Even with technological advancements in the legal industry, certain key functions like reception remain important for retaining and attracting clients. While attorneys can answer incoming calls themselves, they’re often busy which can lead to missed opportunities and a negative impression of their practice.

Small law firms, in particular, often lack dedicated reception due to budget constraints. However, with a law firm answering service, these firms can enjoy the benefits of having a professional receptionist without the need for an in-house employee. This not only prevents the loss of potential clients but also allows attorneys to focus on their billable hours and core legal work.

In this article, we explore 11 top virtual receptionist providers and what sets them apart. We also discuss important factors to consider, like features, reliability, and cost. You can learn more about the topic on our recent Grow Law Firm episode, where Maddy Martin and host, Sasha Berson, discuss boosting case flow with virtual services.

When to Look for Virtual Receptionist Services

The legal virtual answering service is by no means a new concept. However, with technology becoming cheaper and better, more law firms of all sizes are considering going virtual with their receptionist services, particularly when they are looking to:

  • Become more flexible by being able to operate outside regular business hours without notice
  • Reduce costs by avoiding many of the expenses required for bringing on a staff receptionist
  • Expand their services by being able to manage more clients

If your firm has any of these goals, you will likely benefit from an attorney call answering service.

“The first attorney who answers a call or replies to an inquiry from a prospective client has a 71% probability of getting the business.”
— Sasha Berson

Lawyer virtual receptionist

Top 11 Virtual Receptionist Service Providers for Lawyers

Many companies provide phone answering and website services for a law firms who need a low-cost yet highly functioning receptionist.

With that being said, not all answering services for attorneys are created equal. Some have features that others do not. Additionally, you may find that one particular attorney phone answering service jives better with your operation than all the others.

For help deciding which is the best virtual receptionist service for you, read these reviews of 11 of the best companies around.

1. Abby Connect

Abby connect image
Source: Abby Connect

Abby Connect is one of the best virtual receptionist services available as it works to connect clients and businesses, leading to business expansion and increased revenue. Law firms that work with Abby Connect get highly-trained receptionists offering services in English and Spanish. Firms can take advantage of an array of services in either the live-receptionist category or the live chat category.

These services include:

  • Custom answering hours
  • Bilingual receptionists
  • Call announcement and call routing
  • Message management
  • Chat-to-call services
  • 24/7 support
  • Converting calls to clients

Pricing for Abby Connect is reasonable and cheaper the more minutes of service you purchase.

2. Alert Communications

Alert communications image
Source: Alert Communications

Alert Communications has been working in the legal field since 1965. It has helped thousands of law firms and lawyers over the years by providing them with quality customer service in the area of firm administration.

Additionally, the virtual receptionists at Alert Communications are highly trained in legal terminology and subjects, so they can interact with attorneys and clients in a language they understand. They also offer various business services that small and large law firms find helpful, such as document delivery, retainer processing, and consultation scheduling.

And of course, these virtual receptionists offer the following standard services:

  • Call answering and routing
  • Message management
  • Appointment scheduling
  • 24/7 availability
  • Bilingual receptionists (Spanish and English)

Exact pricing information can be learned by calling Alert Communications directly. Month-to-month contracts are available.   

3. Answering Legal

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Source: Answering Legal

Answering Legal works exclusively within the legal field, so you can rely on their knowledge of important considerations when working with law firms. Law firms that choose Answering Legal benefit from the excellent services provided by well-trained staff to answer their clients’ needs.

One great feature offered by Answering Legal’s dedicated team gives its clients the ability to receive phone calls before they reach the legal virtual receptionist service. If a client does not answer after a specified number of rings, the call will then be routed to the appropriate virtual receptionist. This feature gives you a refreshing degree of flexibility while ensuring that you miss no calls and only take those you want.

Answering Legal offers the following services:

  • Call answering and call routing
  • Message management
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Upgraded call forwarding
  • Outbound calling

Pricing for Answering Legal is easy on the budget. The company even offers a free trial program for new clients. Additionally, firms with high volumes of clients have access to custom pricing.

4. Back Office Betties

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Source: Back Office Betties

Back Office Betties is one of the best virtual receptionist services available for law firms. On top of call answering services, Back Office Betties can also handle some of the day-to-day business duties law firms must engage in, such as processing payments from clients, setting up and managing appointments, and scheduling and managing calls with clients and other law firms.

Back Office Betties does not offer 24/7 answering services. Instead, its receptionists are available Monday through Friday from 5 am to 5 pm. This is a limiting factor that may not work for some.

