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Automating the Legal Client Intake Process

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Law firms receive numerous requests from prospective clients seeking their representation in legal cases. It is almost impossible to accept all requests, so the firms have to assess their prospective clients and decide if they are worth onboarding. This is called the legal client intake process and it encompasses all activities from when the prospective clients first contact the law firm till they are onboarded.

Unfortunately, the legal intake process sometimes drags on and makes the firm lose valuable clients. These inefficiencies affect revenue and should be avoided but many firms are stuck with them. This is why companies like Gavel develop software to help them automate the process.

Automating and Streamlining The Legal Intake Process

It is crucial to get as many viable clients in the door as possible because they will help the business make money and sustain its top talent. Also, it does not matter how good the attorneys at a law firm are if they are unable to smoothly onboard new clients. Tedious and drawn-out legal intake processes will make a law firm lose leads to their competitors and give them a negative reputation. They should optimize the process by adopting software solutions to augment it.

Legal Intake Process Stages

The legal intake process typically occurs in the stages outlined below:

Receive a legal request from a prospective client

Prospective clients reach out to reputable law firms via email, phone calls, and other modern forms of communication. A paralegal will review the request and direct it to the attorney best suited to handle the request. Traditionally, the attorney will have to set up a meeting with the client and present them with a questionnaire to determine their suitability. Now, they can use software to give them access to a legal intake form remotely to fill at their own pace.

Review the answered questionnaire

Without software automation, the attorney will manually review each answer on the questionnaire. This process can be time-consuming because the attorney might have to call the client to clarify incorrect answers. It is challenging to handle this because the law firm will continue receiving requests, leading to a backlog that will put off potential clients. Meanwhile, legal client intake software will automatically review answers to the questionnaire in real-time, saving attorneys' and law firm's time.

Creating and signing a work contract

Once the query has been successfully accepted by the attorney, the law firm will draft a work contract outlining the work terms and stating the legal fees the client will pay for their services. Most law firms have standby contract templates they edit whenever they want to onboard a new client.

Client intake software can help this process become more efficient by automatically finding and replacing information of a past client on the template with that of the new client. Upon completion, the new client will review the contract and sign to formalize the attorney-client relationship.


Law firms and attorneys use software created by software development companies to automate essential parts of the legal intake process to save time, and cost, and make the onboarding process smooth. It can also increase revenue by giving law firms the ability to take on more clients. The software can store client data and make it easy to generate legal documents.

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