Attorney answering services: everything you need to know

Attorney answering services: lawyer looks at his phone while walking outside on a sunny day

Lawyers do it all. From advising clients and strategizing on cases to negotiation, mediation, and litigation, attorneys jam a week’s worth of work into almost every day.

But they can’t—and shouldn’t—literally do everything. Successful attorneys delegate to maximize the value of their time. One of the most effective ways to do that? Attorney answering services—which virtual receptionists can provide!

Outsourcing to a skilled, on-demand virtual receptionist frees you from the time-intensive work of screening calls, conducting client intake, fielding questions, and engaging in distracting back-and-forth communications. Such services eliminate the friction and frustration so many attorneys experience when they try to navigate client relationships while juggling their main duties. 

So let’s review how your business might benefit from having a highly-trained virtual receptionist on your frontlines, responding to clients and prospects via phone or even through online chat.

Editor’s note: This article was updated in March 2024 with more information about how attorneys and law firms can benefit from using answering services and virtual receptionists.

Attorney–client relationship management challenges

It’s never a good idea to let calls go to voicemail if you can avoid it. Whoever gives clients the best and fastest service gains a competitive edge which, over time, can make or break a firm.

But calls and emails don’t care about your schedule. They come in at the least convenient times, such as during meetings or when you’ve stepped out for a moment. 

Even when you’re at the office, can you afford to answer every call coming into your firm personally? Probably not. It’s often a waste of billable hours. Or maybe it’s something you don’t want to deal with, like that over-anxious client who loves to micromanage or the disorganized client who keeps asking for the same document.

In any case, you’ve got a challenge to overcome. Your time is at a premium—but your clients and prospects all expect responsive, personalized service. They want you to take their calls and emails at any given second—but it’s cutting into your other work. 

Another problem is that if you spend all your time on them, you’ll miss opportunities to build your practice. But, if you spend too much time chasing new business, you risk damaging client relationships. Delays and calls sent to voicemail cause clients anxiety, which can quickly sour their confidence. 

Suffice to say, you’re walking a tightrope. And with 88% of businesses reporting that customers have higher expectations than ever before, that tightrope probably feels pretty high in the sky.

Luckily, you’ve got a safety net as you strive to find your balance! 

The benefits of a legal virtual receptionist and answering service

You don’t have to continue going it alone when there’s an affordable solution waiting in the wings. Ruby’s virtual receptionists are trained to deftly handle important calls on behalf of solo practices and legal firms. 

From fielding basic queries to taking messages, transferring calls, scheduling appointments, performing client intake, and even making outbound calls, our 24/7 agents integrate seamlessly into your firm—with callers never knowing the difference. 

We even offer live chat services ready to do the same tasks for your website visitors, engaging in genuine conversations (via on-screen chat boxes) that capture more leads and convert them into loyal, trusting clients.

By combining our high-tech proprietary technology with friendly, professional remote receptions, Ruby can help boost your firm’s client intake, satisfaction rates, and retention numbers while reducing your workload so you can focus on billable hours! 

Case study: The Tyra Law Firm

Discover how one law firm captured more business and created deeper connections with clients by using virtual receptionists.

Additional benefits of attorney virtual receptionist and call answering services

  • Maximized call response rates with backup, on-demand, or 24/7 answering
  • Higher lead counts thanks to increased prospect data capture
  • Legal practice management software integration with Clio, MyCase, and more
  • Top-tier client experiences that ensure clients’ needs are fully met
  • Incredible first impressions that wow callers and cement new connections
  • More flexibility so you only take the calls you want

Important legal answering service features to look for

Not all attorney answering services are equal. When evaluating options, we advise seeking a provider with proven experience in the legal industry, and who offers all the capabilities and features your practice depends on.

Here's a helpful checklist to run down:

  • Is the solution integrated with legal technology and law practice management software like Clio?
  • Does it integrate with Zapier for automated communications, scheduling, relationship management, document management, financial tools, and payment processing?
  • Does it provide both phone service and live chat?
  • Is it powered by live humans rather than bots?
  • Can it provide call forwarding?
  • If it provides live chat, does it log chat transcripts?
  • Can it handle conference calls?
  • Is it optimized for client intake?
  • Can the on-demand receptionists make outbound calls in addition to taking inbound calls?
  • Does it allow for call filtering and prioritization?

Attorney answering services at Ruby

Ruby offers all of the above features and more, and we do it 24/7, 365 days a year.

We can respond to your clients and prospects during and outside of regular business hours, ensuring you never miss a chance to connect with a new client. We also work around your day schedule to help you stay focused on those billable hours. 

Our team of bilingual (English and Spanish) agents is available when you need us to represent you or your law firm via phone and chat. 

And with years of proven experience in the legal field, powerful integrations with Clio, Lexicata, and Rocket Matter—plus state and local bar association discounts—we’re confident in ruling that Ruby is a leading choice for attorney answering services.

Curious to learn more? Download the ultimate guide to virtual receptionists for attorneys!