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Phone numbers are hard to memorize. True story: At one point, I didn't even know my own cellphone number. Everyone used my Google Voice number, which forwarded to the prepaid cell phone that I carried at school. So when I decided to open my practice, I wanted a phone number that was a little bit easier to memorize.
And my old GV number, part of which spelled out the word "CHUNKY," wasn't going to cut it for a law firm.
I also wanted a landline around the office for support staff and for the once or twice per year that somebody decides that it's time for me to dust off my fax machine. The solution? A $30 adapter and Google Voice.
Google Voice Lets You Pick a Free Vanity Number
This is actually the hardest part: picking a fun, memorable number. You probably want a local area code, as it'll be easier for locals to remember and it gives you a little bit of local cred.
I lucked out on the college GV number -- a self-deprecating fat joke and the Yolo County area code were a perfect fit. But trying to find a law-appropriate combination was a bit more difficult. I'd recommend trying combinations of local area codes and either generic words like "LAW" or "ESQ," or if you're really lucky, your name or practice area.
In the end, you may have to settle for an OK number, such as (555) 727-1LAW. It's easy to remember, has a bit of branding, and beats random digits.
Add an ObiHai Box for Free Landline Service
I've been an ObiHai fan for a couple of years now, and I'd recommend reading that years-old piece on why that little box is so handy. But here's the short version: A $30 adapter that takes 10 minutes to set up will provide you with nearly complete (no 911 service) VoIP phone service via your new vanity Google Voice number for free (after the cost of the adapter).
One Number to Rule Them All
What happens when a client calls my new law firm number? The number rings my ObiHai-connected cordless phones, my cellphone, my tablet, and even my desktop computer (if I have my Gmail inbox open).
Texts to my firm's number go to Google Voice's online interface as well as Google's Hangouts app -- I can read and respond to them from either interface.
And if I want to make a call from my vanity number, I can either use my faux-landline phones or place the call from the Google Hangouts app.
Do you pay for a landline, use a VoIP provider, or stick to your cell phone? Tweet us @FindLawLP and tell us why.