Client intake software reduces the administrative time associated with taking on new clients, allowing for a more efficient and productive practice.
Every minute spent on administrative tasks is a minute less spent on case preparation, client consultation, or courtroom representation. This is why law firms are always on the lookout for ways to streamline their operations — client intake being one of the most frequent. Integrating client intake software into your firm’s onboarding process can make it easier, smoother, and less time-intensive.
What Does Client Intake Software Do?
Functioning best as part of a robust legal practice management system, client intake software is a digital solution designed to automate the process of gathering, storing, and managing contact and matter information from the start of an engagement. It reduces the administrative time associated with taking on new clients, allowing for a more efficient and productive practice. But how exactly does it achieve this? Let’s explore.
Streamlines Information Gathering
The client onboarding process can set the tone for the entire attorney-client relationship. It involves collecting a plethora of information, from basic details like the client’s name, contact information, and address, to more detailed data such as the nature of their legal issue, previous legal history, and specific case-related details. In some instances, it also involves gathering sensitive information, such as financial records or medical history, depending on the nature of the case.
Traditionally, this process has been heavily reliant on paperwork. Clients are often required to fill out lengthy intake forms, which are then manually organized by a member of the administrative team. This approach, while tried and tested, comes with its fair share of challenges.
Client intake software simplifies the intake process by automating data collection. Online intake forms can be filled out by the client at their own convenience. This reduces the need for phone or in-person interviews, one timesaver for administrative staff. Clients can input their information once, directly into the system, saving time on repetitive data entry and reducing the risks associated with manual entry. The information gathered in intake forms can also be automatically used to fill out future documents using what the client has already provided.
Enhances Workflow Efficiency
Once a new client is onboarded, their information needs to be accessed by the right people at the right time to ensure effective case management. The traditional method of manually forwarding this data to the appropriate attorney or department is not just time-consuming but also prone to errors and oversights. With client intake software, there’s less risk of client information being overlooked or falling through the cracks. In a busy law firm, it’s easy for emails to get buried or for paper files to be misplaced, so storing client data in a centralized system ensures easy access at all times. This means no lost information, no overlooked details, and no delays — which can be especially important in the beginning of an engagement.
With client intake software, there’s less risk of client information being overlooked or falling through the cracks.
It can also simplify the case creation process. Once the client’s data is collected and verified, and a conflict check is performed, the software can automatically create a new case file associated with the client’s contact information. The appropriate attorney can then be notified and immediately have access to the case to get started. Getting the client intake process right makes for better overall case management during the length of the engagement.
Compliance with legal regulations is a critical concern for law firms. Client intake software can be customized to collect only relevant information, ensuring that your law firm remains compliant with data collection laws.
For instance, when setting up intake forms, you can tailor the fields to match the exact information you need for each specific case type. This ensures that you’re not collecting more information than necessary,
Automating the client intake process also allows for better tracking of client data throughout the entire case. Law firms can easily monitor who accessed a client’s information, when it was accessed, and what changes were made. This not only ensures accountability but also provides a clear audit trail, which can be crucial in case of legal disputes or compliance audits.
Collecting, housing, and organizing intake data efficiently from the start makes it easier to identify trends and patterns in the long run. You can use the information to automatically generate reports in order to see things like client demographics and what case types are most profitable. This information can help you make sound decisions when you’re planning, budgeting, and forecasting in the future.
Make Your Firm More Productive
By automating data collection, enhancing workflow efficiency, ensuring compliance, and empowering data analysis and reporting, client intake software can significantly improve the productivity of your law firm. By embracing client intake and other practice management technologies, you can free up your administration team’s time so they can focus more of it on providing support for practicing attorneys.