Introduction to the Intake Process Template (For Law Firms):

Intake Process Template (For Law Firms)

Those working in law firms have their work cut out for them.

But when it takes 3 or more days to respond to leads, 61% of firms forgetting to ask the client's name during the initial conversation, and when 35% of initial calls go unanswered, something's wrong

Luckily, the team at Process Street created this Intake Process Template (For Law Firms).

This process template helps law firms take in new clients the right way, and ensures quality doesn't slip. No unanswered inquiries. No forgetting important steps.

Here's how it works.

First off, you'll confirm your basic details and respond to the potential client's inquiry with an intake form. Once it's been filled out, you'll screen the client to see if it's possible to help and work with them. 

Then, you'll set up and have a meeting with the potential client. After writing and uploading meeting notes, you'll then again assess whether you can help and work with the client after learning more details. This is done via an approval task.

If the client can be worked with — and is thus taken in — you'll gather important documents, devise a client strategy, and then follow the strategy that's been created.

Simple.

This checklist should be used by each practicing lawyer whose role requires them to bring in and work with clients. It should also be run each time a potential client inquires about working with your firm.

The jury's out: Sign up to Process Street's nifty BPM software and start using this checklist template today!

Getting started:

The tasks in this section require you to confirm your own basic details, and then reply to the potential client's inquiry with an intake form.

In terms of automation - and making life a lot simpler - set up a Zapier integration where a checklist from this template is automatically launched whenever a new lead comes in. 

The following tasks have Process Street's workflow automation feature stop tasks attached. This ensures order and that important steps aren't skipped over.

Learn more about stop tasks by watching the video below.

Confirm your basic details

Confirm your basic details.

First thing's first: You, the lawyer undertaking this intake process, must confirm your first name, last name, job title, and email address.

Make sure role assignments are set up on all appropriate tasks by clicking "Assign", then "Roles", then choosing the "Lawyer's email" option.

Send over an intake form

Send over an intake form to the inquiring potential client.

A potential client has displayed their interest in working with your law firm. 

To gather crucial details regarding who they are, what they need help with, and more, send them an intake form.

You should already have created an intake form to send across. If you don't have one, an intake form can always be created with Process Street.

Use the email widget below to send the intake form across.

Screening the client:

The potential client has completed and submitted their intake form. Now you'll collect and confirm their information, in addition to screening and deciding whether there's potential to work with them via an approval task.

Record the client's basic information

Record the client's basic information.

Seeing as the potential client has added their basic information via the intake form, record it in this checklist, too.

Having it as part of this checklist means you don't have to keep referring back to the completed intake form.

Add appropriate information in the relevant form fields.

Confirm what the client needs help with

Confirm what the potential client needs help with.

No matter if they want to work with your law firm for criminal, family, immigration, civil, or other issues, confirm what the client needs help with.

Do this by selecting a choice from the dropdown. 

Then, go into more details in the "Issue details" text box. 

Certify the client's identity

Certify the potential client's identity.

To comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act in the UK and law firm best practices in the U.S. and Canada, you must ask your client for proof of identity.

They should provide:

  • Proof of identity: This could be in the form of a driver's license of a passport.
  • Proof of address: This could be a utility bill or other document that clearly shows where the person contacting you is a resident.

If they provided these documents when completing the intake form, simply upload the documents below.

If you don't have the documents, send an email or call them up to ask them for the documents. Once you have them, upload them.

The next task is an approval task.

Imagine it as a review task, where you look over the information added in the last few tasks, and where you'll decide if there's potential to help and work with the client. If there is, you'll want to click the 'Approve all' button. If there isn't, you'll want to press 'Reject all' and inform the potential client it's not possible to take them on.

Approval: Initial approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Record the client's basic information
    Will be submitted
  • Confirm what the client needs help with
    Will be submitted
  • Certify the client's identity
    Will be submitted

Pre-meeting:

If it looks like there's a possibility to help and work with the potential client, it's time to set up and plan a meeting with them.

Set up an initial meeting

Set up an initial meeting.

An initial meeting with a potential client means gaining more information about the issues they need help with. It's where in-depth, thorough questions can be asked and their answers given.

Use the email widget below to set up an initial meeting.

Confirm the initial meeting date

Confirm the initial meeting date.

By this point, the potential client should've responded with a date and time for the initial meeting that suits them. 

If it works for you and your firm, confirm the date and time in the widget below.

If it doesn't work, talk to the potential client until you can agree on a date and time that suits everyone involved. Then, confirm the date and time via the below widget. 

Prepare the meeting agenda

Prepare an agenda for the meeting with the potential client.

Ahead of the meeting, you'll want to have an agenda to make the most of your and your potential client's time.

