Phone answering services are popular with solo and small firms who want a live receptionist instead of relying on voicemail or answering their own phone, but don’t want to incur the expense of a full-time, on-site receptionist. Also called virtual receptionists, answering services can also handle call overflow or when the line is busy or calls when the office is closed.

There are a number of receptionist services marketing to lawyers. To narrow down the choices, consider the following:

  1. What are your firm’s particular needs? Consider how often you are away from the office and whether your clients need to reach you around the clock.
  2. Download our comparison chart, which highlights the key features for all the virtual receptionists in our directory. Get more information about options by visiting the product page for each.
  3. Sign up for a trial account or demonstration with a few services so you can see if they meet your firm’s needs.

Feature Comparison Chart

See all the key features for all the virtual receptionist services in our directory.

Virtual Receptionists

  • Answer1 Logo Answer1 - Answer1 is a virtual receptionist service that offers integration with a number of external services, including law practice management program Clio.
  • PATLive Logo PATLive - PATLive is a virtual receptionist company that can answer calls, take messages, and forward your calls to you.
  • Ruby Receptionist Logo Ruby Receptionists - Ruby Receptionists is a virtual receptionist firm that integrates with law practice management software like Clio and Rocket Matter.

Feature Explanations

Live receptionist. Although the service is “virtual,” the receptionist will be a real, live person answering the phone.

Customizable greeting/script. You should be able to customize your greeting, and you may be able to include a script for different practice areas, phone lines, etc.

Live transfers/call forwarding. With a live transfer, your receptionist will call you to see if you are available to take the call.

Takes messages. You can optionally have your receptionist take a message instead of sending callers to voicemail.

Voicemail. You receptionist service can host your voicemail box.

Call overflow. If your staff are sometimes overwhelmed by calls, your virtual receptionist could handle the overflow, meaning they can answer after a set number of rings or when your office is closed, instead of having your calls go to voicemail.

Initiate conference calls. Some virtual receptionist services can initiate multi-party calls for you.

Client intake. A virtual receptionist service that offers client intake can ask a potential new client about the specifics of their case rather than having the client wait for you to return the phone call.

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.

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

Use existing number. A check in this box means that the virtual receptionist service will allow you to use your existing phone number.

Free local or toll-free 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.

Real-time notifications. Notifications may come in through an app, text message, email, or a website.

Additional languages. A virtual receptionist may be an effective way to welcome clients who speak languages other than English.

Hours.