Solo and small firm attorneys are unique in the legal industry. The level of service they offer often surpasses that of larger firms with multiple partners and clients often receive more attention. But if you’re interested in managing your time well and creating efficient processes as a solo and small firm attorney, you’re going to have to let go of some duties.
Why Solo and Small Firm Attorneys Should Never Answer the Phone
One of the duties solo and small firm attorneys must let go of is call answering.
Solo and small firm attorneys should never answer the phone. Before you shrug this off and say “But answering the phone every time it rings saves me from making dozens of callbacks later,” think about this.
If you spend just 5 minutes on the phone with a client or caller each time the phone rings and you receive 10 calls per day, that’s 50 minutes you’re spending on the phone handling matters that could be better handled by an administrative professional.
Nearly a full hour of your workday goes to just providing basic information, updating clients on case progress, and speaking to friends and sales people. For solo and small firm attorneys, an hour is a lot of time to waste. Think of the higher return on investment you get from spending your time on cases and compare it to spending an hour on the phone each day.
That’s inefficient for your firm. Even if you’re 100% solo and think, “There’s no one else but me to answer the phone,” there are a multitude of options available to you. One of the best – and what we’re here to provide – is hiring a virtual receptionist to handle your calls for you.
Types of calls law firms receive
An article on the American Bar Association blog details three types of calls law firms receive on a daily basis. They are:
- Calls regarding current cases
- Calls from prospective clients
- Miscellaneous calls from others
There’s no need to hire an onsite, full-time administrative assistant or paralegal for these calls. By detailing your instructions for each type of call to a virtual receptionist provider like Conversational, you can ensure the person who answers your calls will know exactly how to handle each call.
What if it’s too tough for the virtual receptionist?
Anytime the nature of the call is above the virtual receptionist’s ability to handle, she will simply perform a warm transfer – ask you if you’d like her to transfer the call to you – or take a detailed message from the caller and have you return the call later.
Either way, you’ll significantly reduce the amount of time you have to spend on the phone at work. You can focus on client cases and leave the administrative duties to your virtual receptionist.
Screening potential clients
Additionally, if you work with a virtual receptionist like Conversational provides, you can instruct them to screen new potential clients by having them ask qualifying questions before passing the message or call on to you. This saves you the time of dealing with callers that never actually use your services or worse, offering free legal advice over the phone.
Solo and small firm attorneys can benefit from using virtual receptionists in a variety of ways. If you’re interested in improving your law firm by working with a virtual receptionist, please click below to view our monthly plans.
We also provide virtual assistants – administrative assistants that handle much more than just calls and messages – for solo and small firm attorneys who need a little extra help around the office.