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As an attorney, your job is to provide 24/7 support to your clients as and when they need you. However, if you’ve ever been startled by an unexpected call from a client late in the night (which happens too many times, right?), finding a proper work-life balance can be challenging.

And, of course, without a work-life balance, you won’t be happy, healthy, and able to live your life as fully as possible. Burnout and stress are real risks when working in the legal industry,

That’s what this guide is all about. We’re exploring the best ways to manage out-of-hour calls, ensuring you and your clients are satisfied and that you’re available when you need to be (while still knowing how to draw the line).

This is time management for attorneys 1-0-1, so let’s get into it.

Why Ignoring Calls After Hours Isn’t an Option

It’s 3 am, you’re sound asleep with your partner next to you, the kids are asleep, and the house is quiet.

Suddenly, the phone on your bedside table starts ringing and jolts you awake. It’s like something out of a crime thriller movie. Maybe there’s been a serious accident. Or maybe a legal problem has arisen, and it’s time for your experienced attorneys to get up and get busy.

Either way, it’s time to get to work.

Now, while you may aim to always answer the phone and serve when called, sometimes, you will get the urge to ignore it. And, after all, that’s an option, right? Let it go to voicemail, and you can call them back and sort it out in the morning.

A viable attorney after-hours solution, right?

Well, while a missed call might seem inconsequential, let’s break down what it could really mean:

Each unanswered call isn’t just about that one client. 

It’s potentially the referrals they might bring or the great reviews they might leave. It’s the trust that they build in your services, transforming them from one-time clients to long-term partners.

The decision to not take after-hours calls is a strategic blunder we see too many firms commit. The reality is that the legal world doesn’t sleep, and your responsiveness, or lack thereof, can make or break your reputation.

Something you can’t afford in this hyper-competitive industry.

So, ignoring those late-night rings? No, that doesn’t seem like the soundest choice, does it? Well, don’t worry. You’ve got a wide array of options waiting for you. 

The Drawbacks of Attorneys Taking Calls Personally

Dialing back to the idea of you answering a phone resting on your bedside when it starts calling during the dead of night, this may seem like a wise option. Answering said calls personally may seem like you’re just being super dedicated to your job – and kudos to you.

It offers many benefits, like better client satisfaction and fast results. However, before you decide to turn your home into a 24/7 office (or continue to let it run this way), let’s consider some other factors.

Attorney Work-Life Balance – A Fantasy?

Being available all the time eats into your personal life. 

There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Whether someone is looking for legal representation, criminal law advice, or is in any other way dealing with pressing legal issues that need solutions, you need to be there to sort it out, as the criminal defense lawyers you’re up against will be working hard against you.

However, while it’s important to remain competitive, regardless of whether you’re working with personal injury lawyers or working in family law, you need to look after yourself.

Statistics show that work-life balance is important to 72% of people and benefits companies, in this case, law firms, too. One statistic even found that encouraging proper work-life balance for employees can reduce healthcare costs by as much as 50%.

And that’s just the averages.

Remember that practicing law is tough, and everyone needs a break to recharge. Without downtime, burnout is pretty much a guarantee, which means you’re not going to be showing up at the law office well, you’re going to make mistakes, and these can be incredibly costly both in the long and short term.

Productivity Takes A Hit

Let’s break this down nicely and simply:

  • Distractions are a nightmare for productivity, and constant calls are definitely distracting. If you’re not well rested and feeling yourself, your focus will be all over the place. This is especially the case if you’re at home spending time with your family, watching a movie, and the sorts.
  • Switching back and forth between tasks can lead to mistakes, and in the legal field, that’s a risk we’re sure you don’t want to take.
  • Plus, let’s not forget the research that shows multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%. Yikes, right?

In a nutshell, personal dedication is fantastic, but there’s a fine line between dedication and overexertion. 

Don’t blur that line; your sanity (and your clients) will thank you.

