Here’s 3 reasons you do not hear me speak of “virtual assistants” very often:
1. It’s a really sucky title that has various meanings depending on who is using the words. While I contend that the word “assistant” by definition, requires a human being – the term virtual assistant has been used by various technologies when referring to any manner of tech which, in some instances, tries to suggest that it is able to do as good as, if not a better job … THAN A LIVE, THINKING, EXPERIENCED HUMAN BEING.
Think about it. Do you really think you will ever be able to say “Open a new file, here’s the info … to a computer and have it do the 7-22 different things that need to be done? Nope. But you can still say it, and it can still be done and you can still use tech to make the telling/doing parts all digital and efficient – but you still need THE LIVE THINKING BRAIN on receiving end.
Which leads to…
2. I used to get the deer in the headlights reaction from people over the “virtual” part of my title; now it’s an almost knee-jerk, adamant reaction to the “assistant” part. “I don’t NEED an assistant! I know how to use a computer!” <-of course you do, nimrod! Just because you know how to use a computer does not negate the need for someone to help with the administration and day to day work of running a law firm so you can be a successful lawyer.
For those who wish to argue this point with me … just click away from my site right now and go play with your gadgets and keep searching for the perfect tech mix that will magically just make it all work. I’ll be here when you don’t WANT to be the one doing it all and figuring it all out – you just want to tell someone to do things and they get done.
3. There are not very many “virtual assistants” who have credibility. Most are wanna bes or not really what they advertise or can accomplish virtually …. especially for lawyers …. consistently. Those who have stood the test of time, for the most part, do not offer services of processing the day to day workflow and data entry of law firms – like long time VA bud Tina Marie Hilton of Clerical Advantage who commands a much higher rate for web/marketing/strategy/design than she ever could to keep time and billing current or process the opening of new files.
So, I have no credible “virtual assistant” connections to refer to … except my own company and well… to refer to your own services is just bad digital juju.
One point – it’s not that I didn’t TRY to find credible “legal virtual assistants” … I even put up a web site that people could join and be part of the free directory … open to the public… no charge. All they had to do was fill in the form. Guess who filled in the form? Paralegals. Freelance paralegals. Not that they are not all professionals in their own right – but if you have never heard me and Ms. Pamela discussing it – there is a HUGE difference between an assistant and a freelance paralegal <-pssst they compliment each other!
So three you have it! 3 very valid reasons why I do not speak of “virtual assistants” very often.