By Heather Pickett
Virtual legal services are not new. In fact, Major, Lindsay & Africa’s 2018 Industry Outlook Report demonstrated that hybrid staffing, which employs both contract attorneys and freelance staff, was becoming increasingly popular as a solution to industry challenges. The use of virtual services skyrocketed when the COVID-19 pandemic began, though, as law firms had no choice but embrace them to carry on. Now lawyers in all practice areas are increasingly using virtual services for support.
Support staff are indispensable to the attorneys that they assist. Having a right hand, a second set of eyes, and a person who is educated, experienced, and skilled in law to help with casework is invaluable. It can save the attorney precious time and give them peace of mind, allowing them to take on more cases and increase revenue because they have the team to do the work.
Many law firms lost staff during and after the pandemic due to the drastic changes that came with COVID, such as layoffs, the necessity to relocate, a reduced workload or need for staff, and the loss of childcare. Once courts returned to regular schedules, attorneys were left scrambling to find a new team in an overly competitive market. With the demand growing, the need for virtual legal services was more prevalent than ever. Attorneys are no longer limited to hiring only those who live within commuting distance from their office, which overcomes some of the hiring challenges.
The change has turned out to be much more positive and productive than most imagined. Virtual services have saved firms time, money, and stress. They allow attorneys to grow their practice, outsource much of their substantive legal work to highly skilled and competent individuals, and take on more clients, allowing firms to flourish.
Attorneys are now outsourcing their support needs to specialized companies that offer a variety of virtual services.
For example, CertificateofService.com provides same-day legal noticing services, Del.Trust offers remote and virtual legal recruiting and staffing services, and virtual paralegal companies, including Propel Paralegal Services, Virtual Premier Services, Best Virtual Paralegals, and StarrParalegals, furnish virtual paralegal, legal assistant, and legal administrative support to attorneys throughout the United States.
The post-COVID legal landscape has shown us that we work better when working together. Outsourcing your work to those who specialize in the applicable areas is a smart and efficient way to work. We can all do what we do best and let our virtual team do what they do best, collaborating to create an optimal law office environment.
Heather Pickett is the founder and CEO of Propel Paralegal Services. Propel provides virtual paralegal and legal assistant services to attorneys across the United States.