Live Chat for Law Firms: Benefits, Features, and 10 Best Solutions
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Live Chat for Law Firms: Benefits, Features, and 10 Solutions for Lawyers

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Live Chat for Law Firms: Benefits, Features, and 10 Solutions for Lawyers

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If you take longer than 30 minutes to respond to potential clients, they’re likely to click away and speak to a competitor.

If it takes you three days or more to respond to a website contact request, you’re part of a worrying 42% of firms leaving customers frustrated.[1]

Instead, what if you were available to clients 24/7?

With website live chat and chatbots, you can be.

via GIPHY

However, only 6% of law firms use this solution[2] – buck this trend, start using live chat for lawyers, and:

  • Make it easier for people to reach you
  • Help prospects serve themselves
  • Reduce inbound phone calls
  • Boost conversion rates

Below, we show you how to use live chat for law firms and share 10 software tools worth investing in.

What Is Live Chat for Lawyers?

Live chat for law firm websites refers to a two-way messaging service visitors can use to speak directly with agents in real-time. Instead of calling and waiting to speak to an attorney, they send messages for an agent to answer in seconds.

Live chat offers clients fast information to:

  1. Solve quick queries
  2. Help inform their choice of law firm
  3. Learn more about legal services available

You can often combine live chat with artificial intelligence (AI) to help resolve problems. For example, someone might ask questions about family law, and AI could guide the conversation by using related queries or links to help center topics.

Why aren’t more lawyers using live chat?

Statistics show lawyers are fairly slow to adopt live chat for their websites. Clio’s research shows that 68% of law firms try to steer conversations over the phone.

Lawyers might be slow to adopt live chat because they:

  • Are unsure of the technical requirements
  • Prefer speaking to clients via phone or email
  • Don’t want to employ extra staff to handle queries

Thankfully, when working with a law firm web design and marketing agency, lawyers can quickly set up a cost-effective chat service managed off-site.

Live chat vs. chatbots: What’s the difference?

Live Chat

Chatbots

Real-time live chat takes place between a client and a human agent and is most effective for addressing intricate issues.
Chatbots simulate human conversations, aiding individuals in resolving routine inquiries while also gathering data and addressing basic client questions.
Typically, a law firm incorporates a combination of both approaches. In a scenario where a lawyer is occupied, a chatbot may be employed to address inquiries outside regular office hours.


Live chat occurs between a client and a human agent in real-time. It’s best suited for complex concerns.

Chatbots, meanwhile, mimic human conversations and help people resolve more routine queries. They also collect data and answer simple client questions.

The average live chat law firm uses a blend of the two. For example, a busy attorney might use a chatbot to handle queries during non-office hours.

Alternatively, they might use a system where chatbots handle routine, straightforward queries, such as basic costs and types of cases covered, before forwarding to a human agent.

Source

Why Live Chat Is Essential on Law Firm Websites: The Benefits for Attorneys

Live chat for attorneys is more than a web design perk; it’s a proven lead-generation machine.

Let’s explore some tangible ways it supports your firm.

Makes it easier for potential clients to reach out

According to the Clio report we mentioned earlier, only 73% of law firms are reachable when people call their offices and only 40% answer emails.

Prospects needing legal aid want reassurance and concrete information on their cases, fast.

via GIPHY

Live chat combined with AI or bots gives prospects instant answers to routine queries. During staffed hours, they can connect with agents in minutes.

In fact, live chat support is by far the most efficient service channel:

Creates an immediate, personalized connection via real-time answers

Live chat for attorneys helps legal prospects immediately feel listened to.

By providing details about their concerns, an agent can offer quick answers or build customer profiles to use later during in-person conversations.

Although chatbots are helpful for basic queries, live chat satisfies 95% of people who prefer to speak to human agents.

Filters inquiries and reduces the number of inbound calls

Live chat filters out clients who have quick queries answerable through online guides or form responses.

The inbound calls your firm receives are more likely to be further down the funnel – callers are ready to book a consultation and start their journey toward becoming a client.

Helps your legal services stand out

A lawyer using live chat is a rarity, but when customers find one, they understand this firm genuinely cares about helping people find quick support.

