Why Your Family Law Firm Needs an Answering Service


Family law is a critical part of our legal system. It’s the branch that deals with things that affect the American family, such as divorce, child support and custody, adoption, prenups, wills, and more. The great diversity of needs within this area has led to the growth of many subspecialties. 

Some family law firms focus exclusively on divorce and similar issues. Other firms work with adoption agencies and government agencies. Yet others focus on domestic abuse and child welfare. In most states, family law is considered a civil matter, although situations can lead to matters being transferred to a criminal attorney, such as in the case of domestic abuse/violence. 

Regardless of subspecialty or area of focus, all family law firms share some commonalities:

  • They’re experiencing a growing number of phone calls, emails, text messages, and other communications.
  • They’re frequently called out of the office to work with clients, represent clients in court, handle in-person research, and more.
  • They face a significant challenge in balancing communications with serving current clients and maintaining the beneficial work/life balance that team members need.

A legal answering service can be the key to overcoming each of these challenges. How so? Let’s take a closer look at what a law firm answering service can offer and how those services ultimately benefit the legal team and overall firm.

Always available

Perhaps the single most important benefit of working with a legal answering service is that it means your family law firm is always available. You never have to worry that a potential lead will be forced to leave a voicemail or will get frustrated when their call isn’t answered and turn to a competitor. 

What’s more, the right legal answering service can offer customizable plans that fit your needs. For example, maybe you have specific hours during the week when you need more help with the phones. Overflow answering could be just the thing. Or maybe you’ve noticed an uptick in calls that come in after hours. After-hours and 24/7 call answering solve that problem.

Brand building

When a team member isn’t able to answer a call, chances are good it’s routed to someone’s voicemail. The message will give a brief spiel that might touch on some of the things that set your law firm apart from the competition, but not much, and there’s a high probability that the caller will be so frustrated that they pay little attention to it. After all, when was the last time you heard some iteration of “Your call is important to us, please stay on the line,” and didn’t grind your teeth?

A legal call answering service helps prevent that fate. With live virtual receptionists trained on what makes your law firm unique, your callers get a firm introduction to your brand. It’s an excellent way to make your firm stand out from a crowded industry but also lets potential clients know what to expect during your relationship, communicates your core values, and builds trust, all of which are critical elements in a successful client/attorney relationship.

Gathering critical information

Your team spends a significant amount of time gathering information from potential clients. They gather names, addresses, why someone might be calling, facts surrounding those situations, and so much more. That information is crucial for building an accurate picture of a potential client’s needs, and then creating the foundation of their case, whether that’s an adoption, a divorce, or something else completely.

While critical, the average family law firm faces quite a few challenges on this front. 

First, team members aren’t always available to gather that information, and juggling missed calls, call-backs, and all the rest can mean missed details or that potential clients are asked repeatedly for the same information, which quickly becomes irritating.

Second, if that data isn’t entered correctly into your firm’s CRM, it creates major problems. Even something as simple as a typo might lead to duplicate entries, which then present their own problems. That doesn’t even touch on the way these situations erode your office efficiency, create double work, or give potential and existing clients the impression that your firm is disorganized and chaotic.

A live virtual receptionist solves these issues handily. Each call is answered as it comes in, which means there’s no need to play phone tag. Each lead’s information is entered into your CRM, verified for accuracy, and bumped against your current records to ensure everything is 100% complete and that there are no duplicate entries. 

Freeing your team while being there for clients

Family law firms must walk a fine line between being there for new clients and ensuring that their team members have the freedom necessary to serve existing clients’ needs. A legal answering service helps ensure that you’re able to bridge those points. It’s all about providing your team members and potential clients with what they need: an experienced virtual receptionist to handle communications for your team members, and a brand-aligned specialist to answer questions, take information, and streamline the intake process for new clients.

At Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists offer all the services a growing family law firm needs. That includes 24/7 answering capabilities, appointment setting, lead screening and intake, call intelligence and metadata, and full CRM integration so your team always has the full (and accurate) picture. We can even offer payment collection, SMS text answering, and other solutions to help your firm prosper.

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


Law Firm
Virtual Receptionists
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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