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The Must-Have Client Intake Checklist For Law Firms

Nanato Media

Your Law Firm’s Intake process is one of the critical determining factors of your success. When a prospective client reaches out via any method (phone, web form, chat, email, etc.), you or your team should be prepared and ready to listen to their problem. Don’t panic; we are here to help you.

If you are following Nanato Media, you must already be familiar with the importance of a reliable intake process for your Law Firm. We’ve written about it before (tips to optimize your Law Firm’s intake), and we’ve talked about it in our podcast for Law Firm marketing, In Camera Podcast. Today, we’re back at it with a checklist that will make your life easier and increase your chances of conversions and an increased caseload.

Let’s get started.

  • Your Law Firm’s intake team daily checklist.

That should be your intake team’s daily routine before getting to work; in other words, the tasks to make sure that they are one hundred percent up for the occasion.

  1. Check that they are online, available, and fully functional in all the platforms, online tools, or lines. That might sound too basic, but a daily check is the mandatory first step for your intake success. In the digital age, tools are becoming more and more sophisticated, but there are times that things don’t go as planned. We’ve seen it happening, and a refresh of the window, a confirmation of sign-in, or a simple check at the phone can prove beneficial.
  2. Check the hardware and make sure it’s fully operational. In the same fashion as above, there’s no contract as to when a headset might stop working or when it might run out of battery. Perform the necessary checks, and confirm that everything is set for the day with a test call.
  • Your Law Firm’s situational checklist. 

In other words, your Law Firm’s hands-on checklist. It’s crucial that you have a predetermined flow for your intake process, tasks that your intake team has to follow to make sure that they can actually help your prospective client while gathering all the necessary information.

  1. Make sure that you respond promptly. If it’s a call, don’t let the phone ring (we have a three-rings policy), and if possible, avoid having callers waiting on hold. Handle web forms, emails, and of course, live chat the same way.
  2. Ensure that the right team member gets to communicate with the right prospect. For example, calls from pages and campaigns in Spanish  should be answered by Spanish speaking agents. We cannot stress enough how important this is.
  3. Once you have the prospective client reach out to you, especially on the phone, the first step is to listen to them and understand their issue. That way, you’ll understand the type of the case, its potential importance to the prospective client, and the law firm, and you’ll also show empathy, creating the much-needed bonds. That’s especially crucial when you handle accident/injury-related cases but apply to every practice area. 
  4. Capture all the essential contact information and store the data in your CRM. If this is a first time caller use your call tracking data to register the caller contact details, no one likes to spell their name, email or give out their telephone number, so if you have access to that information repeat it back to the caller so they can confirm that is correct.  At this point, if your team makes it easy for the prospective client, you have the second win (the first one is creating bonds and empathy).
  5.  If this is a second time caller use your CRM to show the caller you know who they are and  have all the information with regards to their case or enquiry.
  6. Proceed to pre-screening. Sometimes it might save time for you and the person on the other end. Remember to always handle them with the utmost respect and professionalism. Even if the case is not one that you can take, you can refer them or stay on top of mind if they need you in the future. At the same time, ensure that there’s no conflict, and you can take the case. These steps can save time and money if conducted before the initial consultation. 

Tip: Listen carefully to what the prospective client says, have a separate checklist for the questions your team needs to ask at the pre-screening and don’t judge by the first impression. People might be confused, and a lead that seems not to be eligible might be an excellent case for your law firm.

  1. Be prepared to answer questions about your Law Firm’s location. 

Hispanics care a lot about proximity and location and you shouldn’t be surprised if this is the first or second question they ask. Especially if your marketing strategy targets a major metro area, statewide, or is at a national level, and you don’t have offices in every location you expect to receive calls from, make sure your intake team knows well how to answer this particular question. So that the lead still finds you suitable to handle their case even though you may not be “local”, here are some ideas on how location questions can be handled:

  • We provide services for “insert territory”. 
  • Our attorney can meet with you over a video conference or phone call.
  • We can send a representative to meet you at your home, hospital, etc.

Whatever the most suitable answer is for your law firm, make sure you keep the focus on the client’s benefit of doing things the way you do, whether it’s for safety, saving time, comfort, or to get working on the case ASAP, the client has to feel that working with you is a much better solution for them than settling for a law firm that is just closer to them.

  1. It’s common for prospective clients to ask for references aka hearing from your past satisfied clients. Don’t you do the same before you start working with another company or vendor? You might not be allowed to give out specific details, but the assurance of a law firm that has handled similar cases and won is incomparable. Consider adding a “Testimonials” section on your website and direct your prospects to that URL for their reference.
  2. Have the documents they need to sign ready. With the right tools, your intake personnel can generate the agreement documents on the spot, containing the information they gathered. Moving forward, you can use e-signature software (such as DocuSign) to ensure a seamless and immediate process. Make sure you can send those documents via text message or What’s App too. Not everyone uses email, especially Hispanic blue-collar workers will appreciate the option.
  3. If asked about fees, focus on the value and experience of the law firm, get your team to confidently speak about how your law firm has helped others with similar cases, sure answer their questions and be transparent, but do it in a way that makes you shine. When the prospective client sees the value of working with you your fees will not be a concern to them. For example, if you charge on a contingency basis tell them what is the percentage you charge, you don’t want your clients to be caught by surprise, but also explain (again) that you have won the largest compensations for your clients.
  4.  In case you can’t handle the specific case, and as mentioned above, it’s essential to give a referral. Create a list of referrals and resources for your team. This list can point out leads when you can not take their cases. Take it a step further, in your CRM, set reminders for every prospect referred to the state bar or somewhere else and call them two days later to see if they could find the help they needed and be ready to offer them another solution to explore. Through this process, you build loyalty and rest assured that the next time that prospect needs legal help, you will be the first one they will reach out to, and maybe at that point, they have a case you can sign.

Tip: Have clear standards and checklists so they know exactly what they are being measured against. And also measure engagement and empathy, an intake employee could be following the right steps but if they fail to acknowledge and respond empathetically to what the prospect went through to need your legal help, is also something that needs to be pointed out and team members should be held accountable for.


What are our key takeaways:

  • Small steps can make a significant impact on your Law Firm, increasing conversions, and signed cases. 
  • Automation is by your side and can improve your business processes, but don’t forget about the human touch. It’s particularly vital for prospective clients, and especially Hispanics pay attention to cultural bonds.
  • Keep your intake team trained and updated about your marketing efforts. That way, they can handle prospective clients with the advantage of having more information before engaging in a conversation with them. 
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