Services offered by Back Office Betties include:

  • Call answering and routing services
  • Spanish-English bilingual virtual receptionists
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Message management
  • Outbound call management
  • Payment processing

Pricing for the company’s services runs a range, with higher-priced plans at the top of the range for the industry.

5. Gabbyville

Gabbyville image
Source: Gabbyville

Various services that Gabbyville offers (and that other virtual receptionist services like Ruby and Alert Communications don’t provide) include outbound calling at a reasonable rate, managing conference calls by setting up bridge lines coordinating times and dates of calls, and scheduling appointments.

Gabbyville offers direct texting between your law firm and its receptionists, allowing for quick and reliable communication. However, Gabbyville is not a true 24/7 answering service, its virtual receptionists are only available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST. It should also be noted that Gabbyville does not have a mobile app or software integrations.

Gabbyville services include:

  • Call answering and routing
  • Message management
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Outbound calling services

Pricing for Gabbyville’s services begins well under $500. As you go up in pricing, the costs of its services go down.

6. Nexa

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Source: Nexa

Nexa is a widely used service that can effectively serve law firms of any size. One of the things that Nexa claims sets it apart from its competitors is its proprietary software and software infrastructure. According to the company, their system is online 99.98% of the time.

Nexa provides virtual reception services that extend beyond answering phone calls in the traditional sense. Nexa virtual receptionists can answer communications made through text messaging, emails, Facebook messages, and other digital mediums. Nexa also handles a specific array of law firm tasks, from scheduling appointments to filtering potential unfit clients out of your workload through helpful lead qualification services.

Services that Nexa offers its clients include:

  • 24/7 call answering and routing
  • Message management
  • Bilingual Spanish-English virtual receptionists
  • Lead qualification
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Responsive tech help
  • Round-the-clock availability

Nexa’s services are reasonably priced, with its upper range coming in under the prices of many of its competitors.

7. Smith.ai

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Source: Smith.ai

Smith.ai is a top virtual receptionist service provider that goes beyond typical call-answering services to cater specifically to the needs of lawyers and legal professionals. With Smith.ai, you can benefit from their prequalification process, which helps filter potential clients and increase your closing rate. This saves you time and money by focusing your efforts on qualified leads who are more likely to convert into clients.

Smith.ai also offers various follow-up methods, ensuring that potential clients receive timely and effective communication, enhancing the overall client experience. By delegating these frontline communications to Smith.ai, lawyers can focus on their practice and build a more successful law firm. 

Leveraging intelligent technology, Smith.ai prioritizes calls, handles appointment scheduling, facilitates payment collection, and even assists with secretarial tasks like making outbound calls. Their services include:

  • Round-the-clock answering services
  • English-Spanish bilingual receptionist services
  • Appointment and call scheduling
  • Outbound call service
  • Payment collection and management
  • Client filtering
  • Service customization

Pricing for Smith.ai’s standard plans is competitive. They also have custom plans if you don’t find what you need among their available options. However, custom plans may be pricier.

“Smith AI for a law firm or any professional service company is like this assistant on steroids who can do so much at the fraction of the cost.”
— Maddy Martin

8. Ruby

Ruby image
Source: Ruby

Ruby is one of the best virtual receptionist services and can be relied on to provide assistance to growing law firms trying to conserve resources. Ruby offers legal answering services 24/7, and you can customize how your virtual receptionist handles your calls, taking messages or transferring to specific lines.

You get your personal business number with a local area code and can even use it on different lines. Ruby has Spanish-speaking virtual receptionists to help you translate and communicate better with your Spanish-speaking clients.

The Ruby mobile app is a plus too, allowing you to manage most of the service aspect through your smartphone. Moreover, Ruby continuously improves its operations by working with solutions-based groups like Clio, ultimately benefiting its legal industry clients.

When you choose Ruby, you get the following services:

  • Call answering and routing
  • Message management
  • Outbound calls
  • Access to its mobile app
  • Bilingual Spanish-English services

Ruby has various pricing plans available. How much you ultimately end up paying depends on your law firm’s needs.

9. LEX Reception

LEX reception
Source: LEX Reception

LEX Reception exclusively serves the legal industry, providing specialized care for law firm clients with their virtual receptionist services, even in Spanish. LEX Reception also offers a range of secretarial and commercial services for law firms, such as legal scheduling and appointment setting, lead generation and vetting, and legal intake available 24/7.

