The client intake process for solo lawyers and small practices can be daunting. It’s the first step in establishing your attorney-client relationship. It must be thorough. It’s also not billable. It stands to reason that it makes sense to have the client intake process as streamlined process. Here are four ways that you can make the client intake process easier.
Pre-Screen Your Potential Clients
Pre-screening doesn’t have to take long. It’s the first step toward client intake. It’s important that your potential clients are a good fit for your practice. By taking a few minutes to speak with them and learn more about their needs, you’ll be able to determine whether you can be of assistance. For people who need help in an area where you don’t practice, consider creating and providing a referral list of lawyers you know and trust.
You should also ask whether the potential client has ever needed the services of a lawyer before and why. Asking this question can help you determine if the potential client is litigious. It can also help you determine how much the client may know about the legal system.
Create an Intake Process That Works for Your Office
A well-designed client intake process simplifies law firm life. No matter who on your staff will be assigned to help the soon-to-be client, creating and implementing a process that works well for your office maintains consistent interaction and behavior throughout your office.
Create physical or digital checklists to help guide your staff through the process. This will help ensure that nothing is missed during the intake process. It improves the experience for the client for your staff. Remember that you need accurate information, but you also need a process that quickly and efficiently guides the new client through the process. Ask for feedback from those in your office who will be involved in the process.
Simplify the Intake Process
At some point, you’ve gone to the doctor and arrived 20 minutes before your appointment to fill out a stack of forms. Did you notice any duplicate information requests? Did you finish in time? Did you have to take the paperwork back with you? You probably thought that there had to be a better way to get through the intake process (and who would blame you? We’ve all been there!)
Keep your client intake forms as short as you can while still getting all of the information that you need. If you use practice management software, you might check to see if it offers an online client intake process. You can also create fillable PDFs to email to clients.
Make sure that clients going through the process know how they can get help with the intake process. For example, they can call the main line to talk with your receptionist or they can email the firm using a certain email address.
Outsource Your Client Intake Process
If you’re looking to save time, consider outsourcing your client intake process to Clients ARM. It’s the perfect solution for solo lawyers, small firms, and large law firms. With more than 30 years of experience, we develop a custom intake process that meets your needs. We also provide client care throughout the intake process. To learn more about how we can help you with your client intake process, schedule your free consultation.