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Law Firm Growth Struggles and Solutions from the 2019 Clio Legal Trends Report

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Mismatched expectations contribute to this predicament. Lawyers lack understanding of the client experience and its impact on their firms’ growth:

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Capacity limitations result in lopsided allocations of time.

Wonderful answering service! I know that my phones will be answered professionally at all times.

Regina Edwards

Edwards Family Law

Having real, live people answering the phone has made a huge difference in the volume of my practice, and I’m all about the technology-driven approach. 

Justie Nicol

Partner at Nicol Gersch Law

I now save so much time and only have quality appointments booked. Less stress, more appointments. It's a total win!

Carrie Ward

Calderone Bullock Ward LLC

Join your peers and more easily grow your firm.
Hand off frontline communications to Smith.ai.

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Mastering the business of law:

conversations

to clients

Whether “growth” means more revenue or efficiency, both outcomes demand resources:

Lawyers are rarely positioned to drive growth by themselves. Despite 92% reporting confidence in their legal skills, business-side realities are not in their favor:

Worse still, all of this time spent on firm operations and communications isn’t producing positive results. Despite spending on average 2 hours/day on business development work, the rewards are not proportional to their efforts.

Ignore clients

56% of phone calls are answered

Screen poorly

58% of consultations don’t result in a new-client retainer

lose deals

68% of leads communicated with a lawyer they didn’t hire

miss revenue

70% of billable work gets collected...

In 2019 Law firms still…

-$53,000

...just 1.7 hours per day of the 2.5 hours worked — a loss of $53,000/year based on the average billable rate of $253/hour!

communication gap

problem

What inhibits lawyers’ ability to meet clients’ needs is rooted in misunderstanding clients’ motivations for contacting a lawyer to resolve an issue or matter, in the first place:

%

82

expect an immediate response to a new inquiry

of lawyers let calls from potential clients go to voicemail

39

%

never responded to a potential client’s outreach

78

%

base their “decision to hire” on a firm’s initial responsiveness

67

%

contacted more than one firm when shopping for a lawyer

57

%

can prevent potential clients from contacting another firm, if they’re liked by prospect

42

%

potential clients

lawyers

potential clients

lawyers

sense clients “relief” as a part of the experience of hiring a lawyer

17

%

feel “urgency” to hire a lawyer

39

%

feel “relief” as the #1 emotion when hiring a lawyer

51

%

sense clients’ “urgency” to hire a lawyer

15

%

Smith.ai bridges the “resource gap” by providing live receptionists to small firms on affordable month-to-month plans.

problem

Lawyers and their potential clients can both agree on the value of a speedy resolution. However, most clients contacting a law firm have never worked with a lawyer, so their expectations are often unrealistic.

Legal matters cannot be handled by just any firm, for just any price, just as instantly as a client may desire. Lawyers lacking time, business acumen, and marketing savvy have two options:

The resource Gap

responsive law firms are:

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Are you Lawyering or Laboring?

In this eBook, you'll learn:

7 dilemmas plaguing solo and small-firm attorneys and real solutions provided by virtual receptionists

Improve Responsiveness with Outsourcing

The Solution to Sustainable Growth:

Responsiveness is measured not only by speed. The content and channel of the response matter, too. An effective response is timely, substantially informative, and accessible through multiple

communication methods, such as phone, text, website, email, and social networks. To attract and retain clients, law firms must respond to clients where they are.

fast

HELPFUL

AVAILABLE

A timely response is the #1 most important factor to potential clients seeking a lawyer.

At least 74% of potential clients want to know what to expect in terms of cost, duration, or process.

68% of potential client emails received no response or a request to call the firm instead.

Further, 64% of consumers who contacted a lawyer they didn’t hire said the firm simply didn’t respond.

Yet over 61% of potential clients didn’t get enough of this information, and cited “lack of information” as the specific reason for not hiring the firm.

Information is meaningless if it’s not available on the channels clients prefer. 

Optimize Responsiveness with smith.ai

Virtual Receptionists & Chat

Running a law firm may not matter much to big-firm lawyers whose jobs require only “lawyering,” but for solo and small-firm attorneys, their lawyering work depends on their ability to generate work and responsibly manage a firm.

This is where Smith.ai saves the day. With live receptionists and AI on the frontlines of law firms’ phones, websites, texts, and social networks, lawyers can:

Attorneys automating and outsourcing phone, web, and text communications to Smith.ai’s live receptionists and AI bots are more professional, profitable, and productive.

Engage more leads
Effectively screen clients
Book better consults
Capture more earnings
Achieve sustainable growth

Thriving Attorneys Rely on Smith.ai

Smart Services, Tailored to the Needs of Law Firms & Their Clients

Routes & screens new callers
Engages & qualifies website visitors
Calls leads who complete web forms
Schedules appointments

Completes intake forms
Collects payments for consults & invoices
Logs contacts & conversations in crm

Justie Nicol

Nicol Gersch Law

insights

Law Firm Growth Opportunities from the 2018 Clio Legal Trends Report

NOVEMBER 1, 2018

insights

Law Firm Growth Opportunities from the 2017 Clio Legal Trends Report

MAY 31, 2018

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7 Steps to Reduce Interruptions & Chores and Run a Highly Productive Law Firm with Virtual Receptionists

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plus $100 off calls or chats.

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