Why Your Criminal Law Firm Needs an Answering Service


Someone is arrested every three seconds in the United States. That’s 10.5 million arrests per year. While that’s down from 1990’s high of 14.1 million arrests, it’s still incredibly significant. 

As a criminal defense attorney, it’s your responsibility to serve those who’ve been arrested and provide them with the best defense possible. 

Balancing that responsibility with growing your law firm and handling new client intake can be incredibly challenging. A legal answering service is the answer to the problem.

Keeping things organized and on track

You’re familiar with the difficulties involved with running a disorganized law firm. Imagine trying to handle all of your responsibilities while essentially working out of a briefcase. You’ve got sticky notes here, dog-eared law books there, case files strewn all over the place, and you’re trying to jot down a potential client’s details on the back of a brief for another case. 

It doesn’t sound fun, does it? And yet, every day, thousands of criminal law firms across the country do something similar. Disorganization leads to lost time and money, but it can also mean not delivering the best outcomes to your clients. A legal answering service can help keep your office more organized.

For instance, an answering service can answer each call that comes in and add the caller’s information to your firm’s CRM. That helps ensure that all of a client’s information is located in the same place, accessible with a few keystrokes. Your team can access the entirety of their record with the firm in one place, as well.

Never miss another call

How many times have you missed an important call from an existing client or been forced to play phone tag with new prospective clients because you were busy when the calls came in? Each time a call goes to voicemail, there’s the potential for disaster.

Current clients become frustrated when they can’t reach a member of your team. If multiple calls go to voicemail, there’s always the chance that they will find another attorney to represent them or that they’ll leave a negative review if they’re in the middle of a case. Potential clients may only give you that one chance to earn their business. Failure to answer their initial call might mean that they go with a competitor.

A legal answering service ensures that neither of these situations happens. With an experienced human virtual receptionist answering every call that comes through, you never need to worry that you’re not delivering the best service to current clients or that potential clients will give up in frustration. That helps boost profitability and ensures that you have a steady flow of clients through the firm. It can also enhance your reputation and increase the number of leads you receive.

Handling client intake

Client intake can be a time-consuming, frustrating process. A significant number of the calls you receive each week are likely from would-be clients who are not a good fit for your firm. 

Simply weeding those out requires time that would be better spent on legal research and other regular responsibilities. Even if a potential new client is well suited to your firm, gathering their information, exploring their situation, and entering all that information into your CRM is time-consuming. 

A legal answering service can help here, too. An experienced virtual receptionist can take the lead vetting off your team’s plate and ensure that people who aren’t a good fit for your firm never makes it to a team member. Simultaneously, they can record the names, contact information, and case details of clients who do fall within your firm’s wheelhouse, streamlining the intake process.

Eliminating distractions for better client representation

Every client deserves your full attention. But you also need to answer your office phone. 

Every call that comes through distracts you or a team member from a critical task, and it can take up to 20 minutes to recover from a single distraction. That doesn’t account for the time spent on the phone, either. 

How can you deliver the best representation to your clients if you’re constantly interrupted by calls, emails, and other communications? A legal answering service can free you from that need so you’re able to focus on the matter at hand and give each client the representation they deserve.

With an experienced virtual receptionist handling phone calls, callbacks, SMS and email follow-up, and answering web queries, you’re able to do what you do best.

Streamlining appointments and calendar entries

Juggling client appointments, court dates, and other events is tough for any attorney. And the busier your firm becomes, the more difficult that will be. The result could be double-booking appointment times, missing important client meetings, being late for court, and more, none of which will help you build a thriving law firm.

A legal answering service doesn’t just handle your phones and email. An experienced virtual receptionist can also handle appointment setting, conflict checks, and payment processing. 

The right law firm answering service for you

The right legal answering service can offer your law firm some pretty profound benefits. From appointment booking to lead vetting, new client intake, email and SMS follow-up, and 24/7 live answering, the right service helps you build a thriving practice while giving your clients the representation they deserve.

At Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists can mean the difference between business as usual and the freedom to do what you do best. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai.

Law Firm
Virtual Receptionists
Written by Mike Graner

Mike Graner is the Marketing Manager at Smith.ai. He focuses on engaging content, company updates, and in-person events.

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