Working with a virtual receptionist service that can help grow your business is a smart option for growing and small law firms and can save you time and money and improve efficiency. Choosing LEX Reception gives you access to the following services:

  • Call answering service and call routing
  • Message management
  • Client intake
  • Bilingual virtual receptionists
  • Lead qualifying
  • Appointment scheduling
  • 24/7 technical help

As far as pricing is concerned, you can’t really beat LEX Reception for all of the services they offer.

10. Posh Virtual Receptionists

Posh virtual receptionist
Source: Posh Virtual Receptionists

Posh Virtual Receptionists puts you in charge and lets you determine how much or how little you want its virtual receptionists handling your calls. The company offers more than just telephone answering services. Clients have the ability to choose from various features that will help them expand their law firm’s reach, including:

  • Scheduling appointments and conference calls
  • Managing messages
  • After-hours call handling and routing
  • Bilingual virtual receptionist services

Pricing starts under $100 for monthly service plans, with the highest value plans coming in at under $1,000.

11. LawyerLine

Lawyerline image
Source: LawyerLine

As you would imagine, LawyerLine works primarily with lawyers and thus understands their needs as well as how to interact with potential and actual clients. This puts LawyerLine in an excellent position to help law firms and attorneys acquire new clients and retain the ones they currently have.

LawyerLine’s business model centers on customized care for its clients. The company does not follow a one-size-fits-all approach and provides each law firm and attorney it works with individualized care that reflects the needs of each client. In addition to phone answering services, LawyerLine offers:

  • Potential client intake
  • Detailed reporting and analysis
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Payment collections
  • Outbound calls

Pricing information can be learned by contacting the company directly.

Explore the Versatile Features of Smith.ai Virtual Assistant with Maddy Martin

In the podcast episode, Maddy discusses how Smith.ai can act as a law firm’s assistant by handling all frontline communication and qualifying leads through pre-screening questions. She explores how Smith.ai can increase business by ensuring every potential client is responded to on the same day. Maddy also outlines its features like text and chat support, outbound call campaigns, and follow-up methods using videos and emails to continue engaging leads.

“There’s a point where there’s an inflection point, and you realize I actually need to delegate in order to get to the next level, and that’s why you hire an excellent agency. That’s why you delegate to virtual paralegals and other services like that as well as to solutions like Smith that can handle that frontline communication for you while you go do the things that will build the next level law firm.”
— Maddy Martin

Watch full-time video

Things to Be Aware of When Choosing a Legal Answering Service

The concept of buyer beware applies in the world of answering services for attorneys just as much as it does in most commercial contexts. As a firm owner, you will want to be an informed buyer when you are searching for an answering service for a law firm.

You should know that some answering services for lawyers may not be what they appear to be or may engage in certain activities that could be red flags.

— It’s Not Really 24/7 Answering

Many answering services for lawyers aren’t truly 24/7 operations. They create the illusion of round-the-clock availability to attract prospective clients. However, they primarily offer voicemail-only services after business hours. Relying solely on voicemail has several negative consequences for your law firm.

Clients find voicemails irritating when seeking solutions to their legal problems. The absence of a person answering calls adds stress and may prompt them to switch to a firm with live receptionists available 24/7. Moreover, after-hours voicemail leads to wasted time, reduced efficiency, and a frustrating game of phone tag.

By hiring a reputable virtual receptionist for law firms, you can ensure that every caller receives the attention they deserve, regardless of the time they contact your office.

— They Might Be Outsourcing

Your phone answering service may be outsourced to a third-party company. This increases the potential for issues and complicates communication problem resolution. You should know upfront if your service engages in outsourcing, and avoid any company that conceals this information.

— Reducing the Hours

You’ll want to make sure that the service you choose provides complete answering services around the clock. Unfortunately, some companies offering this service routinely reduce your coverage on weekends, third shifts, and holidays to save money. Their savings will result in a loss of business for your firm.

Enhance Your Law Firm’s Client Communication with Virtual Receptionist for Lawyers

Client communication is a pillar of a successful law firm. And it begins with that first phone call. However, some firms may not have the luxury of employing a dedicated phone person. Fortunately, there is a way to ensure that every call to your office receives the professional attention it deserves.

With virtual receptionists handling your calls, you can focus your energies on your clients instead of worrying about the phone. And you can significantly cut down on your operating costs.

Grow Law Firm is a premier, high-performance attorney SEO company that offers an array of business services designed to help attorneys like you grow their firm sustainably and effectively. Contact us today and let’s talk about your future.