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Law Firm Virtual Receptionists & Outsourced Staffing

Virtual receptionists and chat services are popular with solo and small law firms that want to be responsive but don't want to hire a full-time employee or intake specialist. They can also be an effective way to handle overflow when nobody at the firm can answer. Cloud-based phone services host your entire phone system to the cloud and include features like advanced call routing, call recording, analytics, and more.

How to Choose Law Firm Virtual Receptionists & Outsourced Staffing

To help you choose the best fit for your firm, here are some key questions to consider:

5 Steps to Choosing a Virtual Receptionist

1. Determine if you need a dedicated team of receptionists

Some companies distribute incoming calls among dozens or hundreds of receptionists. When someone answers, they will get a script with your custom greeting and (probably) a pronunciation guide, but they won’t get to know your firm. Other companies assign your firm a small team and work with you to train them on call handling. Of course, this may also have implications for price and availability.

2. Assess what availability you need

It’s tempting to assume 24/7/365 is better, but there may be trade-offs. For example, some companies use local receptionists during regular business hours, but remote call centers in other time zones for overnight shifts. If you prefer a small, dedicated team, it may not be possible to get 24/7/365 without increasing the size of the team or using additional receptionists after hours. And 24/7/365 is often (but not always) more expensive, too.

3. What do you need in addition to reception

You can get a virtual receptionist just for answering the phone, but many offer additional services like appointment scheduling and confirmation, client intake, live chat, or even taking payments and getting retainer agreements signed. Some services may cost you more than just the additional minutes.

4. How do you want to pay

Most virtual receptionists charge by the minute, but you can find those that charge by the call or offer unlimited or customized plans. Depending on the kinds of calls your firm tends to get, certain plans might be a better fit for your firm’s needs.

5. Compare offereings

Once you have an idea of your firm’s needs, use the feature filters below to see which companies can meet those needs. Then visit their product pages to learn more about what firms are in their target demographic, pricing, and other things you might want to know. Narrow the options to two or three that you are considering, read the reviews from our community, and pick one to try.

Law Firm Virtual Receptionists & Outsourced Staffing Feature Descriptions

Virtual Receptionist Features

While all virtual receptionist services include a live receptionist and allow you to use your own phone number, some offer additional features like appointment scheduling or client intake. Availability varies, as well. Some virtual receptionists are available 24/7/365, while others are available during business hours (usually extended to accommodate multiple North American time zones) with voicemail outside of those hours.

Live Receptionist

Although they are called "virtual" receptionists, the person who answers the phone is, in fact, a real person who can use your customized greeting, request information according to your instructions, make warm transfers to you, or take messages.

Appointment Scheduling

You can give your receptionist access to your calendar or scheduler so they can book appointments for you.

Client Intake

A virtual receptionist service can be a partner in your intake process rather than only and ask questions and gather information according to your intake script.

Outbound Calls

Some virtual receptionist services will make calls for you in order to relay basic information such as confirming an appointment, providing directions to your office, or making referrals.

Free Local or Toll-Free Phone Number

You may prefer to use a different phone number to help you track your callers, or a toll-free number to make it easier for some people to contact you.

Chat Features

There are two kinds of chat offerings: live chat and chatbots. Both can be hosted on your website so that visitors can contact your firm by typing rather than calling. Live chat means a real person is available to chat with visitors, like a virtual receptionist for text-based messaging. A chatbot, on the other hand, offers pre-scripted responses to visitors' input, sometimes with the help of AI.

Live Chat

We're using live chat to mean chat plus a team to respond to inquiries, as opposed to a chat tool you can use to respond yourself.

Chat Tool

With a chat tool you can add a chat box to your website so that visitors can chat directly with you or your firm staff when you are available.


A chatbot is an automated messaging tool for automated communication with visitors to your website or within commonly used messaging apps like Facebook Messenger. Some are essentially a guided form, while others might use AI to answer more complex questions.

Phone Features

A hosted phone solution allows you to move your entire phone system to the cloud. It can also come with advanced call routing options, call recording, analytics, and more.

Call Routing

With call routing you can direct incoming calls based on criteria you set. For example, you could send existing clients directly to the lawyer handling their matter. Or distribute potential client calls evenly among intake staff. Or just send calls to your virtual receptionist after hours.

Voicemail Transcription

Your phone service can transcribe your voicemails using text recognition software so you can read your messages instead of listening to them.

Call Recording

"This call may be recorded for quality control purposes." Only if you want to, of course.

Call Analytics

Use information about your calls to identify patterns, calculate the ROI of your marketing efforts, and improve your client service.

Text Messaging

Send and receive text messages using your business phone system.

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