Why Your Environmental Law Firm Needs an Answering Service


We live in tumultuous times when it comes to climate change and environmental impacts. The Supreme Court continues to overturn established conventions by limiting the EPA’s oversight powers and challenging the authority of government agencies. At the same time, new legislation is moving through the system in an attempt to at least slow climate change and mitigate environmental pollution and damage. Rules that apply to everything from power plant emissions to tailpipe pollution and the protection of federal waters are in flux. 

In short, it’s a busy time for environmental law firms. Whether your firm works primarily for the government, private businesses, or nonprofit organizations, you must balance that increase in demand for your services with the influx of calls and emails your team must handle. It can be a difficult thing to do, and too many firms find that they’re unable to maintain their equilibrium without a little outside assistance.

A law firm answering service could be the solution you need. The right answering service can ensure your phone calls, emails, and even SMS messaging needs are handled, freeing your team to focus on important cases and client representation.

What can a legal answering service do for an environmental law firm?

Many environmental law firms have little or no experience with legal answering services. It’s not uncommon for team members to answer phone calls and reply to emails, at least when they’re in the office. If no one is available, those calls go to voicemail and emails sit in the inbox until someone has the time to deal with them. 

That’s poor business practice. Many callers won’t leave voicemails and a growing number of people are upset that the businesses they patronize take so long to respond to emails. Let’s discuss how a legal answering service can change the situation.

Prompt call answering

Unanswered calls are potential clients unserved. Every phone call that goes to voicemail is a potential client that might be lost if you’re unable to return the call promptly. And given how busy most environmental law firms are today, that’s a very real probability. 

A legal answering service can ensure that every call your firm receives is answered promptly. That means no more mystery voicemails, no more unhappy potential clients, and no more current clients frustrated that they cannot get someone on the phone when they need them.

It’s about more than answering

Of course, anyone can answer a phone call. Simply picking up the call and greeting the caller doesn’t necessarily guarantee a positive outcome. If the person answering the call knows nothing about the firm and has not been properly trained, it might just exacerbate the situation.

Virtual receptionists employed by a legal answering service are fully trained and have deep experience handling law firm phone calls and other communications. What’s more, the right legal answering service will take your firm’s policies, procedures, and brand-related information and use that to augment their receptionists’ training, ensuring that they become part of your team. 

It's about more than merely answering calls. It’s about ensuring that each client feels seen, valued, and heard, while simultaneously collecting caller information and making it available to your team.

Data-enriched call answering

Building on the idea that legal answering services do more than just answer calls and emails, let’s look at the need for data from your communications. How much time do you spend trying to recall previous touchpoints with clients who leave messages? How frustrating is it to try returning a call only to find out that the voicemail doesn’t include a callback number or that the person leaving the message forgot to leave their name, the name of their business, or other critical information? 

With a legal answering service, your law firm benefits from data-enriched call answering. Experienced virtual receptionists can collect a broad range of data, including the caller’s name and contact information, experience with your firm, related information such as the nature of the call, the name(s) of any other entities involved, and a great deal more. 

That ensures whoever returns the call has accurate information on which to act. It also helps reduce the amount of back and forth with potential clients, while ensuring that current clients are contacted by team members who’ve worked with them and are familiar with their situation. 

Screening potential clients made easier

If your environmental law firm is anything like most, you spend a lot of time screening potential clients. A significant percentage of calls and emails may be from people who aren’t well-suited to your firm’s offerings. The right legal answering service can help you recoup that time and improve your client intake process.

Virtual receptionists can respond to questions in real-time, whether those are sent by phone, email, or even by text. The right firm will even offer web chat that incorporates AI and experienced live receptionists to provide the information and guidance potential clients need without tying up one of your team members.

It’s time to build a stronger environmental law firm

Environmental law firms are busier than ever, and that trend is unlikely to change anytime soon. As new environmental rules and regulations are handed down and new legal challenges mount against them, you can expect an ongoing influx of calls, emails, and other communications. Make sure you have a strategy that streamlines your communications while ensuring that team members can focus on their most important responsibilities.

At Smith.ai, we offer the services you need to build a stronger environmental law firm. From 24/7 phone answering to lead screening and intake, call recording and transcription, to entering critical information in your CRM so it’s centralized and available to everyone, we deliver the solutions you need.

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai.


Virtual Receptionists
Law Firm
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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