- The financial challenges of the solo attorney
- How the right attorney answering service boosts professionalism
- How your answering service impacts your work
Q: Do I need an answering service as an independently practicing attorney?
A: Virtual receptionist services help solo attorneys and virtual law firms stay profitable and charge higher fees because they boost your professionalism – and prevent you from missing calls.
Being an independent attorney can be wonderful. While a firm may provide organization and structure, many in the legal industry prefer the freedom of independent practice.
The pandemic’s impact on the legal industry has made it even easier to excel as an independent attorney.
According to a survey conducted by the New York State Bar Association, 85% of lawyers are optimistic about growth in 2022. . With offices and in-person interactions screeching to a halt in 2020, virtual law firms became the new norm.
The pandemic forced many non-essential workers to WFH (work from home). Surprisingly, many lawyers found it easier to achieve work-life balance working remotely, and they operated just as efficiently from the comfort of their own homes.
The truth is that attorneys don’t really need an office or an extensive team. With virtual meetings and attorney answering services, they can do their job effectively from anywhere.
With the ability to work independently, many lawyers began to question working in larger firms. These firms often require attorneys to take on projects that aren’t aligned with their interests, longer work hours, and more stress.
Solo attorneys can pursue their own career interests, set their own schedules, and work from virtually anywhere.
Unfortunately, many solo attorneys struggle to maintain cash flow. Whether through lack of confidence or difficulty attracting and maintaining clients, this can pose a serious problem for independent legal professionals.
Fortunately, there is a surprisingly simple solution.
- What are some benefits of going solo?
- The financial challenges of the independent attorney
- The two keys to maintaining your rates and fees
- How the right attorney answering service can help
The Benefits of Going Solo
Going solo gives you the freedom to pursue cases that align with your own interests. By remaining flexible, you open yourself up to a whole new realm of possibilities.
This can benefit you in a few ways.
Finding your niche can help you stand out from the competition. If you target a specific practice area, people with legal issues in that field are more likely to hire you than a generalist.
Additionally, practicing law in a specific area or niche can help you stay passionate and enthusiastic about your work. Not only does that enthusiasm help reduce stress, but it can further your career as well. You learn because you want to – not because you have to. In other words, your work is boosted by intrinsic motivation.
In contrast, working for a law firm can force you to take on cases that you find boring or tiresome. This is not to say that solo lawyers will only take on work that intrinsically motivates them. Like any other line of work, sometimes it’s necessary to compromise to reach your target earnings.
The Financial Challenges of the Independent Attorney
Unfortunately, going solo often poses unique financial hurdles. Chief among these is the difficulty in maintaining cash flow.
Working in a large firm creates an air of prestige and professionalism that can be difficult to replicate on your own. Traditional, large legal firms command higher fees that many people are willing to pay.
Why? Well, along with a record of successful cases (hopefully), these brick-and-mortar firms offer polished legal answering services, a fancy office, professional receptionists, paralegals, and other amenities in-house that your typical solo attorney can’t provide.
When you transition to a solo practice, you can lose some of the benefits of belonging to a law firm. Even though you may be incredibly knowledgeable, it can be harder to convince clients that your fees are justified.
Things become even worse when you’re trying to juggle several tasks all by yourself.
Running an independent firm isn’t all about pursuing cases you’re genuinely passionate about.
Suddenly, you’re now responsible for your own marketing and lead generation – activities that can require a tremendous amount of focus, effort, and budget.
Trying to do all these things yourself becomes even more daunting when you’re constantly answering the phone and talking to clients.
Read More: Law Goes Virtual
Over time, you may miss out on opportunities simply because people don’t know you exist.
As a result, solo attorneys often find themselves lowering their fees to try to attract new clients. Sure, this can bring in more cases – but you end up working longer hours to make the same amount of money, leading to significant work stress.
Fortunately, you can overcome all of these issues with the right tools and strategies. As a solo attorney, you will have to become efficient at automating, delegating, and outsourcing as many tasks as possible.
Check out Alliance Virtual Offices Social Media Marketing Guide for Small Businesses. If you want to start marketing your solo firm online, this article will give you some great tips. The good news about social media marketing? It’s free! Unless you run advertising campaigns.
The Two Keys to Maintaining Your Rates
Maintaining a Professional Image
The first thing you need to do is create a strong professional image for your solo practice.
With Gallup reporting that 45% of employees now work from home, it’s clear that remote and virtual work is now an accepted norm in our society. As a result, the decision to work remotely or independently shouldn’t affect your reputation.
