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Answering services for law firms have emerged as a crucial tool for many practices, offering a solution to the challenge of managing high call volumes and ensuring round-the-clock availability.

These specialized answering services act as an extension of your law firm, providing professional call handling, message taking, and even basic client intake outside of regular office hours. By employing a legal answering service, your law firm can improve responsiveness and streamline operations all while projecting a professional image to potential and existing clients.

We examined the most popular options on the market and created a short list of the best answering services for law firms. Let’s explore how they work, their pros and cons, and what sets them apart to help you find the right service for your firm.

Best Answering Services for Law Firms

Answering ServiceOverviewBest for
RubyHighly reputable answering service with all-inclusive subscriptions and comprehensive featuresFirms that prioritize reliable customer service, straightforward pricing, and mobile app access
Smith.aiExceptionally flexible answering service that supports live agents with proprietary AI softwareFirms interested in customizable per-call pricing and the power of artificial intelligence
Back Office BettiesAll-inclusive answering service that also offers live web chat and virtual legal assistantsFirms that only need a business-hours answering service and want web chat support or a legal assistant
LEX ReceptionComprehensive answering service with traditional pricing that emphasizes corporate responsibilityNon-profit legal firms that can benefit from discounts on their subscriptions
Legal Conversion CenterSales-oriented legal intake specialists with comprehensive answering servicesLaw firms in serviceable locations that want to aggressively prioritize sales and conversions
Answering LegalWell-rounded answering service for law firms with highly affordable per-minute pricingLaw firms that want the lowest possible rate per minute

Legal Answering Services

  1. Ruby
  2. Smith.ai
  3. Back Office Betties
  4. LEX Reception
  5. Legal Conversion Center
  6. Answering Legal

1. Ruby

Formerly known as Ruby Receptionists, Ruby is the most popular answering service for law firms based on my research. Founded in 2003, it still maintains a reputation for high-quality service, boasting a 94% customer satisfaction rate and received three Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service in 2022.

In addition to call answering and screening, Ruby’s all-inclusive service includes features like appointment scheduling, new client intake, call routing, and payment processing at no additional cost. You can also manage everything right from Ruby’s mobile app, which is uncommon for a virtual receptionist service.

Ruby Features

  • All-inclusive plans, no add-ons required
  • English and Spanish-speaking options
  • HIPAA and PCI-compliant services
  • Live receptionists available 24 / 7 / 365
  • Customizable scripts and greetings
  • Appointment scheduling and new client intakes
  • Integration with apps like Zaper, Clio, Rocket Matter, and MyCase
  • Manage your service from an intuitive mobile app

Ruby Downsides

Ruby’s pricing is a little more expensive on a per-minute basis than most of the other legal answering service providers on the market. If you’re looking for the lowest possible rate, you’ll need to look elsewhere. 

Ruby Value

Ruby PlanReceptionist MinutesPrice

In addition to call answering services, Ruby offers live chat plans. Get 10 chats per month for $135 per month, 30 chats for $315 per month, or 50 chats for $490 per month. If you bundle chat and answering services, Ruby takes 20% off your chat plan. 

2. Smith.ai

Smith.ai is a virtual receptionist that serves a variety of businesses, including law firms, marketing agencies, and home services. While live agents answer every call, Smith.ai uses proprietary AI software to supplement its services in many ways, including automating call transcriptions and summaries.

law firm receptionist call history

Smith.ai’s attorney answering service is more customizable than most, largely due to its per-call approach to pricing. A few features are built in, like lead qualification and new client intake, but over a dozen are offered as add-ons to each call, including appointment booking, call recording, and Spanish-speaking agents.

Smith.ai Features

  • Per-call pricing rather than the traditional per-minute approach
  • Supplements human representatives with proprietary AI technology
  • AI software screens spam phone calls so you don’t get charged unnecessarily
  • Live representatives available 24/7
  • CRM integrations, including Zapier, HubSpot, Salesforce, Clio, and more
  • Plans are highly customizable, with per-call add-ons necessary for most features

Smith.ai Downsides

Smith.ai uses a per-call pricing model and requires that you pay extra for all features beyond basic answering services. If you’re more comfortable with the traditional per-minute approach, you may prefer a different provider.

Smith.ai Value

PlanCallsForwarding NumbersMonthly CostAdditional Calls

Smith.ai Add-Ons

Smith.ai also offers the following add-ons, priced per call:

  • Book appointments: $1.50
  • Text and email follow-up: $0.50
  • Dedicated Spanish line: $1.00
  • Third-party intake: $1.00
  • Extended intake: $0.25 (per question)
  • SMS/Slack notifications: $0.50
  • Conflict checks: $0.50
  • Accept collect calls: $0.50
  • Complex call routing: $1.50
  • Microsoft Teams notifications: $0.50
  • Call recording and transcription: $0.25
  • Accept payments: $1.00
  • Custom calendaring: $1.00

Finally, you can add the following add-ons to your plan for a monthly fee:

  • Inbound call tracking numbers: $5
  • Business caller ID for outbound: $10
  • Additional transfer destinations: $15

3. Back Office Betties

Back Office Betties is exclusively a virtual live answering service for law firms. All plans include features like custom legal intakes, appointment scheduling, payment processing, and Spanish-speaking agents at no additional cost.

Like Ruby, its pricing is all-inclusive, with no add-ons available.

