If you are an attorney and you are either practicing solo or part of a small practice, then you know how important it is to make sure that you present yourself professionally. Part of that comes down to having a receptionist on hand to answer the phone—potential clients do not want to have their calls go straight to voicemail. They are likely to call a different practice until they get through to a person who can answer questions, make appointments, and accomplish similar tasks. It’s not worth the time for a lawyer to work as a receptionist, but full-time receptionists can be expensive.

The solution is something that many lawyers have never heard of—the virtual receptionist or virtual assistant. Virtual does not mean that they are computer software. It means they are not physically present in the office, and they connect to the phone- and computer system remotely. A virtual receptionist for a law office can provide a baseline service—the company providing the service ensures that someone is always available to answer your phones. The service can go a step beyond that to schedule appointments and provide other services. This is just like a regular assistant, except that a virtual assistant or virtual receptionist is always available. Law firms can get a lot of value from having a virtual answering service.

There are many benefits to using such a service. First of all, they save money over having a full-time receptionist while covering more hours of the day. Secondly, a virtual assistant for attorneys also can take over a significant amount of the marketing work your firm needs, such as sending out emails and overseeing social media accounts. They can give an office the same professionalism that a traditional receptionist would.

This makes them a great choice for small firms that don’t have the space and resources for a full-time receptionist or assistant— they can take over the role of an answering service. Attorneys that don’t have a virtual receptionist, attorneys that don’t have the time to staff the phones themselves, and attorneys that want to cut costs, can all gain from trying such a service.