Building a Successful Intake Department: Best Practices for Case Intake

Building a Successful Intake Department: Best Practices for Case Intake

In this blog, we discuss how plaintiffs law firms can build a successful intake department, featuring insights from Mary Ellen Murrah, operations consultant from Vista Consulting, who authored this article.

Intake: The Lifeblood of Personal Injury Law Firms

The lifeblood of any personal injury law firm is the intake department. During the intake process, every potential client meets the firm and gets a first impression of how they will be treated and what the values of the firm are. Potential clients will often make a quick determination of whether or not they’ve found the right firm to help them. Your intake department must convey confidence, empathy, and assurance while simultaneously and effectively collecting key information. You’ve likely spent huge amounts of marketing dollars to attract potential clients. So, is your intake department delivering the return on investment you’re expecting? In order to answer this question, let’s discuss the key team members that make up a successful intake department.

Intake specialists, the people who answer the phone and connect with potential clients, are the beating heart of this department. They are the boots-on-the-ground team members whose job is to deliver outstanding service. If they drop the ball, it can be almost impossible to win that potential client back.

Below are the key attributes of successful intake specialists and great intake team leaders:

Traits of Successful Intake Specialists:

  • Understands the firm’s vision and mission
  • Clearly understands the firm’s criteria for accepting a case for each case type
  • Empathetic with a comforting voice tone
  • Delivers excellent service on a consistent basis
  • Exceptional listening skills
  • Ability to ask the right questions at the right time
  • Obtains critical information and data quickly and consistently
  • Good “converting” skills to help potential clients decide to get off the fence and select your firm

Traits of Successful Intake Team Leaders:

  • Records and reviews intake calls
  • Provides ongoing weekly coaching and mentoring to intake specialists to help them improve their service
  • Conducts consistent ongoing training for new and existing team members
  • Provides clear instructions for what a “qualified” lead is and practices calls with the team
  • Knows how to onboard new team members to help them become high performers
  • Unites and inspires the team and creates an environment of fun, challenge, and rewards

A successful intake department relies on a balance between skilled intake specialists and strong team leaders. By hiring intake specialists with the right attributes and providing them with a supportive leader who offers guidance and mentorship, your law firm can maximize its return on investment in marketing and client acquisition efforts.

In addition to these essential traits, implementing a well-structured intake process that includes thorough documentation and follow-up procedures can streamline the intake experience for both potential clients and your team. This will ensure that cases are handled efficiently and that clients feel valued and understood throughout the entire process.

Ultimately, the success of your law firm’s intake department hinges upon the people who make up the team and the systems and processes set in place. Investing in the professional development of your intake specialists and team leaders, as well as refining your intake processes, can significantly improve your firm’s ability to attract and retain clients. By prioritizing these best practices for case intake, your law firm can create a strong foundation for continued growth and success.

Meet with Esquire Bank

Learn how your law firm can finance its case costs and free up capital to invest in building a successful intake department, to invest in marketing, technology, and law firm growth. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with an Esquire Bank Business Development Officer today at a time convenient to your schedule.


For more on Esquire Bank’s expertise in providing tailored solutions for law firms, please visit Esquire Bank’s resources portal, Lawyer IQ, where you can learn about growing your businessfinancing for law firmsmarketing strategy best practices, and more.

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* The information provided on (or accessed through) this email is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, and should not be relied on for, law firm operations, tax, legal or accounting advice. Some of the information may not be applicable or appropriate for all law firms. Please consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors as appropriate.

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  • Content Tier: silver
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