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How Many Legal VAs Are There At VANA?

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I'd like to perform a little unofficial roll call. If you provide services to the "legal" industry, can you respond to this post answering the following questions:

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

2. How long you've been a VA?

3. Your primary service offering?

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

 

Thanks!

 

Here's my responses:

 

1. I've been a legal secretary/assistant for almost two decades (ahhh - I'm getting old) lolol

2. I opened LegalTypist's doors in April 2001 - so I've been a VA for just over 6.5 years.

3. My primary service offering it helping firms upgrade to digital dictation and then performing digital transcription services for those who do.

4. If I could do one thing over, it would be to learn DreamWeaver instead of FrontPage!

5. Website, PRs, postcard mailings,advertising in Martindale Hubble and other legal publications; podcasts, teleclasses and face to face networking.

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Hi, Andrea. I've been trying to reach you about an earlier question I posted on internet transcription services.... You had suggested I let you know when a good time to talk was.... Anytime you want. LOL. My # is 1-800-910-6124. As for your question here:

 

1. I have been a part of the legal industry for almost 30 years (started my education in psych/sociology with criminal justice background).

 

2. I've been a VA (although I haven't called myself that) since 1978 when I opened my business.

 

3. My primary service offering is Tape Transcription of interviews, depositions, conferences, etc. Along with that I do research, writing and other admin related services.

 

4. Be more careful about some of the employees I've hired. Learn more about being a Boss, instead of a friend. It hurt my business a great deal at one time.

 

5. I do newsletters, networking, join other organizations, continue with education, send out flyers, letters, etc. Recently, in order to gain new market share and move my business in a different direction, I went back to school and became a Private Investigator. Now, I truly understand what the legal/insurance, etc. companies need and how they want it. It has given me a whole new perspective and ability to market.

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

Nancy, The Work Place, www.workplaceadmin.com

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Guest Virtual Paralegal

Hi Andrea,

 

I'm responding to your roll call...

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

I have been a paralegal for 11 years.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

I started working as a part-time VA in 2001. I launched my official VA business in Jan of 2007.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

I provide administrative, marketing and legal support services. My primary legal support service is document review and preparation. I assist attys with drafting pleadings, discovery requests, demands, etc.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

I would have chosen a different company name.

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients?

Actually, I haven't done any marketing this year. Most of my clients are from word of mouth. However, I will be launching an online marketing plan early next year.

 

Thanks!

 

Vickie Barker

Full Service Legal Support

http://www.fullservicesupport.com

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Guest Lynn Carroll

Hello Andrea and VANA legal assistants,

 

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

 

I've been part of the legal industry since 1986. (The "olden times" according to my children). I've worked mostly for solos, along with the Federal Public Defender and a City Attorney's office. I successfully completed both the PLS and CLA exams, although I let my CLA lapse when I was staying at home.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

 

I started my VA business at the end of 2002.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

 

I offer administrative and paralegal support.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

 

I would have jumped in with both feet at the beginning, instead of waiting a few years to make sure I would measure up.

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

 

Mostly word of mouth and networking. I recently started a blog. I did a little direct mailing and one print ad which, combined, resulted in a retainer client.

 

Lynn

Edited by LynnC

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Guest

Hi Andrea,

 

Here are my responses to your roll call:

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

 

For a little over a year. I didn't work in the legal industry in the corporate world

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

 

I have been a VA for two years

 

3. Your primary service offering?

 

Administrative Support/Secretarial Right now I mainly do data entry, spreadsheets

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

 

Learn more about marketing, and focusing on investigative professionals from the beginning and also get my website done professionally (but then I wouldn't have learned so much about web design)

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

 

Joined associations, online networking, classified ads in trade magazines, postcards, articles, blog, word of mouth

 

Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Andrea - Here are my responses:

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

Since 1986

 

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

5 years - (Although the work is done "virtually" in my home office, my market is geared more towards local attorneys in my niche.)

 

 

3. Your primary service offering?

I provide administrative/paralegal support for solo criminal defense attorneys and/or other legal professionals in the criminal defense area.

 

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

I am pretty happy where I am at today, but I probably would have planned better in the very beginning (software, better equipment, supplies, etc.)

 

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

Word of mouth - I don't advertise and I don't have a website (although that will probably change within the next year or so)

 

 

 

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Hello, All!

My responses:

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

I started working as a legal assistant approximately 4 years ago.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

My business has been operating for one year.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

With respect to my legal services, I offer outsourced client billing for legal professionals. My 'main' VA practice is general, not targeted to the legal industry.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

I just started working with a mentor - I wish I'd connected with her sooner! Also, I wish I'd begun marketing myself BEFORE my son was born. In-person networking is much more difficult as a SAHM.

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

I have 2 websites and a blog. I participate with a few online networking sites, I've done a direct mailing and I'm now concentrating on online advertising. Additionally, I'm a feature writing for an online magazine.

 

Kirstie

Edited by xpress assistant

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Guest

My turn :)

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

I have been a bankruptcy paralegal for six years.

 

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

I started my business in January 2006, so less than two years.

 

 

3. Your primary service offering?

I provide case management support for bankrutpcy trustees, including asset management, valuation and research, liquidation assistance, case reporting, electronic case filing, assistance at creditors' meetings and hearings, drafting correspondence and pleadings, claims review, and pretty much anything else the trustees don't have time to do themselves!

 

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

Not have my primary client be my former employer. Getting away from the employer/employee relationship has been all but impossible (but he's a pet, which makes up for a lot). Not having all of my financial eggs in "one basket." Ok, that's two things.

