Paralegal Associates surveyed attorneys on their concerns about using virtual paralegals. We offered a list of possible worries, and invited responders to mark all that were relevant. We also invited comments.
Here are the results, sorted by frequency of response. Our hearty “Thank you” to the tens of attorneys nationwide who took time to respond.
1. Not sure how to use a virtual paralegal— 35%
2. Lack of control over what tasks are being worked on— 25%
3. Not sure how to find a virtual paralegal— 20%
4. Lack of control over quality of work product— 20%
5. Trust issues— 15%
6. Communication issues— 15%
7. Concerned a virtual paralegal will be too expensive— 10%
Each of these responses raises an important concern that advocates of the virtual business model must address. We intend to take up these concerns in subsequent posts.
Note that the most frequent response essentially has to do with coming to understand how virtual paralegals contribute to the firm’s success, and about how to manage the business relationship. The other responses are really subsets of this primary worry. Note also that cost was the least-cited concern. This implies that attorneys are aware of the payoffs in reduced overhead through using independent contractors. However, understanding the value of the virtual model depends strongly on familiarity with how it works, and how it can be integrated successfully into a practice.
We virtuals have work to do in responding adequately to these concerns. We invite comment from attorneys and paralegals about this unscientific survey, and about relevant issues it does not address.
Paralegal Associates looks forward to hearing from you.