For example, a simple pop-up chat widget at the bottom of your website’s front page shows prospects there’s a quick way for them to get in touch.

Visitors instantly know you give answers faster than your rivals simply because you have a live chat button.

Wins more business

Research shows that 79% of businesses claim live chat boosts conversion rates and influences customer satisfaction and loyalty.

It’s because live chat reaches prospects who are unsure what you offer or if they need support.

A live chat agent who delivers clear answers within minutes leaves a great impression. If your answers fit their needs, a chat user is more likely to book a consultation.

Since live chat and bots are available 24/7, you’re also appealing to people outside your business hours.

Provides a better service to existing clients

Live chat and bots retain data from previous customer interactions, like their location and the type of service needed.

All returning clients need to do is log in with an account, accept cookies, and pick up from where they left off.

Agents can also access information and transcripts to personalize conversations and deliver excellent customer service.

8 Features to Look for in a Law Firm Live Chat Service

Be prepared to shop around for the service that meets your firm’s needs.

Here’s a quick overview of eight key features to prioritize when comparing the market.

Essential features of live chat for law firm websites

FeatureDescription
1. Customization and brandingSome platforms let you add logos, brand colors, and team photos for a more professional look
2. CRM integrationChatbots collect customer details in a central CRM to build client profiles for future outreach
3. Phone transferClick-to-call allows users to speak to a lawyer directly if chat doesn’t help, and it moves chatters down the client funnel
4. Language supportMultilingual chatbots answer questions in different languages, effectively broadening your client base
5. Cost and price planningSome live chat platforms only charge you per conversion, while others charge per chat or monthly
6. AnalyticsLive chat analytics show you conversion rates and revenue coming from those conversions
7. Mobile optimizationMost people browse the web on phones, so it’s important to be mobile-friendly
8. 24/7 availability and supportChat services and bots answer inquiries when your office is closed, boosting potential conversions

Best Live Chat for Law Firms: 10 Apps to Consider

Now that you know what to look for in live chat for attorneys, we’ve arranged ten top apps for your perusal.

If you’re unsure which app is best for your live chat needs, it’s worth speaking to a law firm marketing expert to find the right fit.

In the meantime, here are the products offering the best live chat for lawyers.

The best live chat lawyers can buy

Chat Service App

Key Benefits

01 HubSpot
  • Connects and communicates with its CRM for free
  • Chatbot builder is intuitive and customizable
  • Requires zero coding knowledge
02 Ngage Live Chat
  • Outsourced agents are available to chat for you
  • Chatters can request callbacks with a click
  • Can integrate with social media and Google Ads
03 Intaker
  • Pre-recorded video answer library
  • Can integrate with Google Business Profile
  • Legal chat templates available
04 Client Chat Live
  • 24/7 chat operators available
  • Chatters can contact you via SMS
  • Streamlined and unobtrusive design
05 Smith AI
  • AI technology supports 24/7 service
  • Integrates with several popular client management tools
  • Multilingual service to help broaden your client pool
06 Ruby
  • 60-second service pickup promise
  • Detailed yet accessible dashboard and analytics
  • Several flexible plans available
07 ApexChat
  • Integrates easily with social and messenger apps
  • Allows users to call directly during chat
  • Uses AI scheduling functions
08 LexReception
  • Off-site chat handling available from legal-trained staff
  • Detailed visitor and chatter analytics
  • Integrates with legal-specific tools
09 LawDroid
  • Handles chats and plots customer journeys with AI
  • Scalable for different law firm needs and sizes
  • No AI or code knowledge required
10 CUGIC
  • Flexible pricing plans
  • Highly customizable scripts and chat options
  • Chat history breakdowns and analytics

1. HubSpot: Best for CRM integration

Live chat lawyers can access HubSpot tools for free if they’re already using its law firm CRM.

Its chatbot builder requires zero coding and is customizable to appeal to specific needs, such as arranging consultations and addressing common legal questions.

You can direct customers to specific agents or attorneys if they’re available, and agents can then pull up chat history to support returning chatters.

