By nature, the legal sector is incredibly information-based which, of course, means that the onboarding process tends to be pretty lengthy. Along with the details surrounding the incident, you’ll also need to collect a bunch of personal information from your clients just to open the case.
To rub more salt into the wound, this process is not usually something you bill the client for, which is why streamlining the process to make it as quick and efficient as possible is essential for both small and large firms alike.
A simple yet successful way to save time and make that load lighter early doors is by sending your clients a legal client intake form. This will allow you to collect a lot of what you need before beginning procedures at the same time as impressing your clients with your professionalism. No better combination exists, right?
Get our legal client intake form template
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What questions should I include in a legal client intake form?
As you’ll well know, as a part of legal services, there’s a lot of information to collect when onboarding a new client or even welcoming a potential client. This is why it’s important to find the perfect balance between detail and refinement.
Feel free to take inspiration from our set of questions just below.
These basic questions will provide you with all of the necessary information about your client, including their contact details.
- Please provide your full name.
- Please provide your date of birth
- Please indicate your gender.
- Please provide your primary contact phone number.
- Please provide your primary contact email address.
- Please provide your full address and postal/zip code.
- Please provide your social security number.
- Please provide your driver's licence number.
These simple questions will give you an insight into when and by which means your client will be available to be contacted.
- What time of day do you prefer us to call?
- May we communicate with you via text?
- May we communicate with you by email?
- Please check all that apply to you.
This section will allow you to assess the client’s life and current working situation.
- What is your place of employment?
- What is your current job title?
- Please provide the address of your place of employment.
- What is your annual salary?
Here, you’ll be able to gather some basic information regarding your client’s spouse (if applicable) in case they are required at some stage.
- Please provide your spouse's full name.
- Please provide their date of birth.
- Please provide their current address.
- Please provide the name of your spouse's employer.
Required Legal Information
This section will give the client the opportunity to provide details about their legal needs and their reasoning behind requiring your services.
- Please indicate the nature of the legal representation you require.
- What are you hoping to achieve from legal representation?
- Are you currently being represented by a different attorney/attorneys for any separate legal issues?
- If so, what are your reasons behind seeking additional legal counsel?
Finally, this will give your client the chance to provide any more details they may wish to include.
- If you were referred by someone, please indicate their name here if desired.
- Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Why create a legal client intake form?
To start with, when presenting a client intake form to your clients or future clients, you’ll instantly be able to give off that impression of professionalism, show them that you mean business and start to earn their trust right away. Having a streamlined process for these things is a sure fire way to make a good impression.
In addition, due to how specific each and every legal case is, it’s vital that you have all of the information you need in order to accurately determine what area of practice would be a good fit for the client before the initial consultation. The data they provide within the intake form will allow you to get down to the nitty gritty pretty quickly, stay on the same page and cater to their needs more efficiently.
On the whole, a smooth client intake process will provide you with nothing but benefits in the short-term and, in the long run, can also aid towards your overall client satisfaction rating, earn you more referrals and increase your overall conversion rate. You may even generate some repeat business!
How should I create my client intake form?
Forms are unique and can be created in a variety of ways using different methods.
We’ve picked out a few options for you to choose from to help you get started in the best way possible.
Save and Continue Forms
Save and continue based forms, such as Survey Monkey, Google Forms, Gravity Forms and Jotform, are pretty common choices when it comes to forms tools nowadays. They all allow you to create forms, surveys and questionnaires to send to your clients and collect data with.
However, among other limitations, the biggest shortfall of these is that pesky save and continue feature. Forms that make it an obligation for the client to press a button or perform an alternative action to save their progress can be super frustrating for both parties if someone:
- Forgets to click the save button (we’ve all been there)
- Loses track of links
- Accidentally switches their device’s power off
- Accidentally closes the browser window they have open
Not one of the above things is a rare occurrence and can happen at any time to anyone. Don’t let that be your client.
Collaborative Documents, such as Google Docs, are also an option and, unlike save and continue forms, don’t require you to click a submit button in order to save your progress. All text that your client enters into the document is saved automatically which, of course, removes that fear of information being lost during any stage of the process.
However, unfortunately, Google Docs doesn’t quite tick all the boxes and has a few flaws of its own, some of which you may consider to be deal breakers.
The main issue is not having the ability to submit images and files, meaning that you’re likely to have to ask for those to be submitted via email or on an alternative platform. So, if you were looking to keep everything organised and in one place, think again, as that won’t be possible with Google Docs.
In addition, when using Google Docs, there is a big possibility that clients won’t provide enough information or, on the flipside, may provide too much. This is due to the fact that you cannot provide any specifications or requirements for answer lengths and formats. Bummer!
Finally, we’ve saved the best till last with this one as an auto-saving forms tool will always come up trumps.
Content Snare is a perfect demonstration of just how good auto-saving forms tools can get. With request creation possible in just minutes, the user-friendly interface allows you to build stunning, organised forms for your clients to fill out. Everything is automatically saved too, removing the stress from both you and the client and leaving them to focus on what really matters.
With Content Snare, you really get the best combination possible of the two previous options and then some.
We hope this post is helpful to you when it comes to creating a legal client intake form for your clients.
Is there anything else you think we should have included? If so, let us know in the comments below!