An attorney answering service will have someone on the phone ready to take calls from potential clients who need your help.
If you're a private practice, a small practice starting up, or even a larger practice with dozens of attorneys, one of the last things you have time for is answering phone calls from potential clients about your services or how you can help them. Although that's an important aspect of growing your practice, if you or your practice is too busy working on current cases, going to court, and meeting with current clients, then answering phone calls that could potentially grow the practice are at the bottom of the to-do list.
It's here that an attorney answering service can come in. Sure, a legal receptionist could handle these calls, but what about weekends and after-hours, when things might come up for clients and potential clients? A legal receptionist won't be there, but an attorney answering service can be there so you don't have to spend extra hours on work-related activities. An attorney answering service can also fill in the gaps if you don't have enough staff, or if your current legal receptionist steps away from the desk. This way, a single call isn't missed.
Attorney Answering Services for Smaller Practices
For private practices or very small practices, an attorney answering service can be vital and it would provide additional help that the practice otherwise may not be able to afford. The service can not only take calls from potential clients, but the service can also screen them for eligibility (a law firm that specializes in media law probably won't take a client who needs representation for a traffic ticket), or deal with routine tasks such as providing directions to the court house, and confirming and setting appointments.
An answering service saves the lawyer's time, who could now spend their phone calls providing legal advice or representing clients. An answering service is also an affordable investment, as it provides the help that a small practice needs without costing a ton of money.
Attorney Answering Services for Larger Practices
Why should a larger practice opt for such services, especially if they already have a few legal receptionist and perhaps a marketing department to find new clients? The biggest reason is that an answering service can obtain accurate personal and incident data on the first call, making it easier for lawyers to follow up. If those details are instead obtained on the follow up call, then it's possible for the practice to lose the client (because they've called another law firm that was able to help right away), or to waste time gathering details only to find out the potential client might not be a good fit for the firm. These calls aren't something a law firm would want to delegate to the marketing department or to the lawyers themselves, so an attorney answering service could be the call management solution that meets the needs of the large practice.
An attorney answering service grows your practice by allowing the attorneys do what they do best: practice law and provide legal advice and representation. The more time they spend doing that, the more money that's made (after all, lawyers are paid by the hour to do those things, not necessarily to give directions to court or to screen potential clients for eligibility). It's all the benefits of a professional, legal receptionist, while also being a great add-on to the legal receptionists you already have.