Main benefits:

  • Retains chat histories
  • Integrates directly into its CRM for free
  • User-friendly chatbot builder
  • Transfers key data into user profiles in the CRM
  • Integrates easily into Slack
  • Automates chat routing to specific agents
  • Multilingual via CRM

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • From $1,600 per month (includes CRM)
  • Free trial available

2. Ngage Live Chat: Best value for money

Ngage offers a service with trained agents who take conversations for you. The company supports 8,000 companies worldwide, including many successful law firms.

This firm prices its services per lead, not per chat, so you only pay for relevant conversations leading to business.

The service is available 24 hours a day; you can handle chats during office hours and transfer over to Ngage when you’re closed.

Main benefits:

  • Trained agents manage chats for you
  • Chat-to-call is available to ease leads into consultation
  • Instant callback feature
  • Easy to integrate with social media and legal directories
  • Chat available for Google Ads
  • Detailed analytics help you monitor performance and activity
  • Multilingual

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • Per lead (consult with firm)
  • Free trial available

3. Intaker: Best for customer interaction

Intaker’s legal chatbot lets you pre-record video answers to common questions to give the impression you’re chatting with prospects in real-time.

It supports multimedia uploads in chat, offers SMS messaging, and allows users to schedule consultations themselves when happy to proceed (or click to call).

The service also has built-in case chat templates for over 1,400 different types of legal inquiries.

Main benefits:

  • Click-to-call functionality
  • Pre-recorded video answers
  • Easy to set and add to your law firm’s website
  • Google Business Profile integration is available
  • Simple self-service options
  • Flexible dashboard app for use on the go
  • Multilingual
  • Law-specific

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • From $195 per month (pay per lead available)
  • Free trial available

4. Client Chat Live: Best law-focused live chat

Built with a focus on smaller law firms, Client Chat Live helps bridge service gaps after hours.

Lawyers designed the service to offer popular features like 24/7 operator support, response customization, monthly analytics, and transcript downloads.

Its text-to-chat functionality helps users text your firm directly, meaning there’s no need to head to your website every time.

Main benefits:

  • By lawyers, for lawyers
  • Operators available to take chats 24/7
  • Easy to brand chat boxes with your colors and logos
  • Chatters can text you
  • Detailed monthly analytics
  • Chat pop-ups are unobtrusive
  • Multilingual
  • Law-specific

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • On request (at flat-rate pricing)
  • Free trial available

5. Smith.AI: Best for AI support

Smith.AI provides human and AI agents who handle client conversations 24/7, promising to act on every message and never miss a chat.

It works with popular lawyer CRMs (like HubSpot, Salesforce, and Clio), chat interfaces such as Slack, and scheduling software like Calendly.

Law firms comprise part of the brand’s focus, with over 3,000 businesses served. The service is available as pay-per-chat or billable monthly.

Main benefits:

  • Pay-per-chat option available
  • 24/7 operator service
  • Responses and scripts are easy to personalize
  • Monthly reporting
  • Lead qualification workflows available
  • Multilingual

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • From $140 per month or pay-as-you-go from $10 per chat
  • No free trial

6. Ruby: Most efficient service

Ruby is a people-powered live chat service supporting over 10,000 businesses, with legal firms being a key focus. Many users are individual lawyers or partners in smaller practices.

The service promises to answer all chat queries within 60 seconds, emphasizing making live conversations personable and friendly.

The app is also well-rated for its analytics and data collection approach; instant notifications and a dashboard help you organize conversations and prospect journeys.

Main benefits:

  • Chats answered in less than a minute
  • Human personnel focusing on personalized chats
  • Detailed analytics support
  • Flexible plans available
  • Customizable talking points
  • Click-to-call functionality
  • Multilingual

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • From $135 per month
  • Free trial available

7. ApexChat: Best mobile live chat

ApexChat is another service built with law firms in mind, though it’s not the chat provider’s sole industry focus.

This is a popular choice live chat lawyers use for its ample customization and hands-off operation. It’s easy to manage when working with law firm marketing agencies.

The service integrates easily with external mobile apps like Facebook Messenger and Google Business Profile, and users can text agents.