While it doesn’t offer any add-ons, Back Office Betties does provide additional services, including live web chat and virtual legal assistants. Unlike a virtual receptionist, a virtual assistant provides services like inbox management, document drafting, social media posting, and content writing.

Back Office Betties Features

  • All-inclusive plans rather than customizable add-ons
  • Appointment scheduling and payment processing
  • Customizable call handling scripts and intake flows
  • Lead qualifying and call screening based on your legal practice
  • Outbound calls to schedule consultations, collect payments, etc.
  • Specialized, law firm answering service agents
  • English- and Spanish-speaking bilingual agents

Back Office Betties Downsides

Unfortunately, Back Office Betties only operates between 5:00 am and 5:00 pm PST, Monday through Friday. If you’re looking for full coverage after-hours support, you’ll need to choose a different phone answering service.

Back Office Betties Value

Monthly MinutesMonthly FeeAdditional Minutes

Unlike some of its competitors, Back Office Betties tracks your usage to the second, never rounding up to the nearest minute for pricing. In addition, live chat services are available as an add-on for $5 per chat.

If you subscribe to a virtual legal assistant plan, you can also get a 5% to 10% discount on your virtual receptionist service. Legal assistants cost $800 per month for 20 hours, $1,520 per month for 40 hours, and $2,160 per month for 60 hours.

Read Also: Grasshopper vs Google Voice

4. LEX Reception

LEX Reception is an answering service that serves law firms of all sizes. It uses all-inclusive, minute-based subscription plans, but their features vary between tiers. To unlock benefits like custom call scripting, appointment scheduling, and email alerts, you need to purchase plans with additional monthly minutes.

Fortunately, those are competitively priced. You can unlock all the company’s answering service features for an extra $25 per month, and doing so saves you from having to pay a $75 setup fee.

Notably, LEX Reception emphasizes corporate responsibility and prefers to work with law and pro bono legal firms. It offers discounts to non-profit customers and donates 1% of its monthly revenues to protect endangered species.

LEX Reception Features

  • Live agents available 24/7
  • Basic bilingual routing
  • Legal technology integrations
  • Desktop and mobile app
  • Custom scripting, appointment scheduling, and alert communications
  • Donates 1% of revenues to protect endangered species

LEX Reception Downsides

LEX Reception’s cheapest plan is more expensive than the lowest tier plans at many other answering services. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want a virtual receptionist with a more affordable starter plan.

LEX Reception Value

Monthly MinutesMonthly Fee

The base plan with 150 minutes has a setup fee of $75. All other plans exclude the setup fee, so it clearly makes sense to start with 300 minutes or more.

Also, note that LEX doesn’t charge for the first 30 interactions under 30 seconds each month.

Legal Conversion Center is an answering service that prioritizes converting callers into clients above all else. In fact, it markets itself as a legal intake specialist rather than a virtual receptionist, emphasizing its ability to generate higher conversion rates than competitors through superior technology and training.

In addition to its more aggressively sales-oriented approach, Legal Conversion Center’s plans include the typical bells and whistles, such as customized intake processes, appointment scheduling, 24/7 support, Spanish-speaking agents, and case management system integrations.

Legal Conversion Center Features

  • Emphasizes quality conversions above all else
  • Call screening and customizable scripts
  • Certified HIPAA-compliant intake services
  • Bilingual, English- and Spanish-speaking staff
  • Appointment scheduling through online systems
  • Case management system integrations
  • 24/7 call and web inquiry support

Legal Conversion Center Value

Legal Conversion Center doesn’t disclose its prices publicly and hasn’t responded to our requests for details. However, it does state that it only charges a flat per-minute rate for time spent talking.

Read Also: Grasshopper vs RingCentral

Answering Legal is a well-rounded answering service for law firms that charge by the minute. Its pricing is all-inclusive, with no additional charge for any of its features, which include customizable existing and potential client protocols, intake services, 24/7 bilingual support, and software integrations.

Answering Legal is also one of the only answering services to offer a free trial. You can get access to 400 free minutes. Once your trial ends, Answering Legal uses your phone call volume data to offer you a flat, per-minute rate going forward.

Answering Legal Features

  • Live, bilingual answering service available 24/7
  • All-inclusive, per-minute pricing
  • Message taking and lead capturing
  • Customizable legal intake and appointment scheduling
  • Overflow call handling and live client call transferring
  • Integrations with popular software

Answering Legal Value

Monthly MinutesPrice per Minute
600 to 1,500$2.30
1,500 to 20,000$2.25

Answering Legal offers overage protection, allowing you to exceed your monthly minutes by 20% before additional charges occur.

Use an Answering Service to Grow Your Law Firm

In conclusion, the right answering service for your law firm can significantly impact your client relationships and overall practice efficiency. The best answering services for law firms offer a combination of legal industry expertise, 24/7 availability, customizable scripts, multilingual support, and seamless integration with your existing systems.

While the options presented in this article represent some of the top choices in the market, it’s essential to carefully evaluate each service based on your firm’s specific needs, budget, and growth plans.

Remember that investing in a quality answering service is not just about managing calls; it’s about enhancing your firm’s professional image, improving client satisfaction, and ultimately supporting the growth of your practice. By choosing a service that aligns with your firm’s values and operational requirements, you can ensure that every client interaction, even when you’re unavailable, reflects the high standards of your legal practice.

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