It is pretty much a given: when you choose to be an attorney, you have accepted the reality of working long hours. Exhausting, overwhelming, long hours. For those that are passionate enough to make this their career, the work can be its own reward. That sounds like a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true, and the reality is this: you don’t have time for much else, anyway. In fact, if you are an attorney reading this right now, chances are you’ve already started wondering why you are taking the time to read a blog post when there are seven other work-related tasks you feel you could/should be doing instead. But hold on. Before you decide to switch gears and get back to work, let us share some ways that can enable you to increase your billable hours without actually adding to the amount of time you spend working.
According to a well-reputed career building website, the average attorney works about 66 hours per week— but only 44 of those are actually billable hours. Practicing the law is one thing, but operating the business that is your practice is another entirely. Other studies, like the 2017 Legal Trends Report, actually estimate that attorneys spend significantly less than two-thirds of their time on billing hours.
The simple conclusion from reports like these: “administrative tasks and finding clients takes time.” Lots of it.
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Where Are Those Hours Going?
The report found that time spent on non-billable administrative tasks accounted for nearly half– 48 percent– of the time an attorney spends every eight hours they work. Generating more business was the next biggest chunk of time spent on non-billable hours, a full third, 33 percent of every 8 hours.
-Attorneys spend up to 81 percent of each day not getting paid, between administrative tasks and seeking new business– 2017 Legal Trends Report
Another major contributing factor that creates wasted time, according to the study, are interruptions. More than half– 55 percent– of all lawyers, according to the study, get their legal work interrupted at least 6 times per day. A quarter of lawyers suffer through more than 10. Workflow and rhythm stop short, and it takes time to get back into what you were doing before the interruption, and just as your work picks up steam, here comes another interruption. The study specifically cited the example of answering a call from a client or potential client to typify an interruption– and found that it takes as long as 23 minutes to mentally get back into the work.
It’s no wonder attorneys work so many hours! Partnering with an answering service for attorneys can put some of those percentages back in the billable hour column.
Here are three ways attorney answering service can increase the amount of time you’re able to spend on billable hours.
Some administrative tasks simply cannot be avoided. But an answering service can save you precious minutes throughout the day that add up significantly. The 16 percent of time spent taking calls and listening to voicemails can be reduced by an answering service that handles all your calls, filters out the ones that aren’t important to you, organizes your messages, and can even help schedule your appointments.
Having an attorney answering service act as your receptionist means no more wasted time on unnecessary phone calls or sifting through conversations yourself to gather the important information for the ones you do care about. And when you do need to return a call, you will be prepared with all the applicable info upfront so you’re able to more quickly get down to business, making the phone conversations you do have shorter. When all calls get answered by an experienced and trusted attorney call answering service, the ultimate amount of time you spend talking with clients, potential clients, other law offices, and court systems can be reduced.
Growing Your Business
The single most important factor in a person choosing one lawyer over another comes down to how quickly an attorney responds to their phone call, according to the Legal Trends Report. Two-thirds of people polled by the study said this was the most important factor in their choice.
An Attorney Answering Service ensures that every call is always picked up, quickly. Our professional live receptionists collect the pertinent information you require and assure the caller that you will be in touch. You can respond then to high-value leads quicker than your competition so you don’t risk losing good prospects. We can help to reduce the time you spend seeking new clients, letting you get back to your valuable, billable work.
One of the biggest advantages an answering service has over simply doing it yourself is their expertise in helping capture leads. With each call answered by a highly trained receptionist, whose expertise is in getting the most value out of each call for your practice, they can capture a higher number of potential leads by systematically compiling information about each caller. You can easily assess the organized information about who is calling and why provided by an answering service. This lets you grow your business– but takes little or no extra time out of your day.
Answering services for attorneys are also available around the clock, letting potential high-quality leads get taken care of while you’re in court, out to dinner after hours, or even while you’re asleep at night. No more missed calls. No more missed opportunities.
By reducing the number of interruptions you experience born of answering the phone, an attorney answering service lets you quickly prioritize which calls need to take you away from your task at hand, and which calls can wait. The ability to decreased interruptions thanks to your legal answering service can increase your overall efficiency and productivity.
How much more productive would you be if you were getting interrupted 8 times less per day? Time better spent means more time to potentially do billable work.
An Attorney Answering Service Handling Your Phones Provides You With Answers To Increasing Billable Hours
A good lawyer answering service can easily give you back a 1-2 hours (or more) each day that you can spend on billable work. Using an answering service for attorneys gives you confidence that your valuable time will be well spent and fairly compensated. Our virtual receptionists help you lose less time on administration, bring in new clients, and experience fewer interruptions. There are only so many hours in the day, and we can help you make more of them billable.
Here are some related articles you might be interested in:
Don’t Miss a Call While You’re In Court! Phone Answering For Attorneys
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How an Answering Service Can Boost Your Law Firm’s Reputation