Main benefits:

  • AI scheduling functionality
  • Pay-per-lead available
  • SMS marketing functionality lets clients text you and receive alerts
  • Easy to set up and customize
  • Flexible mobile apps
  • Click-to-call functionality
  • Multilingual

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • Available on request
  • Free trial available

8. LexReception: Best for growing client bases

LexReception focuses on legal professionals and law firms, offering outsourced virtual receptionists and live representatives to take chats when you’re unavailable.

The software platform integrates easily into popular services like Clio, Lawmatics, Zapier, and Zoho. Law firms can take advantage of other services like bilingual answering, legal intake support, and appointment scheduling.

The service pivots as an “overflow” for larger firms not able to handle growing numbers of calls.

Main benefits:

  • Off-site chat handlers are available when your office is closed
  • Fully trained chatters specializing in intake and scheduling
  • Easy to customize and manage with a web designer
  • Individual visitor tracking and analytics
  • Lots of partner integrations
  • Works with law-specific software like PracticePanther and Lawmatics
  • Multilingual
  • Law-specific

Pricing as of November 2023: 

  • Available on request
  • Free trial with a custom demo

9. LawDroid: Best AI chatbot service

LawDroid’s main product is LawDroid Builder, an AI platform built to speak to prospects, track their journeys, and scale your services to individual needs.

The product is featured in multiple legal industry magazines and roots itself in data-driven decision-making, analyzing clients’ needs based on objective information.

Main benefits:

  • Code-free AI workflow creation
  • Smart chat handling and client analysis
  • An all-in-one platform helps you handle calls and plot journeys
  • Easy to scale up and down with individual needs
  • Presents answers in plain English
  • Free demo available
  • Law-specific

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • Available on request
  • Free trial available

10. CUGIC: Most flexible pricing

CUGIC offers flexible per-agent pricing for live chat lawyers, which is great value for smaller firms and partnerships.

The software offers simple social media integration, detailed visitor tracking, multilingual translation, and dashboard apps.

Data shared through CUGIC is completely encrypted, and it’s easy to scale up and down with firm needs.

Main benefits:

  • Highly secure with professional data protection
  • Customizable chats and scripts
  • Choice of chat window functionality
  • Extremely flexible pricing
  • Chat history functions
  • Detailed client analytics
  • Multilingual
  • Law-specific

Pricing as of November 2023:

  • From $9.50 per agent per month
  • Free trial available

7 Tips for Implementing Live Chat on Your Law Firm Website

Although you can rely on live chat apps and your IT team to handle the tech side, there are still a few best practices worth keeping in mind when you set up your service.

Here are seven tips a successful law firm should prioritize.

1. Focus on client experience

Visitors should be able to connect with you without fuss. Choose software with obvious buttons and clear calls to action.

Avoid installing intrusive live chat windows covering large portions of web pages.

A frustrating, overwhelming live chat experience could drive customers away, so keep it user-friendly.

Choose a service that lets visitors close chats (and don’t let it pop up again when they navigate to a different page).

To demonstrate, Forum Law has two floating buttons – a side chat and a portrait of a live agent at the bottom.

Source

2. Set clear expectations

While it pays to hire live chat agents with legal knowledge, you should set expectations to ensure your visitors know how far chat goes, when to reach out for more information, and that you don’t provide legal advice over chat.

Again, Forum Law sets expectations with a simple disclaimer at the head of the chat window, making it one of the first things visitors see in the pop-up:

3. Customize and brand your tool

Customizing and branding your live chat feature helps make the experience more personal for clients – especially if you lead with a friendly photo of an attorney working with you.

Intaker makes use of its video chat features with a friendly preview as a chat launch button:

Source

While powered by Intaker, Wagners consistently brands its live chat to show it’s using a bespoke service:

Source

This helps clients feel at ease because they would hesitate to reach out to an “Intaker” branded chat service on the Wagners website.

4. Combine live chat with a chatbot

Although most people want to talk to a human first, attitudes are changing.

Statistics show that 69% of people are happy to chat with bots to solve simple problems – a yearly 23% increase amid the AI revolution.

Blending live chat with a chatbot ensures AI handles low-level queries and prospects speak to a human when needed.

