The 5 Best Phone Systems for Law Firms in 2022 – Features, VoIP, Integrations

March 15, 2022
 min read

A recent report by Deloitte showed that 36% of businesses were in the process of optimizing their organization of the future, by simplifying its processes and implementing new technology tools.

To make the most out of technology in 2022, your law firm should be using a VoIP (or ‘cloud-based’) phone system. The key advantage to using a VoIP service, rather than a traditional phone service, is that the use of your phone is not physically bound to a desk phone. This opens the door to many more key benefits that can help your law firm save money, increase compliance, and capture more billable hours.

But not every VoIP system is built the same. Choosing the right VoIP system can be a difficult task, with many features, pros cons, and prices to compare and consider. Keep reading for key information on how VoIP phone systems work, how to choose the best one for your law firm, and 5 of the best phone systems for your law firm’s needs.

What is VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol)?

VoIP is the transmission of phone calls through the internet, rather than a telephone company’s wiring. Therefore, businesses using a VoIP service must be connected to the internet whenever a call is made or received. This downside is usually worth the value of using a VoIP service.

Your clients may not notice a difference in the phone calls they receive from you, however, you could be enjoying the benefits of using a VoIP service on your end.

• Integrate with your law firm’s databases and CRMs. The data from your phone call can be automatically logged in your firm’s database, to improve compliance and record keeping.

• You can call the client from your mobile phone or computer, with your client's notes and details on the screen in front of you. Then once the call is finished, you can update these notes and send them automatically to your practice management system with one click.

• Phone numbers can be set up on a laptop or mobile phone without any additional hardware.

The internet connection acts as a gateway to many automation, integration, and communication features. These things make it easier to streamline your case management processes, have better record keeping, and ensure the case pipeline is progressing.

How to Choose the Best Phone System for Your Law Firm

Not all VoIP phone systems will offer ‘free trials’, as existing phone numbers will need to be ported to the new system and messages and other data might need to be transferred. However, most phone systems will demo its features for you so that you can see how it works and whether it would be a good fit for your firm.

Consider these points when looking at your options before committing to a phone system:

1. What are the needs of your law firm? Why are you considering the switch?

Consider how many users you will have, what key tasks you want to make more efficient with the new system, and what drawbacks you are experiencing with your current phone system. There are many phone systems designed for businesses, but few that are designed for law firms specifically.

2. What features would your firm value from most?

Consider the internal and external features of the phone system. Do you want to be able to make video calls, easily configure call flows, and use an intuitive interface? And are you looking to automate tasks, integrate with your practice management system, and improve record-keeping and client interactions?

3. What drawbacks are non-negotiable for your law firm?

Recognise that some shortfalls are to be expected as with any software. How you manage these shortfalls is what counts. Compare the work-style of your team against the work-style you want to help optimize your firm. Are ease of use and user-interface something you cannot compromise on, or is it scalability or multi-platform apps?

Best Phone Systems for Law Firms

1. Vxt

Vxt is one of the only phone systems built specifically for the legal industry. The intuitive user-interface, detailed integrations, and call features have been designed with the daily needs of lawyers in mind.

The Vxt Call webpage for law firms features a handy calculator where you can insert the number of members in your firm and the average number of calls made daily to see how much time and money you could save annually.

Vxt Call is used by lawyers all over the world including in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Some of its main features include:

• Mobile, desktop, and web apps
• Integrates with third-party software like Clio, Actionstep, and more
• Call recording, logging, transcriptions, flows, forwarding, transfers
• Voicemail to email transcriptions
• Modern and simple user-interface
• Easy onboarding and troubleshooting
• Video conferencing

2. Vonage

Vonage is a consumer service provider that also provides businesses with a cloud-based phone system. A key benefit to Vonage is that it is a well established and reliable service. Its cloud-based system allows law firms to work more efficiently by offering greater flexibility and increased productiveness.

Some of its main features for law firms include:

• Integration with Clio
• Mobile and desktop app
• Call recording, tracking, logging
• 99.999% uptime reliability

3. Zoom

The popular video conferencing software also features an enterprise cloud-based phone system: Zoom Phone. It is simple to use, scalable, and reliable, and a good option for law firms that are already using Zoom Meetings.

Zoom Phone integrates with some legal software, such as Smokeball, where a meeting can be created and accessed from within the matter in Smokeball. This makes Zoom Phone a powerful phone system for small law firms using Smokeball.

Some of its main features for law firms include:

• Mobile and desktop app
• Can use your existing phone carrier with Zoom Phone
• Voicemail transcriptions
• Call recording, holds, forwarding, transfers

4. Microsoft Teams

Teams offers the benefits of a well-established software company. It is a great solution for large teams with multiple departments, and those who are looking for a phone system that has extensive integrations with other Microsoft applications such as Outlook and Word.

It may not be most efficient to use all of Teams’s features alongside your practice management system and document management system. When using Teams, stick to using it for internal projects, and as a phone system with clients. This will also help save costs.

Some of its main features for law firms include:

• Mobile and desktop apps
• 99.9% uptime reliability
• Many in-app features
• Integrations with some legal tech
• Call recording, queues, smart voicemail, routing

5. 8x8

8x8 is one of the leading business communications providers that offer business phones, video conferencing, and internal chats. Currently, 8x8 integrates with some CRMs and no legal practice management solutions.

Some of its main features for law firms include:

• Mobile and desktop apps
• Call recording, holds, forwarding, transfers, queues
• Visual voicemail

Choose a Phone System Built for Lawyers...

To improve processes and increase the potential of your law firm, choose a phone system that has been built specifically for law firms. This way, your law firm can make use of all the features of the phone system without paying for features that are not relevant to law practice.

Phone systems with AI built specifically for lawyers can help you automate administrative tasks, increase compliance, and capture more billable hours, to help you share a future-proof business.

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