The DO’s and DON’Ts of Intake

by Micki Love | August 29, 2022

Intake is your firm’s first impression with clients (and potential future referrers!). In fact, every single one of your new leads will experience your intake process. Because first impressions are often lasting ones, it’s critical to get it right.

When your intake process is on point, your potential clients feel assured they’ve contacted the right law firm, AND your team members have a solid base of information to work from. When done poorly, intake creates more work and stress for your team and frustration for your potential client.

Put simply, good intake is foundational to the relationship you build with your clients, and in the process, elevates your firm’s efficiency.

That’s why this blog post is dedicated to sharing a few do’s and don’ts of legal intake.


Below are tips on what to consider when building your firm’s intake process.


  • Initiate contact as quickly as possible when a lead is received. For calls, answer within three rings. For web inquiries—respond immediately. With an auto responder, start dialing out within two minutes of receipt.
  • Have a plan for rollover calls so every potential client is always served and never sent to voicemail.
  • Have clear script protocols in place and stay in contact with the client until they sign the electronic retainer. Also, keep the initial signup packet down to two forms or less. The longer the signup process, the less likely the potential client is to sign.
  • Audit calls on a regular basis for quality control.
  • Utilize an afterhours answering service if your intake department is not properly staffed for 24-hour operation.
  • Have a clear chain of command should a potential client wish to speak with an attorney prior to signing up – including a plan for escalating serious injury cases.
  • Maintain a fun and exciting work environment for your intake team so they don’t experience boredom or burnout.


  • Have intake personnel perform duties not related to intake (such as processing the mail and other clerical activities). Their sole focus should be intake so they can provide the best client experience.
  • Fail to use written day one contacts, especially with paid leads. You should reach out to any potential client via text or email so they still have the firm’s information should they change their mind later.
  • Miss out on tracking ALL leads received. Don’t only track wanted leads, because part of maintaining a healthy intake department is knowing your department’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Sit on new files while intake attempts to track down investigative materials. The file should be assigned to an attorney and case manager as quickly as possible once the retainer has been secured.

Want to Discuss Your Firm’s Legal Intake Process? Reach out Today.

When your firm’s intake is operating at an optimal level, it will elevate every other part of your business. When every lead gets the same top-notch service, you increase your five-star reviews,  generate more leads, and make your business run more smoothly. Everybody wins!

If you have questions about the tips in this blog and would like to discuss your firm’s intake process, reach out to your Brand Strategist today. If you’re not a cj client and you’re interested in maximizing your firm’s potential, reach out at with questions about our consulting services and more!