For example, you could set up a live chat in the same way as Wagners by presenting multiple query categories:

Then you could customize your chatbot to ask for more details:

A chatbot can ask for contact information in case you need to book a consultation:

The bot continues asking questions surrounding the chatter’s query, but if they need specific support, forward the chat to an attorney.

This approach satisfies visitors looking for speedy support on urgent matters and reassures them you have their details to arrange an in-depth chat.

5. Use live chat services with a callback functionality

Live chat for law firms with callback options ensures your prospect knows someone’s reading their question and will be in touch shortly with a personalized answer.

Callback options lower the number of prospects you lose in the live chat funnel. The features help you follow up and guide leads to a consultation.

Consider using a chat service with CRM integration, such as HubSpot, to encourage speedy follow-ups. Note the “Schedule some time with me” feature:

Source

6. Pick a live chat app with experienced support agents that match your firm

Choose a live chat service managed by trained agents who understand the legal industry. If possible, find a chat service that fits your branding and vibe, too.

The more familiar your agents are with your prospects’ needs, the smoother chats go, and the more confident people are to move further.

Outsourcing to catch-all services isn’t always the best value option. At the very least, choose a law-firm-specific live chat provider like LexReception or Client Chat Live.

LexReception provides packages for different legal specialties, such as criminal law or personal injury:

Source

7. Measure and track your live chat app’s success

Choose a live chat provider offering real-time or monthly reports on the number of leads it generates for your firm.

Alternatively, choose a service like HubSpot that automatically tracks leads through live chat and creates client profiles via CRM.

Live chat services obtain prospects’ details like name, number, and location – which you can use to track specific clients as they call and consult with you in the future.

Here’s a simple mock-up of how CUGIC arranges chats served, chats missed, and average duration:

Source

Live Chat for Law Firms: Don’t Miss a Single Conversation

Live chat for law firms shouldn’t be an optional extra. The 94% of lawyers avoiding this fantastic tool are missing out on:

  1. More client conversions
  2. Happier website visitors and returning clients
  3. Warmer inbound leads
  4. Fewer calls in the inbound queue

Live chat app lawyers also stand apart from the pack because they’re available 24/7.

With a live chat service, you’re maximizing client conversion opportunities every minute of the day.

When you’re ready, dNOVO can help you set up and customize your live chat – simply reach out, and one of our friendly experts will guide you through the entire process.

Setting up live chat for lawyers should be a small part of your digital marketing strategy. For examples of other things to include, please read our guides on law firm answering services and AI for lawyers.

Live Chat for Law Firms FAQs

Here are a few final thoughts before choosing live chat for attorneys.

Why do companies use live chat?

Companies use live chat to help their customers quickly resolve pressing problems. It saves them from searching websites for answers and clicking away to visit competitors.

Take a look at our list of benefits of live chat for lawyers above.

Is live chat better than chatbots?

Live chat uses human agents and is more accurate and helpful when dealing with difficult or complex questions. However, well-trained chatbots can solve many simple problems immediately. We recommend a blend of both.

Is live chat cost-effective?

Every live chat conversation saves time otherwise spent on a phone call. You save money on staff hours and free up your office lines for warm leads or existing clients.

What are the benefits of using live chat for law firm websites?

Live chat for law firm websites helps web visitors with general legal questions who might otherwise call for support. It’s also great for collating visitor data to build prospect profiles.

What are the disadvantages of live chat?

Not everyone likes using live chat because they might have complex queries. Users can find scripted responses and communication barriers frustrating – which is why it’s essential to invest in a high-quality chat provider that knows when to pass a lead over to an agent.

How do I choose live chat software?

Please carefully consider the features you need – such as chat analytics, integration with CRMs and other tools, 24/7 agent support, and pricing flexibility – and pick the option that best matches your needs.

Sources

  1. Saam, Conrad. (February 1, 2016). “ABA Benchmark Study on Law Firm Intake Process: Part I”. Law Technology Today. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  2. “Lawyer Statistics: 55 Eye-Opening Stats & Trends for 2023”. (November 28, 2022). Uptime JurisPage. Retrieved November 21, 2023.

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