As we meet with attorneys throughout the country at various bar associations and conventions, one of the most common questions we get asked revolves around the profitability of hiring a virtual assistant. Most attorneys wonder how spending money on a virtual assistant will actually increase their revenue. The business case for using virtual assistants is simple: doing administrative work on your own cuts into lost time for business development or billable client work.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant versus Doing Administrative Work Yourself

The first week of each month, for most attorneys, is filled with stress and anxiety. If you haven’t kept up with tracking your billable hours for clients, you find yourself in a scramble to enter time for billing purposes. Once time is entered, you face another uphill battle with generating invoices and reviewing them for accuracy. In the end, attorneys can spend upwards of 40% of their time on non-­billable administrative work. In a recent survey by LexisNexis on Law Firm Practice Management, “solo and two­-attorney law firms did not bill 39% of their time worked, making them the least efficient segment.” Depending on the size of the firm, there is a 24­-26% gap in the amount of hours worked versus hours billed. All of these valuable hours are lost time that could be better utilized for business development or working on billable work.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant versus Hiring a Full­-Time Employee

Okay, so we have convinced you that you need to hire an assistant to help increase your revenue and productivity. So why not just go online and post an ad seeking help? Well, before you get all excited with the possibility of adding Human Resources to your expanding job title, think about the costs involved with hiring a full­-time employee. On top of a salary, you will have overhead expenses which include vacation and medical benefits. Additionally, as an employer you will be required to pay payroll taxes. In the end, attorneys need to ask themselves if they can afford to hire a full time assistant without breaking the bank.

This is one of the many reasons why hiring a virtual assistant is the logical choice. Not only do you have the flexibility of only using a virtual assistant when you need them, but you also don’t have to worry about the costly overhead associated with hiring a full­-time employee at your firm. Consider also what happens when you encounter a slow time in your practice. By hiring a virtual assistant you only pay for services when you need them, so you don’t have to worry about paying for idle time.