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Google has updated voice calling in Gmail. Now, users can make multiple calls simultaneously as part of the new feature. Which begs to question, what can Google Voice do for lawyers?
Can it replace your clunky old landline? Your cell phone?
Well, not entirely, but if you are already using VoIP solutions for some of your calling needs, the new feature makes it easier to juggle the multitude of calls that might be streaming into your office.
Now, if you switch over to a new caller when you're already on a call in Gmail, the first call will automatically be placed on hold. If you want to resume the first call, simply click "resume" and the call will be resumed.
Sounds simple enough, right? But, remember that if you switch over from call to call, be sure to make note of when you're switching over so you can bill clients appropriately.
Though, there are definitely drawbacks to utilizing Gmail as your main telephone. Unless you plan to be attached to your computer at all times, you can't possibly let Google Voice be your only point of contact. You could set your Google number so that the number will ring your cell phone as well whenever someone calls in, but then that'll mean you'd have to have a cell phone.
Besides the multiple-calling feature, VoIP solutions like Google Voice in Gmail can be useful for a variety of reasons. For one, Google Voice actually lets you record the voice conversations you have. For privacy reasons, an automated voice will tell you (and whoever you are speaking with on the other line) that the call is now being recorded.
And, of course, calling via Google is probably cheaper in many respects. Calls to most numbers in the U.S. are free of charge, and international calls are generally only a few cents a minute depending on the country. While Google Voice and lawyers may not be able to enjoy an exclusive relationship (cell phones are probably still a must), it's still a useful tool to have on hand.