Voicemail: Not Always Your Best Friend

Ah, voicemails: the fallback when we’re too busy to answer a call. They’re good backups, right? Well, for our clients, they might not feel the same way. Let’s see why.

Where’s the Personal Touch?

  • First impressions matter, and an automated voice (no offense to those lovely AI folks) doesn’t exactly say, “We CARE about your problem.”
  • Clients often call with immediate concerns they want to be addressed, and a lifeless mailbox—well, it can’t exactly provide that, can it?

Lost in Voicemail Limbo

Let’s be honest: callbacks, from free legal advice to case follow-ups, can slip through the cracks, especially when juggling hundreds of tasks. And all it takes is for you to listen to the message before you fall back asleep, for you to forget. A mistake not worth making.

So, while voicemail may seem like a safe bet, it’s worth considering if it’s really the best option for your clients – and for you.

Why Live Answering Services are a Win-Win

So, bringing all this together, it surely sounds like there’s no hard-and-fast solution to this problem. Whether you’re a personal injury lawyer or providing employment law or real estate law services, each answer has its pros and cons, and it’s about choosing the one that’s best for you, right?

Well, not exactly. 

There is one other option, and it comes in the form of live answering services. 

Picture this: professional, 24/7 call handling without breaking the bank or compromising your personal time. Sounds too good to be true? 

Read on:

Save Cash without Skimping on Quality

The 2023 stats on the average cost of employing a full-time receptionist is quite a hefty sum. Over $41,000 per year, to be exact. But using a legal answering service like Absent Answer? Considerably less.

Benefits? Oh, They’re Plentiful

  • 24/7 Availability: No more missing those late-night client calls or working on weekends. We handle it.
  • Professional Handling: Our operators are trained to provide top-notch service. They’re basically an extension of your team.
  • Customizable: We understand every law firm is unique, so we tailor our services to suit your specific needs. You get what works for you!

Features to Impress

  • Scripted Client Intake Forms: Have your intake process exactly how you want it. You provide the script; we do the talking.
  • Urgent Call Escalation: Every call is important, but some need immediate action. We’ve got that covered, too.
  • Real-Time Notifications: Stay updated on your calls, even when you’re out at your yoga class or rocking your guitar solo.

So, the takeaway? 

Opting for a live after-hours answering service like Absent Answer is like hiring a top-notch assistant who’s always there but doesn’t strain your budget or invade your personal life. It’s like having your cake and eating it too!

Making the Transition to a Live Answering Service

Switching to a call answering service to handle your legal assistance efforts or answer out-of-hours legal questions may seem daunting, but in reality, the process is quite simple and seamless. It’s designed to integrate effortlessly into your law firm’s daily operations and can actually save you time and effort in the long run.

Customization for Law Firms

A live answering service can be tailored specifically to the unique needs of your law firm. Examples of customization include:

  • Call Flow: Every law firm has its unique approach and needs. Our answering service provides custom scripting, allowing the call flow to be tailored to the specific requirements of your practice. Whether it’s handling initial inquiries, triaging calls based on urgency, or providing basic information about your services, the script will align with your firm’s tone and approach.
  • Confidentiality: Understanding the importance of privacy throughout the legal process, our answering service ensures all vital information is kept confidential and secure.
  • Appointment Scheduling: The service can manage the calendar and schedule appointments of your law firm directly to your preferred system, integrating itself into your workflow and your existing systems.

Making the change to a live answering service for your law firm is a breeze. With a professional, personable touch and tailored services catering to the legal industry, it may just be the best decision you make for your practice.

Give it a try, and watch your firm thrive!


To summarize, when it comes down to the matter of after-hours calls, live answering services like Absent Answer are unbeatable. They’re cost-effective, professional, and always available – just like a superhero law firm should be!

Jump ahead of the game—give Absent Answer a whirl and see the difference it brings to your practice. Your clients (and your sanity) will thank you!

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