5 Ways to Audit Your Legal Client Intake

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Client Intake, CRM Software | 0 comments

A successful legal client intake process is essential for growing a law firm. These procedures extend from the implementation of a strategic marketing plan through the various lead nurturing efforts, concluding with the conversion and onboarding of paying legal clients.  

The intake process may sound like business as usual, but it can stall your firm’s growth significantly if you do not have the right systems and procedures in place. So, it’s important to take a regular look at your firm’s process to ensure that it is working at its highest level. A legal client intake audit should be a standard part of your law firm’s management duties and the following are five ways to get it done.

What are You Looking For  

When taking on a legal client intake audit, you must first understand what you are actually seeking to uncover. Here are some questions to consider when conducting your client intake audit:  

  • Is all prospect contact information captured early and accurately?  
  • Are potential clients being effectively prescreened to determine whether they are a good fit for your law practice? 
  • Is conflict checking being done early in the process to identify any past or present conflicts that would prevent legal representation?  
  • Is your legal onboarding process being used to set expectations and provide clients with information about the specifics of their legal matters?  
  • How long is the average law firm client intake process from initial contact to conversion?  

A close examination into each of these questions will reveal a lot about your current legal client intake process, including where the roadblocks to maximum profitability lie. 

How to Find It 

#1 Check Lead Data for Completeness and Accuracy 

Accurate and up to date information is a must during the legal client intake process. Without it, you may miss out on opportunities to connect with potential clients or to respond in a manner that meets their timelines. With an effective intake process in place, contact information and preliminary case data are collected and cataloged early in the intake process, preferably during initial contact.  

Missing or inaccurate information may indicate an issue early in the legal client intake process. Perhaps firm members are forgetting to collect all necessary data, or they may be recording the information correctly. This is where Client Relationship Management (CRM) software for law firms shines. Legal CRM can provide your law firm with automation tools that automatically collect and manage all necessary information with no assistance from firm members. The reliability of these technologies helps you ensure the collection of accurate data right from the start.  

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#2 What does your Pre-Screening Process Look Like 

Prescreening is one of the best gifts you can give to your firm. These questionnaires and/ or short consult meetings help firm members decide whether prospects are a good fit before too much time and effort is put into the lead nurturing process.  

Look closely at your prescreening process to examine its effectiveness. Consider these questions:  

  • Are you asking questions that let you determine whether the prospect’s matter fits within your practice area?  
  • Are you asking about their expectations to ascertain the type of client they will be and whether their expectations are reasonable? 
  • Are you inquiring about their past representation by other law firms, which can be helpful in determining compatibility, as well as the prospect’s ability to pay their legal fees.  
  • Are you really listening and providing an environment where the potential client feels valued and heard?  

#3 Check your Conflict Check 

Emails, phone calls, and paper files do not provide a comprehensive conflict check, and inaccuracies could put your firm in serious ethical trouble. You need to examine your conflict checking process to ensure that it is complete and accurate. The existence of deficiencies may indicate a potentially serious problem for your firm, which is another issue that can be addressed with automation.  

With legal CRM software, prospect data can be automatically populated into a law firm conflict check system. These technologies then utilize various factors to perform a complete comparison with the existing and past client database that will uncover any potential conflicts and keep your firm out of trouble.  

#4 Examine the Onboarding Meeting 

The onboarding meeting not only finalizes the conversion of a lead into a paying client, but it also sets expectations for the attorney client relationship. As such, you should take the time to examine the process to ensure that it is organized, productive, and straightforward. Remember that you are setting the tone, so this meeting should continue the professional interactions that your firm established throughout the legal client intake process.  

Make sure that communications are clear in regard to firm policies, procedures, and fees. This is best done by systemizing the process so that all firm members are following the same template and communicating the same information. Written documentation can be very effective at this stage of the legal client intake process because it provides new clients with a tangible roadmap. 

#5 Review your Technology  

If your law firm is going to have an effective legal client intake process, your audit must include a detailed analysis of your technology. Having the right innovations in place not only improves efficiency, but it can also drive greater profits for your firm. For instance, typing up engagement letters for every legal client intake can be time-consuming and frustratingly repetitive. With automated legal technologies, your firm creates templates that can be automatically populated with existing lead data. Coupled with e-signature capabilities, your law firm can save a lot of time that is better spent on more profitable tasks.  

You cannot maximize your law firm client intake process without technologies like Law Ruler’s CRM for law firms in place. A leader in the field of legal marketing systems, their CRM software platform provides top notch legal client intake features, including automated follow ups, voice calling campaigns, email drip campaign automation, and one-click email signatures.  

Audit your Legal Client Intake  

Without an effective legal client intake process, your law firm could be wasting many hours and a lot of resources on systems that do not ultimately lead to profitable cases. By conducting a thorough audit biannually, you can identify roadblocks and make improvements as needed.  

To learn more about Law Ruler’s CRM for law firms and the ways it can enhance your firm’s legal client intake, click this link for a free demonstration.  

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