Famous attorney (and even more famous president) Abraham Lincoln once stated that “a lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.”
That’s as true now as it was in 1836. Unfortunately, time is a commodity that is running in short supply for today’s legal professionals.
According to Clio’s 2021 Legal Trends Report, most attorneys report billing just 2.5 hours a day on average. This indicates that “many lawyers either don’t have enough clients to fill their day or that they struggle with inefficiencies in their firms that distract from billable work.”
Working even longer hours isn’t the answer. Instead, take advantage of virtual solutions that help you save time and maximize efficiency while capturing more opportunities to grow your practice.
How virtual receptionists help you convert and retain more clients
You want to deliver exceptional service to both new and existing clients, but between casework, answering questions, and handling administrative tasks, who has the time?
Well, with a little backup, you do!
Virtual receptionists are live, trained professionals who can answer calls and respond to website visitors 24/7. They’re available whenever you are not, like after business hours; or when you already have your hands full—for instance, when you’re on the phone with another client.
Not only does this help your practice deliver the quick response times that customers across all industries expect, but also the kind of friendly and empathetic service that helps you win over potential clients and retain the loyalty of those you already serve.
Best of all, removing yourself as the first point of contact can improve your relationships with clients by putting you in control of when and how you connect with them. The result: fewer distractions, more billable hours, and happier clients.
What to look for in a client communication solution
Virtual receptionists are your firm’s secret weapon in improving client communication. But keep in mind that not every provider provides equal value. The best virtual receptionists offer flexible and customizable service, with capabilities tailored specifically to serve your practice.
Before signing up with a virtual receptionist service, make sure they offer a comprehensive suite of features that meet all your needs, including…
- Call transferring
- 24/7 live chat
- Appointment scheduling
- Client intake
- Lead capture
- A convenient online dashboard and mobile app that allows you to manage your communication from anywhere
Remember that answering calls is only one element of the right client communication solution. After all, anyone can take a message, but only the right solution can create meaningful connections with the people you serve.
The virtual receptionists at Ruby get to know each caller and website visitor—who they are, why they’re reaching out, and how they heard about you—so that you can put your best foot forward when contacting them back.
In addition to industry-leading service, Ruby also integrates with popular practice management platforms such as Clio, allowing you to view, sync, and manage all your client information in one place.
The virtual team – coordinating your receptionists with paralegals
Virtual receptionists are even better when you pair them with a virtual paralegal who can assist with the rest of the onboarding process.
Once your virtual receptionist schedules an appointment with the prospective client, your paralegal can follow up with the prospective client to ask further screening questions to determine their suitability as a client. The paralegal can then schedule a call with you for an initial consultation.
If you take on the client’s matter, the paralegal can then coordinate the necessary tasks of onboarding. These could include sending out a retention agreement, creating a file for the client, tracking receipt of retainers, and collecting initial documents from the client and third parties. Your virtual paralegal can help you establish automations within a practice management system like Clio that automatically assign these onboarding tasks. These automations introduce efficiencies into the onboarding process and help ensure that critical steps in the onboarding process are not missed.
Once the client is onboarded, your paralegal can provide assistance in the more substantive matters of the case. If you’re a litigator, this may mean assistance preparing the complaint, drafting or responding to written discovery, and motion practice. For family law practices, the paralegal can prepare critical forms, assemble financial affidavits, and draft proposed orders. Paralegals assist trusts and estates practices by creating initial drafts of key documents. On the corporate side, paralegals prepare initial drafts of contracts and assist with the formation of business entities. Whether its these areas of practice, or specialized areas like immigration, real estate, or bankruptcy, a paralegal can save you time.
Virtual paralegals can also save your practice money as compared to a full-time or even part-time paralegal. Virtual paralegals are paid only for the hours they are needed, so you only pay for work actually performed. You also don’t need to worry about costs such as taxes, benefits, or on-site space and equipment. In fact, many firms actually profit on paralegal time by billing clients for the paralegal time at rates above their cost.
The easy way to find the right virtual paralegal
You don’t need to take time out of your practice recruiting a virtual paralegal.
Equivity has dozens of paralegals on staff with experience in a wide variety of practice areas. Equivity sources their employees from all over the United States, so they are able to assist attorneys from California to New York, and every state in between. The virtual paralegals at Equivity are US-based, college graduates with bachelor’s degrees. Their virtual paralegals are experienced in practice areas including litigation, corporate and transactional, family law, personal injury, criminal, real estate, estate planning, immigration, and much more. Equivity offers flexible plans that allow you to scale up or down based on how busy or slow you in any given month.
When paired with virtual receptions from Ruby, Equivity paralegals help your firm leverage your talent, allowing you to grow your practice, assist more clients and save time.
Equivity partners with Ruby to offer a special 5% lifetime discount!