The new buzz word is virtual. From virtual games, virtual seminars, virtual phones and virtual everything else, the word is becoming a part of our everyday language. Now virtual has extended to service providers. There are millions of virtual assistants who work for doctors, lawyers, small and large business owners every day. In fact, the latest buzz is virtual bankruptcy assistants who are trained professionals specifically working for debtor bankruptcy attorneys. Below are 29 advantages for attorneys hiring a virtual bankruptcy assistant.
1. With the changes in the new bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy petition is no longer considered a data entry job. Instead, the bankruptcy petition is now at the heart of any bankruptcy practice. Therefore, drafting a well-detailed petition is a high-level skill that now requires professional training that VBAs have.
2. Some attorneys consider virtual bankruptcy assistants (VBAs) to be violators of UPL and refuse to entertain the idea of utilizing their services. But that trend is rapidly changing. Attorneys are now learning that professional legal VBAs are an integral part of a law firm practice.
3. Some attorneys turn away bankruptcy cases every day due to the changes in the new bankruptcy law. With a trained virtual bankruptcy assistant, the process is minimized for the attorney and the law firm profits are increased.
4. Most VBAs have many years of experience and love what they do. The only difference is that VBAs work from home instead of physically in the law firm.
5. VBAs take care of the everyday tasks which allow the attorney more time to grow and expand his/her practice.
6. If you have an internet connection, it doesn't matter where your VBA is located. All communication is electronic. You now have the freedom to choose from thousands of VBAs and not be limited to your area alone.
7. Expand your law firm services for the elderly and handicapped that have difficulty traveling to your office. Send a VBA to conduct the client intake interview in the clients home at the clients convenience.
8. VBAs are normally available 24/7 and easy to contact by cell phone. In fact, most VBAs stay available for their attorneys after hours and on weekends since they know everything cannot be accomplished between 9:00 and 5:00.
9. Keep your money in your hand. You don't pay a VBA until after the work has been completed to your satisfaction. Hiring employees does not provide this luxury.
10. Unlike employees, attorneys do not pay their VBA for time they spend daydreaming or being non-productive. VBAs charge their attorney clients either a flat fee for a particular job or an hourly fee based upon accurate reporting from time-tracker software installed on their computer.
11. Utilizing VBAs, debtor bankruptcy attorneys can increase their currently hourly fee by 400%. (See the book: How to Increase Profits for Your Law Firm, ISBN: 0976159198)
12. Even if your VBA goes on vacation, your workflow is not interrupted. Most VBAs have a network of other professionals who can assist during their absence.
13. VBAs normally have several attorney clients they serve. They often earn a higher income compared to working as an employee which is why the majority of VBAs are highly professional, organized and knowledgeable. The VBA and attorney both benefit financially. It's a WIN/WIN situation.
14. The average VBA prefers working from home so they can spend more time with their family and less time commuting to and from an office. This makes the field attractive for thousands of professionally skilled women and men who provide high quality services to their attorney clients every day.
15. Because VBAs work from their home office with fewer interruptions, they usually have more time to provide attorneys with a higher level of detail that saves law firms thousands of dollars as well as mistakes that grow into huge problems!
16. Idea: One attorney filmed a 5-minute commercial about his law firm with his digital camera. He then sent the video on DVD to his VBA who edited it, added a professional introduction and placed it on his law firm website. The video has been one of the major keys in increasing the client base for the attorney.
17. If you hire a VBA who is located in your area, they often provide free pick up and delivery to your office. Some VBAs assist their attorney clients at court also.
18. A VBA never leaves your side. They are as close as your office or laptop computer, regardless of where you are located in the world! This doesn't happen when you hire employees to work inside the office 9:00 to 5:00.
19. Now you and your staff can prevent "desk overload." VBAs aide in the reduction of workload for your paralegals and other law office personnel.
20. Forward your calls to a VBA and get more work done with fewer interruptions.
21. Some VBAs provide you with the option of calling into a telephone number, recording your dictation and the VBA retrieves the audio for transcribing. Completed documents are returned to you in MS Word format so you can tweak them before filing.
22. Unlike a salaried employee, if you are not happy with the work a VBA provides, you don't pay the invoice. This will immediately reduce problems for law firms who seem to have internal employee issues.
23. VBAs are paid like any other vendor. They never share fees and work under the sole discretion of the attorney just like your office staff.
24. Hiring VBAs helps to eliminate office gossip that is common with salaried employees and costs your law firm money.
25. VBAs are notorious for keeping backups of their client's work on CD-Rom. After the job is complete, you can request the CD-Rom be mailed to you or keep in the VBAs office as a back-up in case your computers fail.
26. Most paralegals are amazed with how VBAs relieve their heavy workload. In fact, VBAs are not taking the place of paralegals and your other office staff; they are providing an excellent support base for the entire law firm.
27. VBAs can be located in any state and still have access to electronic court records to conduct criminal record searches to ensure there are no additional debts the client has not revealed. They also can be located in any state to draft a bankruptcy petition since the Federal Forms and Schedules are the same in every state.
28. Save the high cost of investing into software programs. VBAs have already made the investment and can export files in PDF format for cross-platform review.
29. When salaried employees are sick or on vacation, the law firm normally still pays them. But when a VBA is ill or on vacation, you don't pay anything. VBAs are only paid once the work is completed to the attorney's satisfaction.
Testimonials from attorneys who utilize VBAs:
1. When I passed the bar exam and started my law practice, I was $100,000+ in debt with student loans. Utilizing VBAs has saved me thousands of dollars in office equipment and the costs of hiring and training new employees.
2. After hiring two VBAs I now have time to plan the direction I want my law practice to grow into and implement my ideas with better care.
3. VBAs like Geoff Gratz of Monkey Productions installed a remote connection on our computers whereby technical computer support is provided 24 hours a day, He doesn't need to come to our office in Colorado which is 2,000 miles away. (Ref: Monkey Productions, 614-668-5037).
4. Unbelievable! Within 90 days after hiring a VBA, my law firm profits increased from $7,000 per month to $12,000 per month.
5. I expanded my personal injury law firm to offer bankruptcy services. The VBA I hired does the majority of the intake work and client intake interview because she is so knowledgable in bankruptcy. This has given me a lot more free time and my law firm profits increase 250% in only four months.
6. Since I hired two VBAs and moved to my own home office, I now only need to put on a suit and tie when I go to court.