savings typically result in a higher wage-per-hour for virtual legal assistants and paralegals. You’ll likely make more than in-house staff.
  • Working from home allows for a flexible schedule, which is ideal when you have children and want control over how much you work each week
  • There’s a lot of contract work for law offices out there, so you can get started immediately after completing your legal assistant or paralegal courses
  • You get to set your own rates, which means you can charge more as you gain experience and a reputation for excellent work. You can also charge rush fees and extra for overtime!
  • You can build ongoing relationships for return business and market your services to new clients, creating opportunities for different kinds of assignments so you’ll never be bored

If you have strong time management skills and can be trusted to meet deadlines, becoming a virtual paralegal or legal assistant could be the perfect way to balance your career with your family and personal life.

 If you’d like to find out more about Herzing’s Legal Studies programs, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us for more information, or to make an appointment with an expert advisor.

Categories: Legal Studies
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