Managing intake requests for legal services can be a daunting task. Sometimes the request comes in through email and you don’t have all the information you need, or you might be faced with distributing all the intake information manually to multiple people. Without a solid process, inefficiencies are bound to occur.
The advancements in legal technology today enable legal professionals to design a framework for intake that is seamless for both the requestor and the legal team. This new way to work eliminates the stressors that come with dealing with manual data entry and lost pieces of paper.
What is Legal Intake?
Legal intake consists of the process of receiving legal work and assigning it to the proper legal professional within your organization or department. Usually, intake involves someone from an outside business/or within your organization submitting a request for legal assistance. This request goes into a queue for the in-house team to review and assign.
How Legal Case Management Software Helps Improve Legal Intake
By ditching the paper and opting for legal case management software to help manage your legal intake requests, you can ensure you are capturing the right information up front to make follow-up activities much smoother. A few more reasons case management software can help you increase legal intake efficiency and effectiveness include:
- Better Organization and Workflow.
Legal intake can occur in numerous ways: handwritten notes, jotting down data in Microsoft Office or Google Docs, having clients complete PDFs to print and scan back and more. By switching from paper files to online intake forms, you can maintain better organization and decrease the amount of time spent on administrative tasks so you can spend more time meeting your clients’ needs.
Once you have established the right templates for all your varying intake needs, case management software allows you to establish a customized workflow to ensure that each intake request is automatically routed to the right person and no important information gets lost and all relevant information is included the first time.
- Improved Intake Tracking and Analytics.
Having the right data is critical to learning and making better decisions. Every leadership team should know how well their organization or department is operating, what problems exist and how to better service clients. Before now, intake data was hard to come by. It was usually piece-mealed together in Microsoft Excel or multiple emails and wasn’t easily distributed.
Now, legal case management software contains built-in tracking dashboards and metrics to help you track and manage all your important intake requests. This tracking capability gives you a better picture of where your requests originate, how quickly requests are completed, which requests have the highest dollar value and more to better analyze your organization’s activities. With this technology, you can learn quickly what’s working and what isn’t—automatically.
- Sync Calendars and Schedule Appointments With Ease.
Once you have received your intake request form, the next likely step is to schedule a meeting. Legal case management software offers calendar syncing that allows you to view your team members’ calendars and schedule meetings/appointments for one or multiple users at a time. A built-in Conflict Checker automatically checks for duplicate entries for calendar events so you don’t overbook yourself or someone else—leading to wasted time.
Through integrations with Microsoft Outlook, you can also quickly and easily create an appointment or task from a corresponding calendar or to-do. This ability to receive information from the intake form and immediately take action is what many professionals desire when it comes to boosting productivity across the entire organization.
- Faster Request Follow-Up.
One of the signs of a well-functioning department is its ability to review and respond to requests in a timely manner. Through case management software, the time it takes to respond to intake requests is much faster than traditional email and phone methods. With software designed to manage the influx of requests that come in through a designated workflow, you can respond to each request with ease and ensure nothing gets overlooked.
If you want to know the status of a request, you can simply filter and sort to delineate which requests need attention first and who is assigned to which case. This proactive approach helps ensure that your clients are receiving faster responses and better service—which is a win for everyone.
- More Accurate Intake Information.
Case management software can help you create a customized template for intake requests to capture all the necessary information you need before even picking up the phone.
The options are endless when it comes to the types of data you can capture. Typically, the following information makes up an intake request:
- Personal Information: This section includes fields for personal and contact information as well as department details if necessary.
- Legal Services Requested: This section can include a checklist of services offered so that the client can select any and all that may apply. You can also include a brief description of each service offered on the form.
- Case Explanation: This section provides the client the opportunity to describe the incident or help needed. There may be specific prompts to include based on your unique organization to ensure you get all the information you need.
The beauty of customizable legal software is the opportunities are endless when it comes to creating a form that works for your unique department or organization. It is important to keep in mind that usability is key when creating your form and simple is best. You want to use friendly language and familiar terms that will help you get all the information you are seeking while easing your clients’ worries at the same time.
Streamline Legal Intake Requests Through Legal Case Management
The benefits of automating your legal intake process are numerous—increased efficiency, more information up-front and better client service— just to name a few. And since your legal professionals are already tasked with doing more with less, you can immediately boost productivity across the entire department by eliminating manual methods for intake requests.
With Legal Files’ Intake feature, you can build templates for intake requests and create workflows that sync requests automatically with Legal Files’ case management software. You no longer have to worry about capturing all the details from a potential case and relaying the information to others manually, but can execute all your important intake request activities from a single platform that synchronizes with your team members’ calendars and to-dos so you can assign the right person to the right request.
Legal Files Software Inc. offers 30+ years of experience supporting organizations across a number of industries. Its legal software, Legal Files gives professionals the intake request features, automation and workflow capabilities needed to focus on the bigger picture of legal case management.
“Now we use Legal Files to tell us the status of anything and we are able to be much more responsive to requests from throughout the company. Now that we have that ability as well as the automated external notifications, Legal Files has improved our department’s reputation throughout the company.”
Samantha Corso, Legal Operations Manager
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