If you are a lawyer, you already know that your phone never stops ringing. Either it is a new client who seeks your legal counsel, existing clients seeking an appointment or a case update, or an attorney trying to reach you for a settlement. Handling these requests in a timeline manner is critical to successfully running your firm.
Realistically, it is not possible to answer every call. You are trained to handle cases, build arguments, and work through the complexities of legal work. Most attorneys find they need a legal receptionist who will answer all their calls, respond to queries, and take messages.
While legal receptionists sound like the perfect answer for your emerging legal practice, they can cost quite a lot, both directly and indirectly.
Legal Receptionists are costly. very costly.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, legal receptionists in the United States are paid an average of $23.37 per hour. If your office is open 5 days a week for 40 hours per week, that means per week, you can expect to pay your legal receptionist $934.80, and per month that equates to at least $3,739.20. Annually, this works out to almost $48,600.
According to a report from MIT, employers will also have to pay for life insurance ($150) and health coverage ($2,000-$3,000 for single persons; $6,000-$7,2000 for families - http://www.ahrq.gov). Other benefits could include long-term disability insurance ($250), dental plans ($240-$650), dependent care assistance, tuition reimbursement, and retirement plans. Indirectly, you may have to spend a lot of money on employee support, office supplies, paid vacations, team-building exercises, and even on additional furniture.
These are just a few of the expenses you bear when you hire a legal receptionist. The fact is, you are losing by hiring someone only for 8 hours a day. Depending on your area of practice, your most important calls may come in after hours. Perhaps your current clients will be disappointed and frustrated that their call at 5:01 p.m. went unanswered. Potential clients may simply find another lawyer because you did not pick up their calls.
Our observations reveal that many legal clients often call late in the night or after their own working hours. In other words, you are losing potentially thousands of dollars in business by not being available 24/7 to answer calls.
What is an alternative to legal receptionists?
Unfortunately, having an in-house legal receptionist is not a suitable solution for most lawyers. And while many lawyers try to have their paralegals answering the phones, that's not what they're supposed to be focusing on. There is a better way. The answer is a virtual receptionist, also known sometimes as a legal answering service. Abby Connect offers legal answering services which costs a mere fraction of what you would be spending on an in-house receptionist, for much more coverage than one receptionist could possibly provide.
When you hire our virtual receptionists, you only pay for the minutes allotted to answer your calls. You do not have to pay for their breaks, vacations, and sick leave. You won’t have to invest in any kind of infrastructure or training, as our live receptionists are trained individually on each company they answer for, and have access to fully maintained and frequently upgraded phone technologies & software.
Our basic subscription costs only $279 a month and includes 100 receptionist minutes in the plan. More advanced plans offer up to 500 receptionist minutes and cost only $1,089 a month. This is a fraction of the amount you would spend on an in-house legal receptionist, who is available only during working hours and isn’t available during holidays and weekends.
A legal answering service like Abby Connect also includes phone answering 24/7, bilingual receptionists, dedicated team of receptionists, an account manager, real-time call reports with alerts, unlimited voicemail boxes, customized call forwarding and call handling, toll-free business phone number, and years of training in customer service skills and relationship building with clients.
Subscribe to a Phone answering service to save costs, grow your law firm
Hiring a legal receptionist isn’t easy. Not only will you have to spend between $30,000 to $45,000 a year, but you will also lose potential clients because they aren’t always able to answer the phone, especially after business hours. This amounts to financial losses, especially if you are just starting out as a lawyer.
The best alternative to is to subscribe to a virtual receptionist service specializing in legal answering services. Legal answering services can do everything that in-house receptionists do. Most importantly, they are available 24/7 and cost just a fraction of what you would spend on a full-time employee. It makes sense to get the help you need from a phone answering service that is not only affordable but also from a service that can help you grow your legal practice. Check out Abby Connect’s legal answering services through a 14-day no obligation, free trial.