While working as a criminal defense attorney, you are likely to face several challenges in your line of work. Clients whose livelihoods and freedom are at risk will constantly call your office even in the late hours of the night. The majority of criminal arrests occur at night. Therefore, you often receive many late-night calls that you can’t afford to miss. You risk losing your existing and potential clients to the competition if you fail to pick their calls when they need you the most. Handling late-night calls and serving clients during the day could lead to burnout, which could compromise your customer service. Working with a professional answering service will take the chore of handling phone calls off your shoulders.

The leading reasons why a professional attorney answering service is important for a criminal attorney law firm are:

Criminal Attorneys are Busy

Criminal attorneys also referred to as criminal defense attorneys, defend persons accused of committing criminal offenses. A criminal attorney has to work tirelessly to ensure that the legal rights of the accused are upheld. The attorneys have to ensure that the accused persons receive a fair judgment. A criminal attorney's main roles include conducting research, analyzing criminal cases, and collecting evidence regarding criminal offenses.

An attorney works hand in hand with accused persons to create defenses to fight the criminal charges. Criminal attorneys also have the role of representing their clients in court during the trial. It is also the work of a criminal defense attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor and the judge to ensure a criminal case's best outcome. With all these commitments, a criminal attorney will have little to no time to handle phone calls. However, an attorney can’t afford to ignore phone calls because a missed phone call translates to a lost client.

When an attorney partners with a professional answering service, they are sure that all their clients’ phone calls will be answered within three rings. Even when they are busy, attorneys will still be able to connect and assist their clients at their most trying time. In most cases, a criminal attorney is all that stands between an accused person and prison. In the face of an arrest, most people request to speak to their criminal attorney.

In the criminal field, everything that an accused person says could be used against them. Therefore, after an arrest, most people exercise their right to remain silent and only talk in their criminal attorney's presence. You can’t afford to miss your client’s phone call at such crucial moments.

Attorney Answering Services are Available 24/7

The leading advantage of attorney answering services is that they are available 24/7. You can’t predict when clients will require your criminal defense services. Most criminal arrests occur on weekends and at night. Therefore, clients will call your office even after normal work hours. Your in-house receptionist can only handle clients’ calls and inquiries during work hours. You need to be sure that clients will receive a warm response even when they call during odd hours. Professional answering services for attorneys are available at all times, including at night and on weekends. Your clients will have an assurance that they can call your law firm any time.

Professional call services providers will let you decide how they cover your calls. You may choose to use attorney answering services on a full-time basis. You may also choose to use the answering services only in the after-hours when your in-house receptionist is not available. You may opt to hire the answering services during the holidays or on weekends; the decision is absolutely yours.

If a client calls your law firm and they can’t get hold of someone yet they need to talk; they will probably call another law firm. Around-the-clock answering service will help you to never miss another important phone call from a client.

It would be perfect if all legal matters occurred between 9 am and 5 pm when all your staff is in the office. This way, you would be sure that your in-house staff will be available to receive their calls whenever clients call your office. However, we live in the real world, and clients are likely to call your office at 2 pm as they are at 3 am.

Handling Emergency Legal Calls

With a professional attorney answering service, your legal office is never really closed even after regular work hours. Handling clients’ calls promptly, especially the emergency calls, is good for customer service and enhances the overall satisfaction and loyalty of your clients. At any hour of the day, a client will be able to speak to an attorney or a paralegal in your firm without having to wait for your office to re-open.

If a client’s call can’t wait until the normal business hours, the phone answering agent will ensure that these phone calls reach the relevant persons at all time of the day. You will work for hand in hand with the call services provider to define what qualifies as an emergency call. The call-answering agents distinguish between priority calls from people facing potential arrests and jail time from low-priority calls from people who may be seeking answers to general legal issues.

The virtual receptions are quick-witted and will make prompt decisions on the calls to transfer and the calls to handle. An answering service will help you achieve a work-life balance while still handling emergency calls. You will not receive endless phone calls after work, save for a few calls that can’t wait.  You will have ample time to recharge after a long day of negotiating with prosecutors and representing your clients in court.

Not all phone calls are the same; what a client considers an emergency may not fit in the emergency category of your firm’s phone calls. After working with your firm, the phone answering agent will master your call classification criteria. They will be experts on the clients that require immediate assistance and ones that can wait a bit longer.

