I want to talk about 3 very specific billable tasks you can delegate to your Virtual Paralegal that will help your practice be more efficient and more profitable.
In my last post, I shared a handy delegation matrix. The tasks I’m talking about here fall in the yellow box. They are tasks you like, tasks others can do, and tasks that can be charged at either your rate or a paralegal rate. These are tasks that reinforce those YOU must do, but which you don’t HAVE to do. They may be better handled by someone else to free your time. Examples include: Initial drafts of court filings, discovery, case law research, filing docs with the court, and correspondence with the client or opposing counsel.
Delegate Document Production Review: Assign anything related to document review, whether it’s mandatory disclosures in a family law case or document production in litigation, to a virtual paralegal. They can review the requirements and the requests, review the documents produced and compare them to the requests, note missing items, draft correspondence to opposing counsel requesting missing items, and create a draft Motion to Compel in the event they do not respond as a matter of course. That’s a huge time save for you and it’s all billable.
Delegate Initial Drafts: Assign the drafting of any initial drafts of substantive documents to your paralegal. Whether the document is a draft Motion to Compel, Discovery requests, Summary Judgement, or even correspondence to the client or opposing counsel, your paralegal can get these drafts at least 75% complete — and even up to 99% as you develop a relationship and they learn your preferences. All you need to do after that is massage your legal strategy and add any particulars under your supervisory duty.
Delegate Date Coordination: It can take a long time to coordinate dates for things like hearings, depositions, etc. Delegate it to your paralegal. Make sure you discuss all the possibilities and your paralegal understands both the scope of available time, including your strategy preference for timing, as well as who needs to be involved. Will the client make themselves available or do they need to be consulted? Is there a Guardian ad Litem who needs to be coordinated?
Clearly these are all billable, but they don’t require an attorney until the final review stage, if at all. Delegate them.
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Alison Pacuska is the president of Pacuska Professional Services, a boutique consulting firm focused on top-tier paralegal and legal assistant services with a focus on intellectual property and solo practitioners. Talk with her about your practice needs.