This article provides a useful guide to the nature of work, basic qualifications, and job opportunities to be a virtual legal assistant. Read ahead to find out more.
It often happens that lawyers do not get a full-time aide, who can help them with administrative works pertaining to legal matters. In such circumstances, they employ a part-timer or take necessary help from a person who will provide online legal support. There are many companies that provide job openings for virtual legal assistants. Their job is similar to full-time legal assistants and the difference lies only in the fact that they carry out their work online. A lawyer can save a good amount of time and effort by utilizing their services.
Nature of Work
Virtual legal assistants are also known as virtual paralegals, who do not offer any legal solutions. They are capable of performing a wide range of activities concerned with office administration. Some important duties are broadly listed under the following points.
- Draft letters of correspondence for clients and concerned people.
- Prepare legal documents such as contracts, affidavits, and mortgages
- Carry out exhaustive legal research, pertaining to ongoing suits and cases.
- Prepare monthly billings.
- Create presentations and reports.
- Other areas include trial preparation, writing stipulations and briefs.
The entire work is communicated in the form of faxes, e-mails and through collaboration tools. Paralegals working on full-time basis are also allowed to give preliminary advice to clients and conduct interviews with witnesses. This is a major difference between the work profile of an in-house and a virtual paralegal.
The educational qualifications required are not fixed. One who holds an Associate degree in paralegal sciences, could become a virtual legal assistant. However, possessing a Bachelor’s degree is the basic eligibility criterion. You can also join the training programs conducted by law schools, colleges, and universities for obtaining some sort of accreditation in this field. If you are a basic graduate, then you must have a good command of the English language, should be well accustomed with working on the Internet and must thoroughly know MS office, especially Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Since preparing presentations is one of the key responsibilities, knowledge of these tools is mandatory. Good typing speed is also a must-have.
If you browse the Internet, you will come across a large number of companies and web sites that recruit virtual paralegals. You can contact the service providers and verify their terms and conditions, before enrolling yourself. It is actually a freelance job and you are hired on contract basis. People working with service providers are assigned with responsibilities, depending on the need of lawyers. Good companies provide preliminary training to freshers to improve their efficiency. The salary depends on the financial condition of service providers, geography or location, the mode of work, and years of experience. If you are a freelancer, then you will be paid according to the number of clients you have worked with or on a daily basis.
Virtual paralegals offer immense respite to lawyers who are busy with legal proceedings. If you are interested in handling secretarial jobs related to law, then this job would be a great career option for you.