Why Your Litigation Law Firm Needs an Answering Service


When most people think of court cases, they imagine criminal trials. However, the vast majority of cases that make it to court in the US are civil, not criminal. Representing these clients is the job of a litigation law firm, sometimes called a trial law firm. 

Civil cases encompass any legal proceedings that don’t fall under the heading of criminal law. As such, a litigation law firm can represent clients in an incredibly wide range of cases, including:

  • Personal injury
  • Patent law
  • Business and international law
  • Public interest litigation
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Real estate disputes
  • Medical malpractice
  • Breach of contract
  • Defamation
  • Copyright infringement

The number of civil cases in the US court system has skyrocketed in recent years. According to US Courts, civil case filings increased by 24% in 2023. That’s a dramatic jump, and it means that litigation law firms are dealing with a massive influx of potential new clients. That’s great news in some respects. In others, it’s not so good. 

An increase in leads can mean more clients, but it also means:

  • A greater need for in-office staff to answer phone calls and emails
  • More missed calls and other communications
  • A greater chance that a lead will contact a competing law firm if their call isn’t answered or their message isn’t returned promptly
  • Increased demand on team members’ time, which can negatively impact their ability to help current clients

It’s a difficult situation in which to find yourself. The good news is that litigation law firms don’t have to go it alone, nor is their only option hiring more staff members and taking on additional payroll, which would just eat into their profits. The solution is to work with a legal answering service.

Top reasons to consider partnering with a legal answering service

Incoming communications are unpredictable. It’s impossible to ensure that one of your staff is there to answer every call as it comes in. Even if you have the budget to hire multiple receptionists and the ability to farm overflow calls out to other team members, some of them are going to fall through the cracks. 

Every missed call, every email that sits unopened in your inbox, and every web chat that isn’t replied to quickly represents the same thing: a missed opportunity to add a client and build a more successful litigation law firm. Working with a legal answering service offers important solutions to these challenges, allowing your team to do what they do best without having to worry about who’s handling in-office communications. Here are some of the top reasons to consider hiring a law firm answering service.

1. Every call is answered when it comes in

Let’s start with the most obvious reason to hire a legal answering service. If you’re concerned about calls not being answered, this is great news. The right service will offer a team of live virtual receptionists to ensure that all calls coming to your office are answered as they come in. That means no more calls sent to voicemail and no more leads hanging up in frustration that they can’t get a live person.

2. Spend time with leads who fit your firm’s offerings

Litigation law is a vast and varied field. That means only some of the calls and emails you receive are going to be from leads you can help. Time spent communicating with poorly suited leads is time wasted. A legal answering service can vet leads for you, ensuring that you’re able to focus on those leads you can help and that you don’t waste valuable time and other resources on leads who would be better off with a different law firm. Additionally, the right service can offer live chat support to answer questions, provide guidance, and ensure that the leads that make it to your team members are well-suited to what your firm offers.

3. Accept payments and handle collections

Payment processing is a critical part of your legal practice, but it’s resource and time-intensive. Every minute a legal team member spends handling billing-related matters is time that could have been spent doing due diligence, creating contracts, or representing clients. A legal answering service can assist with your billing and payment needs. In addition, the right service can even help ensure that delinquent clients pay up by handling your collections-related activities. 

4. Delve into data to make informed decisions

What trends affect your litigation law firm? Are you seeing more of a particular type of case? Are you representing more clients from a specific area or background? These are just a handful of examples of the questions you need to answer to make informed decisions regarding your practice and its future. A legal answering service can give you access to real-time call data, call recordings, and transcripts, access to metadata, and more to create complete pictures of your clients’ journeys and to get the big picture about your practice. That makes it much simpler to make data-driven decisions that foster growth.

It's time to secure the expert help you need to grow

The rise in civil cases in the United States means that litigation law firms have unprecedented growth opportunities. However, if you’re still tied to your phone system or are bogged down answering emails, it’s hard to build a successful firm. Working with a legal answering service is the solution.

When you partner with Smith.ai, you get 24/7 phone answering, lead vetting, live chat support, appointment booking, payment processing, and so much more. It’s never been easier to ensure your team can focus on growth-related tasks while we handle your communications. 

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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