How to Streamline Your Law Firm's Legal Intake Process

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October 20, 2023

If you are like most attorneys, you are looking for ways to streamline your firm’s legal intake process.  The streamlining of this process maximizes the efficiency of your legal practice management.  You can accomplish such a feat with the right practice management software, the right personnel, and the right strategy.  

Client Intake Made Easy

There is no need to burden your legal assistant with handling the entirety of the legal intake process manually.  Choose the right legal project management software and this challenge will be ameliorated, minimizing the amount of human capital necessary to onboard new clients and move them through the case life cycle.  Technology has even advanced to the point that it can improve case assessment at the beginning of the onboarding process.

Consider the Information Your Firm Needs

Start by asking your team the most important questions about individual cases.  Consider the information necessary for a case.  Consider the timeframe for the case’s completion.  Ask your team if it is the type of case they are capable of taking on.  It is also in your interest to determine if there are recommendations that can be made if the case seems as though it is not the type your firm can manage.  It is the answers to these questions that will determine the specific information collected during the client intake process.  

When in doubt, use a questionnaire to collect information and review potential cases for acceptance.  Whittle down the required information to the specifics listed above and you’ll have a better sense of whether the client is worth taking.  This initial process also highlights the type of information necessary to gather and organize during the intake process.

Automating the Process

The legal intake process can be automated to a certain extent.  Practice management software has advanced to the point that it is now possible to streamline data collection and entry through the automated filling of forms.  Choose the right platform and you’ll be empowered to develop fully customizable templates that facilitate the client intake process.  

The use of such automated forms decreases non-billable hours, eliminates the potential for human err, helps clients forward their information, and also makes the intake process as efficient as possible.  Above all, automating the client intake process is beneficial as it is that much more economically efficient than paying a paralegal or legal secretary to manually record data into your system.

Transition From Onboarding to Strategizing

Now that all of the information your firm needs has been collected, it is time to get the client’s signature.  There is no need to have the client visit the office or snail mail a letter to his or her home for signature.  Use e-signature technology and you won’t have to worry about cumbersome paperwork.  Email the fee agreement, have the client sign it then send it back and the stage will be set to start serving your clients.