When a potential client calls your law firm, your legal intake form is critical to ensuring you have the information you need to assess their immediate needs and effectively screen and qualify each prospect. It’s important to have individualized forms based on your particular areas of practice, but there are five essential items every legal client intake form should have - regardless of your specialization.
5 Critical Components of a Legal Client Intake Form
As you are developing intake forms for your law firm, make sure each one has the following five elements:
1. Basic Contact Information
Every form should capture the prospect’s contact information, allowing you to properly follow up with him or her once qualified. Neglecting to record this information will cause you to lose the lead. Make sure your intake form has a place to store the following information:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Fax (if applicable)
2. Case Information
Next, gather information about the case tailored to the type of law practiced. This will help you screen potential candidates more effectively. The best way to gather this information is to add questions to the intake form. For a personal injury lawyer, potential questions may include:
- What was the nature of the accident?
- What injuries occurred?
- What was the date of the incident?
- Where did the incident occur?
The more details you collect, the better you will be able to qualify prospects.
3. Annual Income
Your law firm is looking for paying clients. This means you need to ensure the prospect is not only qualified, but also has the income to pay your client fees. While target incomes will vary by law firm, this piece of information will expedite the screening process and help you identify the ideal clients.
4. Follow-up Appointment
Before your prospect hangs up, you need to schedule a follow-up appointment. This helps stop potential clients from shopping around because they’ve made a commitment to your firm. When scheduling an initial consultation, consider offering options that are most convenient for clients, such as in-home visits. Be sure to record this information in the legal client intake form. Then use text, email and/or phone calls to send appointment reminders to prospects, and utilize calendar integrations to automatically add appointments to your calendar.
5. Retainer Agreement
Finally, end your legal client intake form by sending a retainer agreement. This will require the client to verify that their information is true and that they understand the costs of representation. It also gives you a chance to outline the policies and procedures your firm uses to ensure the client fully understands and complies with them.
A well-constructed legal client intake form is essential to your overall intake process. It allows you to gather the information needed to effectively identify and capture new clients. Ultimately, that is the goal every time someone calls or submits a web form to your law firm. Incorporate these elements into your intake forms to help improve your lead capture rate, thus converting more leads into paying clients.