The Most Effective Legal Intake Process: Proven Tactics

The legal intake process is arguably one of the most important processes within your law firm. Don’t leave your leads (and business opportunities) on the back burner, discover the most effective legal intake process here. 

When a lead gets in touch with your firm, that is a huge opportunity however research shows that almost half (42%) of firms take 3+ days to respond to leads! 

We get it, law firms are busy with the practice of law. Lawyers and legal professionals alike have extremely busy schedules and oftentimes, the leads end up taking second priority. The good news is….there’s a solution to all of this and that is optimizing your legal intake process. 

The legal intake is the process of converting the leads to clients and cases. Why is it so important? That’s easy: 

  1. A solid intake process = more clients! 
  2. A weak intake process = missed opportunities! 

A weak intake process in a law firm could translate to having whichever staff member is available to answer the phone and provide responses that may (or may not) reflect your firm. Vice versa, a solid intake process means anyone from your staff (or the designated legal intake team) is 100% confident in your firm’s messaging and knows how to translate this to leads.

To help your firm eliminate any inconsistencies and create a solid, and uniform first impression let’s dive into the process itself. Stay with us and find out more.

The Best Tactics for Your Legal Intake Process 

Follow these steps and before you know it, you’ll be signing more of the cases you’ve been looking for.

1. Uniform Your Staff

Every firm’s intake process will vary, perhaps one firm has a dedicated team for intake while others may rely on whoever is not busy. Whatever the case may be, you can uniform your staff with this protocol: 

Legal Intake Process Legal Intake Process

2. Develop a Solid Qualification Plan 

Every firm and every case is unique like a fingerprint but you’ll know when there’s a good chance the lead will convert into a case.

Here are some tips that’ll help you figure it out: 

  • Create a questionnaire to determine whether the lead is actively looking for legal assistance and if they can pay. 
  • Define what steps follow rejecting and accepting leads.

3. Build Rapport

One way to build trust from the start is to be approachable and genuine. Don’t be afraid to deviate from your list of questions and ask probing questions. This way you’ll not only collect extra information on their case but it’ll show you’re actively listening (more on this next).

4. Practice Active Listening 

When a lead calls regarding legal services, chances are they’ll want to touch on their story/case and can easily become a one-sided conversation. If that is the case, don’t worry, you will get your time to go through your pointers. In the meantime, focus on what the lead is saying and perhaps some of your answers will be there.

5. Ask The Right Questions

No matter what questions you ask, in your legal intake you need to nail down 2 things: 

  • Determine the  likelihood of lead converting to case 
  • Develop a clear image of the legal issue at hand 

Before the questions, ensure you have the lead’s name, contact information (email, phone number) and preferred method of communication. With that you can begin asking these questions:

Legal intake process- Questions to ask Legal intake process- Questions to ask

6. Discuss Fees 

Discuss your payment process and accepted methods of payment. After you explain your fees, ask if they have any questions. This will be the key to setting expectations from the beginning.

7. Discuss the Best Methods to Communicate 

One of the perks of investing in legal marketing is the options you have when communicating with a user. Ask the client what their preferred method of communication is and keep this for future reference. 

If by any chance you can’t share information via their preferred method of communication because of legal cybersecurity or other reasons; then specify how you’ll be reaching out. 

8. Respond, Respond, Respond 

Time is money, quite literally for leads and firms. Research shows that if a lead doesn’t receive a call back after just 5 minutes of submitting a contact form, the conversion rate drops by 72%, take a look:

9. Monitor Your Intake Process 

Acquiring leads is the first battle, monitoring and honing in on your legal intake process is the second. You’ll want to compile and analyze your data in order to gauge the intake process.

You can begin analyzing your intake process with the following metrics: 

  • Number of new cases opened 
  • Time to respond 
  • Call-to-case ratio 
  • Cost per case 

Don’t Give Up Easily! 

Ultimately, this is our last tip: don’t give up easily. 

Taking the time to optimize and build your perfect legal intake process can help your firm and clients go a long way. If you’d like to have a team working along your firm’s side honing in on your sales process we’re here to help.