You may have a generic script on hand for extracting information during the meeting, or you may prefer to tailor the agenda for each client individually.

Plan out your meeting agenda in the form field below.

On top of discussing the potential client's issues and how your firm could help, you'll also want to disclose what they should expect if you take them on, information regarding the firm's privacy policies, and details regarding the payment, billing, and financial side of things.

During the meeting:

With the meeting agenda prepared, it's time to meet with the client.

Record meeting notes

Record notes while meeting with the potential client.

The meeting agenda from the previous task will be pushed into the variable field below. This will help you guide the focus of the discussion with your client accordingly.


Meeting agenda:

{{form.Meeting_agenda}}


While the meeting takes place, use the form field below to record meeting notes as you go.

Post-meeting:

After meeting the client, there are several post-meeting steps to complete. 

The following tasks will guide you through these steps.

Update the CRM with meeting notes

Update your CRM (or other solution) with the meeting notes.

Below, you'll see a collection of all of the information you've gathered during the meeting with your client. It's ready for you to copy-and-paste into your CRM if you have one.

Meeting notes:

{{form.Meeting_notes}}

You can instantly send all of the information collected so far into your CRM directly from Process Street by setting up one of many integrations available (1,000+ apps).

If you don't have a CRM, paste the information into whatever program or business software solution you use.


The next task is an approval task.

Imagine it as another review task, where you look over the information gathered from the meeting to decide if there's potential to help and work with the client. If there is, you'll want to click the 'Approve all' button. If there isn't, you'll want to press 'Reject all' and inform the potential client it's not possible to take them on.

Approval: Moving forward

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Record meeting notes
    Will be submitted

Communicate the billing structure

Communicate your firm's billing structure to the client.

You should've spoken briefly about the financial side of things during your meeting. Now, you'll want to make sure the client understands all of the billing options available to them in detail.

Do this via email.

Add your firm's pricing page URL in the email below and send it to the client.

Gather documents:

As you'll now be helping and working with the client, it's time to send the client a representation agreement, in addition to requesting any other necessary legal documents.

Upload the unsigned representation agreement

Upload a copy of the representation agreement.

When working with a new client, some law contracts are very formal, whilst others are no more than a single page in length. More important than length and complexity is its content.

Details will include such specifications as when and how much the client will be expected to pay, whether or not that incorporates court fees, and who exactly will be working on their case, and so on.

Use the form field below to upload the unsigned representation agreement.

Send the representation agreement

Send the representation agreement to the client.

The unsigned agreement will be attached to the below email template and sent out to your client's email address.

But do make sure you are happy with the contents of the email before you hit "send".

You can send this representation agreement automatically by integrating Process Street with your electronic signature tool of choice.

Upload the signed representation agreement

Upload the signed representation agreement.

When the representation agreement is signed by the client, upload it.

You can do this via the upload widget below.

Save time by using our integrations to automatically push uploaded files (like the signed contract below) into your CRM software, if you use one.

Client strategy:

With all the necessary legal documents in your possession, it's time to start brainstorming a client strategy.

The following tasks will guide you through the process.

Devise a client strategy

Devise a client strategy. 

It's time to devise a strategy that addresses your client's current situation, considering their needs, goals, and specific circumstances. 

Be sure to address the client's situation in both the short-term and long-term, and make it clear what they should and should not expect, using the sub-tasks below to help you create the strategy.

Once you've written a strategy in a program like Microsoft Word, upload the strategy document afterward.

You might also consider looking more deeply into past convictions, medical history, or anything relevant that might help you make a case and decision.

  • 1
    Immediate next steps
  • 2
    Long-term roadmap
  • 3
    Clear summary of their situation
  • 4
    What they can expect of you
  • 5
    What they can't expect of you
  • 6
    Time frame
  • 7
    Potential complications (legal issues, etc.)
  • 8
    What options are available (possibility of plea offers, rights to testify, additional legal rights, etc.)

Once you've prepared a strategy, upload a copy of the strategy document below.

Inform the client of your strategy

Inform the client of your strategy.

You've prepared a plan of attack that addresses your client's situation. The next step is to clearly communicate your strategy to them via email.

Make sure your client fully understands what you both should be doing prior to any future interviews or hearings, by including a list of their next steps in the email.

Use the email widget below to send the informative email.

Moving forward:

You've devised a plan on how to help and work with the client, so it's safe to say the intake process is nearly over.

There's just one more task left to do.

Confirm the immediate next steps

Confirm your immediate next steps.

Before the intake process wraps up, confirm your immediate next steps in the text box below. Depending on what the client needs help with and the strategy you have for them, these next steps will differ.

After writing your next steps, the intake process is complete.

Sources:

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