5 Ways to Run a Better Law Firm with Virtual Receptionists

At Smith.ai, we can’t make you a better lawyer by running through flash cards until you’ve memorized every nuance of case law. However, our friendly, U.S.-based virtual receptionists can improve your law practice by fielding your calls.

Aside from working out of a home office while trying to watch a toddler, the next largest category of distraction is from regular calls to your office. The thing is, answering the phones to inform and advise new prospects or convey information to existing clients is a necessary part of the attorney gig.

Our service allows you to keep working without distractions, while ensuring you won’t miss critical information when you're in court, meeting with clients, or taking care of other necessary business. Let our virtual receptionists answer questions, schedule appointments, and handle simple tasks on your behalf, and free you from unwanted distractions.

Here are five ways our receptionists can free up your time spent on the phone, so you can maximize your productivity and billable hours.

1. Disclose your practice areas & other FAQs

Whether someone picked up your name from a review site, an advertisement, or a conversation with a client, you no doubt receive calls from people who need help with a legal matter that falls outside of your realm of expertise. Maybe you primarily handle family law and never traffic law. We'll ask about the type of case a caller needs handled, so we don't clog your calendar with speeding tickets. If they're a good prospect, we'll put them on your calendar.

When a caller reaches our receptionists, we can ask questions set by you and answer commonly asked questions (like what counties you work in, if you're accepting new clients, etc.) with your pre-set answers. Call summaries come to you via email or text right after each call, and a daily summary is sent at the close of every day.

2. Schedule appointments with clients & prospects

We integrate with almost every calendaring and scheduling software on the market. Our receptionists can schedule new and existing client calls and in-person meetings on your behalf, and you'll see them appear on your calendar in real time. Need us to reschedule appointments for you? Call clients with appointment reminders? We'll make as many outbound calls as you wish.

3. Qualify clients and perform client intakes

One of the biggest questions to ask new clients is if they're willing and able to pay your fees. Whether it's an hourly rate, a retainer, or a set fee for a package of services (a U.S. trademark application, for example), we can qualify prospective clients by sharing your rates upfront to ensure a call with them won't result in wasted time.

If you have client intake forms that need to be completed prior to your first meeting, we can complete those with the new client over the phone. If you use case management software, like Lexicata or Clio , to manage these files, you'll see the updated client data appear there after each call. 

4. Make a call on your behalf

Certain clients may not have constant access to email because of professional or other obligations and require a phone call, particularly for urgent matters. For example, maybe a client needs to take the other parent of their child to court for contempt and are expecting a call as soon as you’ve officially set the date. You can email this information to us, along with anything else you’d like to add, and we can update the client on your behalf. We’ll send you a summary of what was discussed after we make the call.

5. Screen calls for urgency & priority

Certain calls are urgent, and you'll want them patched through immediately, as long as you're available. Maybe the courthouse or a judge is calling, or your client can't make their trial date. Live call transfer notifications can be provided to you via phone or Slack, so you can easily approve or deny the request. If you accept, we'll patch them through; if not, we'll take a message and you can follow-up later.

You may also send us a list of VIPs who are always to be transferred to you, or pass by our receptionists completely, and ring you directly (like your spouse or business partner).

Smith.ai customer spotlight

We've just told you a lot of benefits of using Smith.ai, but don't just take it from us. Here's what one client of Smith.ai has to say about our impact on his law practice:

“I've used Smith for about 3 months as an answering service for my marketing campaigns. As a busy solo practitioner, I can't always get to the phone when a potential client contacts me. They have proven to be an asset to my law firm.”

- Brian Cooke, Cooke Law

Learn more about Smith.ai

We cater to busy law professionals who find themselves bogged down by callers throughout the day. Give us a call at (650) 727–6484 or email us at support@smith.ai so we can find a plan that’s right for your practice. Signing up for our 30-day / 10-call free trial is a great way to get started.

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