There’s nothing inherently less prestigious about operating independently. The main issue most solo practices have is that they’re simply juggling too many tasks to maintain their public image.
The answer is simple: If you can find the time to polish your marketing and branding strategies, you’ll increase the likelihood of finding clients who are more than happy to pay your fees.
Social media marketing can be automated and outsourced – just like many other tasks required for running a small business.
Customers like to be able to contact their attorneys. Many firms and independent practices now reduce the constant distraction of incoming calls by using a virtual receptionist service.
In brick-and-mortar firms, receptionists and administrative assistants have to be hired, trained, and paid. This expense reduces a firm’s profitability.
The beauty of legal answering services is that it makes this essential service much more cost-effective, especially if the solution includes a live receptionist plan.
Excelling at Your Work
While appearances are certainly important, they aren’t everything. You also need to have a solid track record that proves your effectiveness.
By winning cases or landing big consulting jobs, you can gradually build your credibility. This in turn validates your rates, as you can justify your fees by pointing to your long list of satisfied clients.
The good news is that you can significantly reduce your workload by taking advantage of modern, innovative solutions.
How the Right Attorney Answering Service Can Help
Having the right attorney answering service can be an absolute game-changer as you strive for financial success.
A solid answering service provides your clients with top-tier customer service, boosting satisfaction rates while answering any questions they may have.
Additionally, an attorney answering service helps you promote a sense of professionalism.
When a dedicated receptionist answers attorney phone calls, callers immediately assume they’re dealing with an organized, successful law office.
Because of this, an effective attorney answering service creates a positive first impression, justifying your fees and increasing customer loyalty.
This positive customer service experience also ensures positive reviews, further boosting your discoverability while helping build your firm’s professional image.
The benefits of attorney answering services extend beyond your firm’s image. This solution also can also help you become more successful with your practice.
When you attempt to answer your own phones all day, it becomes incredibly difficult to focus on your work. Any incoming calls must be answered, meaning whatever project you’re engaged in is put on pause.
This can make work far more stressful than necessary, as you’re constantly having to multitask.
It’s simple: You work more, and your quality of work suffers. As a result, your business growth becomes stymied.
A solid attorney answering service frees you from these daily interruptions, allowing you to stay focused and reach your top potential.
Not only does this help you avoid burnout, but it also means you’ll build your credibility faster, helping you maintain your rates and grow your firm.
But not all attorney answering services are created equal, and there is one particular option that stands out as the clear winner.
Why a Virtual Receptionist is the Best Solution
A virtual receptionist is a remote receptionist that connects to your business phone through a virtual number.
When you purchase a Live Receptionist plan, incoming calls are automatically answered in a friendly, professional manner by a trained receptionist. Your receptionist answers questions and helps your firm create a positive first impression.
Should the caller need to leave a message or speak to you directly, your receptionist can pass along messages in a convenient manner. They can also schedule a callback at a time that works best for you.
This provides you with all the legitimacy and professionalism of a traditional receptionist without having to pay a full-time salary or rent an office. As a result, you can easily justify your rates – even when you’re not working with a big firm.
Additionally, you can focus exclusively on your cases without being interrupted constantly.
This allows you to strive for the best results as an independent attorney.
Going into business for yourself can be a fantastic career move. It allows you to focus on the areas you find most compelling as you maintain a better work-life balance.
But it’s important to remember that running a solo practice is not without its fair share of challenges. You need to use every tool at your disposal to justify your rates, attract high-paying clients, and build long-term partnerships.
If you fail to do this, you could end up working longer hours and earning less money.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
By choosing the right attorney answering service, you can boost your firm’s professional image and strive for excellence. Read a few attorney answering service reviews, and you’ll see just how effective this solution can be for virtual law firms and solo attorneys.
Your friendly and professional virtual receptionist can promote your firm, take messages, and determine the customer’s needs. This solution can be even more effective when you’re out of the office.
Even when you’re spending time with the family or getting some much-needed rest, an attorney answering service ensures you never miss a potential client.
Make no mistake, this is one of the best ways to attract clients who value your work and are willing to pay for your expertise.
A virtual receptionist service gives you access to a professionally trained, live receptionist who leaves callers with a fantastic first impression. Most importantly, this solution allows you to focus on what really matters: pursuing justice as a trained attorney who works independently.
If you’re looking for a solid solution, Alliance Virtual Offices is here to help. Check out our cost-effective virtual receptionist service for a diverse range of industries and companies, small and large.
Alliance Virtual Offices live receptionist plans will help you take your solo attorney business to the next level – without spending all your time screening and answering calls.