What Should Our Law Firm Client Intake Process Look Like?

Misbah Jalal Siddiqui

What Should Our Law Firm Client Intake Process Look Like?

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Client Intake

Client intake is a necessary process—and one that can take up a lot of time. But it doesn’t have to.

Automation and a good practice management system can streamline the client intake process—leaving you with more time to provide a better service.

First steps

More and more clients are looking for legal services online, which gives you the opportunity to gather contact information early in the process, possibly even before they contact you.

Once the prospective client has reached out, you’ll want to see if they’re a good fit for your firm. While it may feel hard to say no to someone whose needs don’t match what you offer, ultimately both you and the client will be better served if you point them in the direction of legal services that are better-suited for their specific situation. And don’t forget about ethics considerations in your pre-screening.[1]

You’ll need to run a conflict of interest check, too.[2] Fortunately, your practice management system should have you covered—and give you any relevant information in seconds.

Online forms

Online forms are convenient for clients and have the potential to save your firm a lot of time. Be sure to have any e-forms linked to your practice management system. This way, you can retain contact information—but also seamlessly transfer client information to a matter file if you do end up working together.

Integrated practice management software means that you don’t have to get a client to fill out the same information on more than one form—and you and your staff have less data entry to do. You can reduce possible human error and save a lot of time.

Organization and good tech

Ultimately, using forms integrated with your practice management system can improve your firm’s organization and workflow.

If you don’t ultimately take on the client, you’ll still have their contact information for future marketing. And if you do work together, then you’re well on your way to an organized and detailed matter file which can easily be tracked and updated across many different platforms in your practice management system.


1. What are your confidentiality obligations to prospective clients?
2. ABA Rule 1.7: Conflict of Interest: Current Clients

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