 

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

Local networking, word of mouth and reliance on my good reputation. The trustee community is small and close-knit, and networking and word of mouth advertising are far more effective than all the others combined. Would you believe, I don't even have a website for my paralegal business! (There, I admitted it in public :lol: )

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1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

I worked as a title processor/paralegal for a real estate attorney in a title company for 3 years, but have over 7 additional years in loan processing, check recovery and administrative assisting.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

Two months.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

General administrative with a focus on real estate law and transcription.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

I would have hosted my website somewhere other than Microsoft Office Live. Now I'll have to go through the pain of moving it, which I hear isnt' so easy.

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

I've done one direct marketing campaign to local real estate attorneys, sent out an e-mail announcing the opening of my business to contacts from my former position, listed on yellow pages.com, passed out business cards and utilize my business blog. I will also be contributing to the Home Office Warrior Internet Magazine, attending a weekly small business coffee and will launch a Holiday Special offering 10% off all services between Nov. 15 and Jan. 3.

I'm still waiting for that elusive steady client, I've had a couple of projects, but nothing steady yet.

 

Tina

Clerical Advantage and

The Conference Table

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So interesting! I didn't realize we had so many niched as legal VAs ;)

 

I don't outsource myself as a legal VA anymore but thought I'd answer anyhow...

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry? I became a Legal Secretary in 1983 after graduating from Durham College with my Legal Secretarial Diploma. I then worked in the corporate world for many years off/on as a Legal Secretary mostly in real estate and corporate law.

 

2. How long you've been a VA? Since 1997

 

3. Your primary service offering? Internet Marketing services now

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be? Worked for large law firms downtown in the corporate world instead of the one lawyer offices

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients. - Not marketing my legal services anymore

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It's great reading about everyone else's experience, wow, impressive!

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

 

I have been a paralegal for 3 years, a legal assistant before that for 4 years and a Judicial Clerk for 6 years before that. As I have a parent in the legal industry though, its been very prevalent for my entire life.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

 

I've been a VA for just over a year.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

 

Primary service offering is administrative and marketing support and would like to target lawyers offering real estate conveyancing services.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

 

I would have done this 4 years ago when I first saw the VA course being offered by Red Deer College. :whistlin:

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

 

I have a weblog and have advertised primarily through word of mouth, but as I am currently taking the SEP, I haven't really geared up my marketing as of yet.

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Hi everyone in the legal and virtual legal field -

 

Great questions, Andrea, so here's my story (and I'm stickin' to it!):

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

Started when I was 16 years old, working as a file clerk at the firm where my sister worked. I have over 15 solid years as a legal secretary (at the partner level and managing partner level), legal assistant, litigation manager, docket manager, and legal assistant.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

I started my VA practice in April 2007

 

3. Your primary service offering?

Executive-level administrative services. Currently my client base is child-oriented services, for some reason. Client #1 is an attorney who does children's rights in divorces; Client #2 owns a party service; Client #3 is a magician. For all of them my main service is schedule management. I talk with each of them daily to discuss their calendars for the next day and the 2-3 days following, and any upcoming tasks in the next few weeks that need their attention.

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

Hire a web designer immediately. I hate my website.

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

Answered RFP's through VANA and IVAA and other local forums. Some word of mouth (local clients with one-time only projects). I do some court filing for a local attorney, but only about once every other week.

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Guest kmrusso

To answer your questions, I am new to VANA but wanted to provide some input:

 

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

 

I have 4 years of experience working as a Paralegal for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee. I also have experience doing Real Estate, Social Security and Personal Injury.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

 

Almost a year, but have been working towards this goal for awhile now.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

 

I provide Bankruptcy petition preparation, Legal document preparation and Chapter 7 Trustee services to attorney's and their law firms.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

 

To make myself the most successful I would move from my current area to somewhere new and establish my business locally and nationally, right now I am unable to provide services locally because of a conflict of interest, I work full-time for my local Trustee and at the moment operate my business at night and on the weekends. Hopefully this can change soon!

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

 

To start, my website www.virtualbankruptcyservices.net has been up and running for a year now, I direct market using letters and postcards and advertise online as much as i can given my situation.

 

Sincerely,

 

Kimberly M. Russo

Virtual Bankruptcy Services, LLC

www.virtualbankruptcyservices.net

 

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Hi, Everyone!

 

Below are my responses:

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

I've been in the legal field for 20 years.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

I started my business March of 2003.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

Business Management Services, which includes, but is not limited to (a little legalese here): top-level executive assistant services, paralegal services, office management, office organization, bookkeeping and concierge services.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

I would have started my business sooner. I would also have hired by business management consultant about a year ago. I'm sure he would have helped me out with dealing with employee situations.

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

I have a website and a monthly newsletter. Most of my clients are through word of mouth and referrals friends, colleagues and clients. I have found it difficult and a waste of money to advertise in the local newspapers or trade magazines. I've gained more clients by networking with the people I know.

 

Thanks,

Michele

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Hi, Everyone!

 

Below are my responses:

 

1. How long you've been a part of the legal industry?

Since the early 1990s.

 

2. How long you've been a VA?

Since 1989-90 - officially opened doors.

 

3. Your primary service offering?

Digital dictation/transcriptions services (in the legal field), otherwise, its marketing & PR, event management and business support services.

 

4. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?

Um, not sure -- Probably move all my websites to a dedicated server; so I don't have so many email issues. But, that's high on my list of "to dos" now!

 

5. How you've marketed yourself in order to gain clients.

I used to extensively market by attending networking events, joining groups, doing post card mailings. Now, 90% of my marketing is done via my websites, with 10% in article marketing and speaking engagements.

 

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