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Virtual Paralegals - Your Untapped Profit Resource

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

“A lawyer’s time is their stock and trade.”

-Abraham Lincoln

If the current pandemic has taught us one thing, it's that law offices can, in many ways, function very well in a remote environment. But, many have failed to see that not only can they function this way but, increase their profits! Lawyers and firms across the country are underutilizing or just unaware of virtual paralegal opportunities and what they can do for them. The cost, especially the ancillary costs, of a highly experienced and knowledgeable paralegal can be exorbitant. Now, these paralegals are crucial and many, seemingly more than pay for themselves. But what exactly is your financial gain with in-office staff? What do you do when you need extra help but, only temporarily or you’re a small practice and are looking to grow but can’t afford the cost of a high-level paralegal? Ignoring this or failing to address it in the most cost-effective way possible, negatively impacts virtually all aspects of a legal practice, but the financial and growth effects are most severe.


WASTING YOUR TIME

Let’s start with your time, the most valuable commodity you have as an attorney. The Harvard Business Review reported on a Covey Center for Leadership study that investigated the emerging length of the American workweek. Surveying more than four hundred executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs, they discovered that the average business leader works a 72-hour week. So, the age of the 40-hour workweek has gone the way of the dodo bird.

Meanwhile, in a joint poll, Gallup and Wells Fargo found that 57% of small business owners work six days a week. And over 20% of them work seven days a week.

But it doesn't have to be that way. You can achieve more while working less. But, to make that possible, you have to utilize available resources that allow you to do so.

EMPLOYEES, WHAT AM I PAYING FOR?

It is estimated that at least 25%, on average, of a manager or owner’s week is spent on personnel matters. That’s 10 hours a week, more than one day a week, dedicated to addressing employee related matters. At your billable rate, say $250.00 per hour, that’s potentially $2,500.00 dollars you lose.

The general work day is 8 hours. How many of these hours are your employees spending on tasks that are making you a profit? According to a study cited by the ABA, on average, 2.5 hours a day, per employee, is spent on matters either not related to your practice or on matters not generating a profit for your firm. That’s 12.5 hours per week or, potentially, at a billable paralegal rate of $150.00 per hour, another $1,875.00 dollars lost.

Then, add in vacation, sick and personal days, and you lose another 10 days a year (80 hours) or, potentially, another $12,000.00 gone.

Altogether, you’re potentially losing, by having in-office help over virtual, $239,500 per year in billable time (time off $12,000 + attorney time on personnel $130,000.00 + non-profitable employee time $97,500.00). If you have more than one employee, the loss of potential revenue grows exponentially.

With Veritas Lex, LLC you avoid all the above-mentioned employee problems and issues. You do not pay for days off, idle time, nothing that is not directly making you a profit. Additionally, no vacation days, sick days, personal days, insurance, equipment, payroll taxes, etc. The savings keep adding up. As the old adage goes, "work smarter, not harder."

GROWTH

You have a solo practice, small office, or even mid-size office and want to grow your clientele but, simply do not have the time to be able to take on more cases. You can hire staff which comes with the costs, personnel issues, and personal lives associated. Or, on the other hand, you can avoid all that and ensure that you are only paying for time that is generating you a profit. The more clientele you can take, the more growth and revenue your practice will see. But, being able to expand while not adding overhead or paying for non-profitable sees the growth come with the utmost financial revenue.

Let’s say, on average, an attorney spends four hours a week on each case. If you are trying to maintain a life/work balance and therefore only work 40 hours per week, this means you can address 10 cases a week. However, if you include paralegal services, you could reduce your time spent on each case to an average of one hour per week. This frees up time and your ability to add clientele. Now instead of being available for 10 cases a week, you can be available for 40 cases – a 300% increase! But, let’s be more conservative and say you increase to 30 cases, a 200% increase. What would a 200% increase in your possible revenue do for your practice?


PROFITS

So, how does this increase my profits? With Veritas Lex, LLC, you pay a standard $50.00 per hour fee. In return, you can bill to your client whatever amount you wish for paralegal work. On average, paralegals are billed out between $100.00 per hour and $175.00 per hour.

Let’s say you do all you own work. So, your 10 cases at 40 hours per week x $250 per hour. Your weekly billing would be $10,000.00.

Now, let’s add the paralegal. Now you have 30 cases with you billing one- and one-half hours per case, per week at $250 per hour ($11,250.00), plus your paralegal billing of 40 hours at say $150 per hour (6,000.00). Now your weekly billing, less our costs, would be 15,250.00.

If this was maintained throughout the year, on your own, your yearly revenue would be $520,000. At the same time, with Veritas Lex, LLC, your yearly revenue, less our costs, would be $793,000.00 – an Incredible 62% increase in earnings. What kind of flexibility would an additional $327,000.00 allow you for the growth of your practice? Since you would also say goodbye to 50-60 hour and more work weeks. What kind of improvement in your personal life?


BUT I DO FLAT FEE WORK

You will still greatly increase your profits. Again, you only have so many hours that you can give per week, which limits the number of clients and work you can take on. You can do less of the time-consuming drafting work and focus on more clients to grow your practice. And, best of all, you're not locked in to a salary so, even when there are ebbs in your intakes, there will be no employee overhead to you during the down or slower periods. You are only paying when it helps your bottom line.

Let's say that on average each matter requires 4 hours of drafting work. Even if you work a 60 hour work week, you could handle 15 cases per week and, this is if you do nothing else but drafting. No time to build more clients. Now, instead, let's say those same 4 hours are done by Veritas Lex, LLC, and you only need to spend 1 hour per week per case on review/modification. You could work a 40 hour week instead of 60 and still have 25 hours available to expanding your practice, meeting with clients and accepting more work, all while working less hours and having more time for your life outside of work.


INCREASED CLIENT SATISFACTION

Finally, a law firm that engages the services of Veritas Lex, LLC, is able to provide their clientele the most experienced and qualified paralegal assistance, in addition to their own expertise and, in doing so, actually save their clients’ money while increasing their profits.

While we already discussed the potential 62% overall yearly increase in profit to you, by utilizing our services where you can, and limiting your direct billing to the client, the client’s save on average, approximately 25% off their overall legal fees. Imagine showing on a final bill the costs a client could have incurred and the amount you actually saved them. This makes for happy clients who don’t feel over billed, are less likely to complain about what they were billed, and will come back for future services when needed. This becomes especially important in litigated cases which, as we all know, with case preparation and in-court time adds up to high costs quickly but, if they can see where you saved them significantly in other areas where you could, again, they are much less likely to be unhappy and much more likely to return in future.

So, the real question isn’t why should I do this but, why haven’t you yet and, what are you waiting for? You can lose, or continue to lose, $239,500 per year or gain $327,000 per year in profit. In our professional vernacular, this is an open and shut case. Contact Veritas Lex, LLC now!

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