Halo

Specializing in Virtual Legal Assistance

Working with a Virtual Assistant May 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 8:47 pm
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Tina of Clerical Advantage has a great post up on Home Office Virtual Assistant about the mechanics of working with a VA.

Tina’s post really got me thinking – it’s easy to work with a VA, especially once you get over the hurdle of realizing how much can be done off-site from your business location. At first it seems overwhelming to realize how many choices there are – choose a VA, choose a method of communication that works well for you, maybe you need to learn how to use a shared workspace. But once you take those first few steps, think how much easier running your business will be! It’s great to share some of that burden of running a small business and realize we really don’t have to do everything for ourselves isn’t it?

It’s such an exciting and challenging prospect, for me as a virtual assistant and for businesses who can get exactly the help they need.

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Lawyers and Technological Change May 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 9:19 pm
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It can be hard for any of us to embrace new technology, but a recent article from law.com addresses how lawyers in particular have trouble embracing advances that would improve their work experience (and probably their bottom line too!)

It certainly has been my experience that lawyers can be cautious about embracing technology. I know of many sole practitioners who were hesitant to even get internet in their offices – they were more concerned about abuse by employees than the many benefits online access could offer.

Personally, my favorite technological advances are the ones that reduce my dependence on paper! I have found in my years of legal assistance work that the legal system uses entirely too much paper. I want to get away from this when possible and try to go paperLESS (not paper-free)!

I am looking to upgrade my scanner soon to a high quality one so I can scan everything into my computer. I’m going to use an electronic fax system so that I can receive faxes by email and only print when absolutely necessary. I’ll also have an automatic off-site backup system in place soon so that I don’t have to worry about a computer crash causing me to lose everything. I keep my computer drives pretty “clean” and organized, so I know that using my computer for organizing all my documentation is going to be a great system for me!

I’m curious – what is your favorite technological advance? Leave me a comment to discuss!

 

Legal Secretarial Layoffs May 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 9:35 pm
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I just read this article about a large lawfirm in the US that laid off 70 legal support staff – wow! It’s pretty scary for people during these times of economic slowdown, layoffs and paycuts.

This is an excellent time though, I think, to take a chance and change your approach to support staff. Freelancers make it easier to slow down on the amount of work being completed (and thus save some money), but also leave open the opportunity to ramp up quickly when work picks up again. You keep your experienced and professional support personnel near to hand but don’t have to provide busywork when your practice has taken a downturn.

 

Think Outside The Box May 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 11:18 am
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When I first decided to start a freelance secretarial business, I worried it would be a difficult concept to sell. I still worry actually! But when I read this article from Law Practice Today I realized that so many services are already outsourced by lawfirms and businesses that my fears are unfounded.

Virtual assistance (legal or otherwise) may not be a “job” people are well aware of, but for visionary people it’s actually a logical step forward in the rapidly changing business market. After all, what business owner doesn’t need to free up some time? What business owner doesn’t want a skilled and experienced assistant to tackle at least part of their to-do list? And most importantly what smart business person wouldn’t want maximum benefit at minimum risk?

A freelance administrative professional provides all the help a business owner needs in a manner that is time and cost-effective. It’s a smart solution if you can just think a little outside the traditional “box” of in-house secretarial staff.

 

Challenging Tradition May 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 8:43 am
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I first read about the company Fairway Divorce Solutions a few months ago in Alberta Venture magazine.  Now I see an article about it in the Financial Post and I’m so glad.  Divorce is a sad and often ugly process and I love that there are alternatives coming into existence.  I’ve worked as a legal assistant in a couple of firms that did divorce law and I enjoyed certain aspects of it but always felt that mediation would be very helpful to a lot of clients.  It’s pretty tough in an emotional and volatile situation to step back and really come to a resolution that works for everyone but it’s definitely the best choice, especially when children are involved.

I would so enjoy working with a company like this, or lawyers that try to  use a similar approach (it certainly can be done, although the legal process often brings out the adversarial nature of people).

I like to think of virtual assistant and paralegal services as being another way of challenging tradition.  We all need to remember that there are many ways of accomplishing tasks and goals – just because we’ve always done things a certain way doesn’t mean it is the best solution for our businesses or our clients.  Virtual professionals can be so cost effective and efficient it is a wonderful alternative to traditional office models of practice.

 

VA Blog Carnival

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 8:29 am
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I participated in a blog carnival over at VagabondetteVA this week.  I think a va carnival is a great idea and hope more va’s participate next time!  And I better get a good post or two going so I have something to submit!

 

Solos Need Staff May 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie @ 7:10 am

Often, it seems many of us small business owners try to do everything for our business ourselves.  I know I’m guilty of it – I’ve been trying to design my own business cards and brochure instead of paying someone to do it right and quickly.  We think we can’t afford to pay for the services we need, but the truth is that we usually can’t afford not to pay for them.  Wasting our valuable time costs us more in the long run than appropriately delegating tasks will cost.

I read this CBA article

yesterday and while it mostly discussed how solo lawyers need to “hire” staff, the main point of the article was completely accurate.  Solo lawyers (or any solo business owner really) will be more successful if they hire appropriate help and I think a freelance secretary is definitely one of their best options.  It allows them the ability to get the assistance they need without taking on full-time staff, with all of the responsibilities that come with employing someone.  A freelancer will be responsible for themselves and will give true value for the precious money and time of the solo practitioner.

Now I think I need to go research graphic designers for those business cards…