An intake specialist is one of the most important team members at a law firm.
But what does a legal intake specialist do?
Intake specialists, or intake coordinators, are usually the first voice new clients hear when they call a law firm. If a new (or current) client calls a law firm in search of legal services, the intake specialist gathers all of the information needed to transfer them to the appropriate party.
As part of the client intake checklist, they also perform other crucial tasks that keep clients coming back, like answering questions, setting appointments, and coordinating form completion.
Let’s dig deeper into the key roles of legal intake services.
#1 Greeting Clients
What does an intake specialist do at a law firm?
One of their crucial roles is greeting potential and current clients. If clients are seeking legal services, they’re likely in the throes of a turbulent time, and an intake specialist’s friendly greeting can provide peace of mind.
In an era of automation, hearing the voice of a real human on the other end of the line can often turn potential clients into paying customers. An intake specialist’s job is to be that real, helpful, and friendly human voice that lends to the customer experience.
#2 Collecting and Recording Information
After greeting clients, intake specialists immediately take on another critical task—collecting pertinent information.
Intake specialists record:
- The reason for the call
- The details of ongoing or potential cases
- Questions about the legal process
- The caller’s contact information
- The caller’s availability for an appointment with an attorney
All of the data that intake specialists collect during a phone call is recorded into the client’s file, which attorneys can read before deciding to take on a client’s case. Accurate collection of information is crucial, and intake specialists ensure that the details of a client’s case are recorded for future access.
#3 Directing Clients to Appropriate Departments
While the intake specialist records a client’s information and details about their case, they listen carefully to the caller’s needs and determine where their concerns can be best addressed. They may direct callers to:
- The attorney assigned to their case
- A legal assistant who can answer their questions about case procedure
- The billing department
- A customer service specialist
If the intake specialist is speaking to a client while the firm is closed, they’ll alert the appropriate person or department that a caller is awaiting a response when business hours resume.
#4 Providing Forms
Legal intake specialists can sometimes handle issues with forms. They can perform some or all of these common forms-related tasks:
- Distributing forms to clients or directing them to online forms
- Answering questions about form completion
- Collecting completed forms
- Ensuring the accuracy of client forms
- Confirming signatures
By taking on some of these basic form responsibilities, a legal answering service can alleviate the workload of busier firm employees like legal assistants, paralegals, and attorneys, and therefore ensure the smooth procession of cases.
#5 Setting Appointments
One of the most important roles of a legal intake specialist is appointment scheduling. Intake specialists ask callers about their availability and consult legal staff calendars to set appointments at convenient times.
Intake specialists also provide the option of virtual or in-person meetings. According to a 2021 study, 67% of potential clients are looking for a law firm with both in-person and virtual options, and intake specialists explain these offerings and help clients decide which meeting type to choose.
If the firm uses a virtual appointment-setting tool, intake specialists can also direct clients to the online tool and walk them through the scheduling process.
#6 Answering Questions
In addition to walking callers through all of the above procedures, legal intake specialists also answer simple client questions. While they can’t provide legal advice, they can address frequently asked questions, like:
- How long will my case take?
- How much should I expect to spend on my case?
- How can I get in touch with my attorney?
- What are your confidentiality procedures?
- Which forms should I fill out?
While intake specialists can answer these questions over the phone, they may also address inquiries via another channel, like live chat, email, or SMS text. In fact, lawyers texting clients has become a successful way for law firms to streamline communications with both new and existing clients.
#7 Fielding Follow-Up Calls
Intake specialists also monitor and field follow-up calls or contact via the other channels, like the ones listed above. To effectively provide support for these follow-up inquiries, intake specialists must consult client files to provide accurate answers to client questions, reviewing their records from previous calls.
Therefore, the potential for future calls motivates intake specialists to take accurate, well-organized notes during the client’s initial call so that they can easily answer questions or provide support when clients reach out in the future.
Get 24/7/365 Intake Services with Alert
Legal intake specialists are crucial to the success of every law firm. They provide critical tasks while in communication with clients, and in some cases, they can make or break the client retention process.
If your firm is ready to grow, learn more about 24/7/365 intake services from Alert. Our legal call centers are full of helpful, knowledgeable intake specialists who can help your clients anytime or anywhere. When you need dedicated client support even when business hours are closed, Alert’s law firm answering service will keep your firm running around the clock.
Indeed. What is an Intake Specialist?. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/intake-specialist Above the Law.
2021 Legal Trends Report Confirms that Remote Work Will Be With Us From Now On. https://abovethelaw.com/2021/10/2021-legal-trends-report-confirms-that-remote-work-will-be-with-us-from-now-on/?rf=1