You Can’t Answer Phone Calls While in Court

A criminal defense attorney spends most of their time in court representing their clients. However, your clients will call at all times, even while you are in court and not in a position to answer the phone. You obviously can’t request the judge to pause the court proceedings to allow you to answer your phone.

You probably have an in-house receptionist who can answer the phone while you are in court. What happens when the receptionist goes on a lunch break or visits the restroom? Your receptionist will have a hard time handling all the calls and at the same time attending to clients who visit your legal office. It might feel rude or cold when an in-house receptionist keeps pausing their services to clients to answer the phone.

What will happen when a client calls your office with an urgent question, but no one answers the phone? They will most likely call another attorney. Clients might not be willing to wait until when you come out of court to call them back. An attorney answering service will help you connect with a high number of clients. Clients will not have to confine their communications with you to your office hours. By choosing a professional answering service, the process will be seamless, and your clients will not even realize that they are talking to a call agent.

Professional answering service will help you handle all clients’ calls. You will not disappoint your clients when they need you the most. The call agents will screen all the calls to ensure that you and your team only handle phone calls from clients who genuinely require your legal help. The phone answering agent will handle all other inquiries on your behalf.

Attorney Answering Services Enhances Professionalism

Legal matters are sensitive, and clients are careful when choosing a criminal defense attorney. Clients understand that the outcome of their criminal cases is dependent on an attorney’s expertise and experience. Therefore, clients are only interested in working with the best attorney who will raise their chances of fighting the legal charges successfully. A criminal defense attorney should paint a good image to both existing and new clients.

The way your law firm handles phone calls reveals  a lot regarding your firm. Many clients will use their phone encounter with your firm to gauge your reliability and responsiveness. If clients call your legal firm and they receive an automated response, this may serve as a red flag that your firm will not fulfill their needs. While handling a criminal case, clients will call you for updates and know about their case's likely outcome. Clients like a responsive attorney who is available when they need them. 

Hiring a virtual call service for your legal firm is important if you seek to scale your law firm. Professional answering service will position your legal firm as a credible and trustworthy firm. Ensuring that not a single client’s call goes unanswered will help you achieve your revenue goals within a relatively short period. Professional phone answering firms will aid in matters like customer scheduling and customer support. Clients will feel free to call your firm and schedule appointments whenever they please. 

The phone answering center works hand-in-hand with your legal firm to ensure that all the call agents are trained adequately regarding your business. You can always provide a custom script highlighting the important aspects of your legal firm. Some customers will call to inquire about the scope of your legal services. The call agents are always armed with all the crucial details regarding your legal services.

Attorney Answering Services are Affordable

Perhaps you are trying to cut on your operation costs, and you feel like hiring professional answering services would is expensive. You could not be further from the truth. You would be amazed to learn that it is much more cost-effective to hire a virtual answering service than to hire an in-house receptionist. Hiring professional answering services eliminates the need for a back-up receptionist. A receptionist will always answer the phone irrespective of the time of day or night.

The call agents will route all the calls properly to ensure that they get the assistance they require. Your callers, both existing and prospective customers, will not even realize that they are talking to a answering service. Even if a virtual receptionist is affordable, they do not fall short in their service delivery. A virtual receptionist will provide the same services that an in-house receptionist would. The good part is that you do not have to set up a virtual receptionist's working space.

A legal answering service will offer you much more than a voice at the end of the telephone line. A virtual receptionist will screen and transfer phone calls depending on your callers’ requirements. Call service providers have back up stations across the U.S. Therefore, your telephone lines will always be open, with no downtimes even during power outages.

You may even rely on professional answering services for legal intake services. The virtual receptionist will answer your prospective clients' phone calls and take the clients through a list of intake questions based on your specifications and agreed on protocols. The virtual call services will offer you an affordable way of ensuring that your firm is matched with the ideal clients.

Assistance to Non-English Clients

Your clients may include non-English speaking persons. Professional answering service providers provide bi-lingual virtual receptionists. The Spanish-speaking community in the U.S. has expanded over recent years. You need to ensure that your non-English clients will have someone who understands their language. Your clients may not be able to express themselves fully if they can’t understand English. A bi-lingual answering service solves the issue of the language barrier.

Hiring professional answering services means never putting your clients on hold. You should ensure that you work with professional call agents with vast experience in the legal industry for the best services. This way, you will be confident that the agents will handle all the types of calls your legal office typically receives. Professional call services providers ensure that every call is picked and ensures the efficiency and productivity of every call.