Voice over IP (VoIP) is an alternative method for sending and receiving telephone calls that allows law firms more flexibility, and a higher level of security in their phone systems. By utilizing your existing internet connection to carry their telephone information, you can untether your firm from many of the strict physical requirements of traditional telephone systems.
On this Page
Basics of VoIP for Lawyers
The main benefit to VoIP telephone service is that your phone system is not physically connected to a specific place like traditional office phones. Additionally, each phone in your “office” is connected through the internet rather than the telephone lines of your office. To make this happen, the system utilizes the specific and unique IP address of your device to connect phone calls to your computer, a VoIP enabled phone, or even your mobile device.
Although most of the VoIP system will not work without an internet connection, a savvy user can set-up fail-safes (like call forwarding, and call-routing) that will allow your office to function, generally, even if you lose internet connection. As an aside, if your office loses its internet connection, it is unlikely that you will be able to do much even if you can answer the phones.
VoIP services are becoming increasingly common for lawyers, especially solo practitioners and firms with effective remote practices. Although it can be difficult to determine whether your firm is ready to make the switch, the trend is moving toward all phone systems running over VoIP. So, it’s less a question of if you switch to VoIP, as it is when.
How to Choose VoIP for Lawyers
Since choosing a VoIP provider is a base-level infrastructure question in your firm, it is not easy to test-out the service prior to switching. And it is impossible to get a “free trial”. Unless you’re setting-up your firm anew, you will need to port your existing number, transfer or migrate your saved and existing voice messages, create new outgoing messages, and possibly purchase new phones, among other things. This will take some time and planning. Below is what you should look for when determining what is right for your firm.
4 Steps in selecting a VoIP Provider for attorneys.
- Determine your law firm’s VoIP needs.
Look at what software you may want to integrate with, how many users you will have, and whether or not you need to work with a Virtual Receptionist Service (to name a few). Write this down in a list or a spreadsheet so you can compare products later.
- Assess the available features.
Read our Features Descriptions and discover what options you have when choosing a service. There may be more capabilities here than you are aware of.
- Research your options.
User our features filter to sort your available options, then read the relevant reviews. Dig into their website, or ask questions in a specific Facebook Group like Lawyerist’s Insiders.
- Try before you buy.
Finally, sign up for a trial account, or demo one or two likely software options, put them through their paces, and select the one that will work best for your firm.