Last Tuesday, I hosted a show on Blog Talk Radio with featured guest, Alexis Martin Neely, and Total Attorney’s own John Mickalovski from our bankruptcy case support team. The show, Insights on Outsourcing, was one of our best shows yet.
Alexis is a business and life coach who focuses on changing the way legal services are provided to families and small business owners. She has been a regular commentator for CNBC, Fox, and CNN, and she is the bestselling author of “Wear Clean Underwear,” a guide to legal planning for busy parents.
In 2003, she built her law firm and used virtual workers to scale down her firm’s overhead costs. Now she runs three separate businesses from her home, using virtual workers and only one on-site employee.
During the show, Alexis, John and I had a great discussion on how to utilize virtual workers and legal process outsourcing to generate revenue and save money in your law firm.
You can check out the archived show by visiting our Blog Talk Radio page, but here are a few highlights from the show:
- There is a big difference between working with employees versus independent contractors: It’s harder to manage employees and keep them happy without an HR department. Using virtual workers and outsourced services helps you minimize some of the headaches created by managing large on-site staffs because you do not have to worry about things such as employee benefits, insurance or office space.
- Almost anything that can be delegated to an employee or paralegal can be outsourced, including scheduling meetings, managing phones, performing client intake, managing cases and delivering messages after office hours.
- By hiring a virtual receptionist to answer the phones with a standard, cheerful greeting that is welcoming for prospects, you can free up time for you and your in-house staff for other important tasks, like providing customer service to your current clients or focusing on legal work.
- By utilizing legal process outsourcing, you can increase the value of your time. If your billable rate is $150 an hour, why waste time filling out form documents that can be done at a fraction of the cost? Instead, try sending some of this work to an off-site service provider and use that free time to increase productivity for your billable hours.
- Is it hard to get started with a virtual worker? Not if you take baby steps. Try hiring someone to do just one task, such as answering the phone. After that, take some time to communicate your needs and requirements up front with your outsourced service provider. In the long-run, the time and costs that you take to carefully choose a virtual worker and set up a working relationship with that service provider will be minimal compared to the amount of time and costs that you will save by using a virtual worker.
- Is outsourcing ethical for lawyers? Yes, as long as you supervise the employees you outsource, review work before filing and perform your due diligence to make sure that the virtual worker our outsourced service provider maintains the security and confidentiality of your client files. For more info, check out ABA Formal Opinion 08-451.