We recently heard from an attorney:
“I’m just looking for a job where I can maintain a relationship with my kid and have a bit of time each weekend to go fishing or something. I don’t need the level of grief from a 60-hour work week, just want to balance good pay with quality of life.”
We have seen this trend become more and more prevalent among new lawyers, who demand not only career advancement opportunities but a healthier work/life balance. But what about small law firm owners?
Most lawyers who went solo came from a corporate background, so they know what it’s like to put in 60 hours of work each week. The difference is that, when they start their own firm, they have to keep doing all the legal work PLUS the countless tasks of managing a business.
With time, having time to explore nature on the weekends or even go to your kid’s dance recital becomes a pipedream. Your days run fast, calling client after client, handling paperwork, going to court, and looking for new associates.
Despite wanting to offload some work and free your schedule for higher leverage activities (like serving top-tier clients and growing your firm), it’s normal to hesitate when making a full-time hire for your firm. After all, you started this business from scratch and do not want to dip profits to hire someone who may or may not work. What if you don’t have enough work to keep them occupied?
It is for all these reasons that Amata’s Virtual Receptionist service can have such a great impact on both your firm’s growth and quality of life.
Why Busy Lawyers Need Virtual Receptionists
There are many tasks beyond serving clients that are added to your schedule once you decide to run your own law firm:
– Managing new client intake
– Scheduling appointments
– Answering the phone during off hours (for emergencies)
And while big firms have assistants doing these tasks for lawyers, so they can focus on billable hours, most solo practitioners and small firm owners don’t have this luxury.
With so many tasks to do, how do you know what is the best and most productive use of your time?
You calculate your target hourly rate.
Here’s how that works:
- Determine the revenue you desire to generate from your law firm each month.
- Define the number of hours you plan to dedicate to your business each month.
- Calculate your target hourly rate by dividing your desired revenue by your allotted hours.
So if you aim to earn $10,000 per month and plan to work 30 hours per week (equivalent to 120 hours per month), your target hourly rate should be $83.33.
Now, assuming that HALF your time is devoted to billable hours, that number should be $166 minimum. And if you want that $10,000 per month to be profit (not just revenue), it would have to be even higher.
This is why having a virtual receptionist is crucial. It allows you to delegate as many non-$166/hour tasks as possible, so you can focus on billable hours and growing your bottom line working the hours that you desire.
What is a virtual assistant and what do they do?
Let’s face it—no one became a lawyer to spend their time answering phones and filing stacks of paper.
Virtual assistants are remote professionals who specialize in all those essential but routine tasks like scheduling, document management, and phone answering. At Amata, our Virtual Assistants are trained in the legal industry, so they know how to manage urgent inquiries on your behalf and recognize when to filter a call.
Some of the tasks a virtual assistant can do on your behalf include:
- Email Management
- Payroll, Billing, and Accounting
- Database Management
- Document Conversion and Management
- Phone Answering and New Client Intake
- Appointment Reminders and Scheduling
- Legal Correspondence and Transcription
Anything that must be done in the office that would otherwise take you or your attorneys off casework is best left to a virtual administrative assistant.
But if virtual assistants are so important, why do so many law firms wait to hire them? There are 4 reasons:
- They don’t know they can delegate these things
- They feel like nobody can be trusted
- They are afraid hiring will cost them too much money
- They genuinely enjoy doing administrative tasks
That is why we created a Virtual Assistant solution that fits your budget and consistent quality needs:
With Amata, you don’t have to hire an in-house legal assistant. Our vetted assistants work only for the hours that you require and act as an extension of your team. We train them to serve the specific needs of law firms, so you can confidently delegate to them.
Investing In Your First (Or Next) Virtual Assistant
As we have seen through this article, the real cost of not having a virtual receptionist is:
- Losing precious time and focus from serving your clients.
- Getting stuck in the weeds of daily management, phone answering, and office tasks
- Not making the money that you want nor having the freedom that you started your law firm for.
But despite the high costs, we understand that investing in your first (or next) virtual assistant can be difficult. That is why all our virtual office clients receive a 30% discount when they use our attorney support services, which in many cases more than offsets the costs of the virtual office program.
So if you want a professional to enter billing, update social media posts, and return client calls for you, we can help. Contact us today to explore how Amata’s virtual assistants trained in the legal industry can save you time and focus.