How Smith Can Make You a Better “Virtual” Lawyer

Jenn Marie

If you’re a lawyer, you have probably heard or read about virtual practices. In fact, according to results from the BA Legal Technology Survey Report, there’s a chance you may already be in one. In 2013, 5% of attorneys defined their practice as “virtual”.  For those lawyers and anyone else considering a leap into the virtual world, Smith.ai is the perfect solution.

What is a Virtual Lawyer?

Before we can explain how Smith’s intelligence-based answering service can improve your legal business, we should define what we mean by a “virtual lawyer”. There are many interpretations of the term, and it has become a frequent discussion in industry publications, including the ABA Journal.

For us, a virtual lawyer is a solo practice or part of a small firm that is looking to free themselves from a physical location. They are mobile attorneys that conduct business on-the-go and are not tied to a desk. They work from wherever, maintaining a secure virtual office, while continuing to meet clients in person, or show up for court.

These busy professionals cannot depend on voicemail alone to handle messages and gather leads from prospective clients. That’s where Smith.ai comes in.

Secure Answering Service

Most lawyers have legal secretaries to handle their calls, and they have their advantages and drawbacks. One potential perk is fresh coffee delivered to your desk and a human to greet office visitors when they are busy, while a potential drawback is an overly chatty receptionist.  Chatting and gossip amongst legal receptionists is, unfortunately, common. While a professional legal receptionist is ideally trained on confidentiality, many lawyers report difficulty in finding ones that follow that training and are consistently reliable.

Despite the potential drawbacks, you need a receptionist – especially if you are a virtual lawyer. If you do not have someone to answer your calls, be prepared to spend a good part of your day checking voicemails, getting spam calls, and being interrupted. Not only is that the least effective way to run your practice, our pro, attorney John Radshaw (of the Law Office of J.J. Radshaw) suggests, it is also risky. Voicemail messages can impact attorney-client privilege should a potential client leave a voicemail that is a bit too detailed.

Instead of a lengthy voicemail left to an impersonal messaging system, greet your business hours clients and potential clients with a Smith agent. You won't have to worry about them chatting with other clients or coworkers, and our technology makes it effortless for them to maintain confidentiality.

Virtual Services for Non-Virtual Lawyers

Even if you prefer the comforts of strategically-placed office, one with a welcoming reception area and friendly receptionist, you can still benefit from using Smith.ai. For example, our customized service can be used when you are away from the office for extended amounts of time, or to separate prospective clients from current ones.

With our service, you receive a personalized Smith number, customized voicemail with human transcription, and immediate call notification via text messaging — including prioritization, caller disposition, and spam filtering. You provide the number to whomever you choose, and we will answer calls during our business hours. Outside of our business hours, callers are greeted with a professionally recorded voicemail greeting, and their message is transcribed and delivered to you via email.

We’re even rolling out new technologies that will further improve every lawyer's ability to stay in touch with clients while still completing other tasks. Regardless of whether you call yourself a virtual lawyer, or if you prefer the familiarity of a dark leather and wood office, Smith.ai has the technology to support your practice – no matter where it’s located.

Jenn Marie

I began my writing and marketing career in 1993 for Taw Caw Little League, a community organization managed by my father at the time. At a young age, I learned the importance of well-written brochures, newsletters, and programs as well as the many challenges of running a fundraising concession stand.

But the unlimited supply of candy made it all worthwhile.

My childhood exposure to community development grew into an adult love of community service. As a young adult, I spent multiple years involved in full time community service through both Xavier University’s United Way Service Fellows program and National AIDS Fund AmeriCorps. During these times, I worked with young children and teens as an educator on literacy, sexual health, and HIV prevention.Helping others through communication was quickly becoming my passion.

Although active on the Internet since 1997, I first began working online in 2002 for Dell Computers. I was responsible for teaching people how to shop online, and it was a job I took very seriously.Upon graduation, I was hired by Microsoft, at the dawn of the Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing boom. I completed three Microsoft certifications within a few months, vastly increasing my technical aptitude and sales skills.In 2010, I began leveraging the internet for projects that combined my journalism, customer service, and sales background. During that time, I completed writing projects for  a variety of internet marketing firms as well as established websites such as Avvo.com and Groupon.  I also worked part-time for Amazon.com as a virtual customer service agent.I’d built a career off of the internet, and was now ready to build my own business.I left Amazon in 2014 to build my business full time. A few months later, I founded Jenn Marie Writing & Marketing, LLC  with a team of four freelancers. Since then, we have scaled up and down to meet client demand for  content writing, blog posting, and social media management services.

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