Any business owner will tell you, luck can take strange and complicated forms — only in hindsight do we connect the dots and see things for what they are.
Tanya Nebo, founder of Nebo Law, has run the legal gamut — from part-time legal work to representing big-ticket tech companies. After an abrupt separation from her place of work, Tanya decided to double down on her side hustle and start her own firm.
Focusing on persistence, responsiveness, and attention to client needs, Tanya’s brand of integrity and accountability gave her a competitive advantage in a saturated Atlanta, GA market. Within a few years, her network of satisfied clients helped grow her business into a thriving legal firm.
I recently spoke with Tanya about how she got started, her commitment to integrity, and how she uses virtual assistants to keep her firm moving forward.
How did you start your business?
My story may be a bit different. In my previous professional experience, I had done everything: part-time legal work, then practicing at a large law firm and even moving to a tech company. Fortunately, throughout my professional history, I was lucky enough to keep an entity that did not conflict with any of my work. I always had a full-time job but wanted to keep my own thing going as long as I could.
Then it happened. The one and only time I was ever fired from a job… for a complete misunderstanding. Let’s just say it was a conflict that wasn’t exactly a conflict. After that, I decided to transform my side-hustle into my full-time gig. The rest is history.
Today, Nebo Law is a firm that focuses on transactional law, real estate and business.
What have been some of the most important factors in your growth?
It’s funny, I think we differentiate ourselves from the competition through simple things, like integrity, or whatever they’re calling it nowadays. Ultimately, it’s respect and accountability. We are well known for doing exactly what we say we’re going to do. We make it a focus to ensure our clients don’t feel like they’re not getting attention.
Another would be responsiveness. Attorneys’ lack of responsiveness is always the number one complaint that the state bar gets. If you look on Google reviews, people hate unresponsive lawyers. Our integrity is what has helped us grow. We have a fair amount of social proof compared to other firms, too. 29 five-star reviews and counting! People pay attention to that stuff, so we take our Google reviews seriously.
Your business requires onsite staff, why do you use virtual assistants?
While there are many tasks that require onsite equipment, we are still a small shop and try to run lean. To me, outsourcing is more economical.
More importantly, it broadens your access to human resources — it makes your pool of potential helpers much broader than your local area. This freedom provides many more options to find a good connection with a hard worker.
For example, I have a paralegal that I only call for deals that pertain to a specific piece of practice. The catch is she refuses to work from anywhere but home. She’s been doing it for so long and is, quite honestly, better than most lawyers. If I required her in an office, I would not have access to that person. That’s why I love outsourcing.
I usually outsource administrative and paralegal tasks — things like parts of the intake process, scheduling, client communication, and billing. Oh and figuring out any of our new software and how to best use it. VA’s are always savvy.
Did working with virtual assistants change your day to day operations?
It gives me relief. I love knowing that if something that needs to be done, I can count on my VA’s to have it ready on time. It’s the best. I am truly delighted when I see my VA’s have already taken care of things for me. Especially tasks that I know will end up eating up too much of my time.
I think they really help me focus, too. There are far fewer distractions in my day when I know I can count on my VA’s to handle the small stuff.
What advice would you give other attorneys looking to grow their business by working with virtual paralegals?
I would say documentation. Properly documenting everything is a skill. As a business leader, when you hire help, outsourced or not, you can’t expect them to be in your head, as great as that would be. When you’re a solo practitioner, it’s easy to get caught up in your thoughts and not adequately communicate your message or instructions. I can’t stress how important it is to document how you want things done.