What does your client intake form look like? Do you even have one?
You have heard the expression time and time again “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” For a solo law practitioner, that can be a challenge when competing with large, established law firms. You don’t have the advertising budget they do nor do you have the fancy offices.
However you can distinguish yourself with personalized service. This is a plus when coming into contact with a potential client for the first time.
Think about it. A client who is injured in an auto accident calls a large firm. They are probably screened through an assistant, asked some routine questions and promised that someone will be in touch with them. They call you and you can give them your time and personalized attention so they can express their issues, questions and concerns.
Upon initial contact with a prospective client, you should have a client intake form ready to take down relevant details. You should have sufficient information to be able to get in touch several ways and to screen for potential conflicts.
- First and Last name. Any aliases.
- Address, City, State, ZIP
- Telephone (Home/Work/Cell). Indicate what number they would prefer you to use to contact them.
- Email Address
- Other contacts. If the initial contact is not your client, record who made the initial contact and the relationship to the client.
- Details or Description of Legal Issue or Incident including any injuries and claims.
- Any Co-Parties?
- Any Adverse Parties?
- How did they find your services? Record if they came to you from an advertisement, mail solicitation or legal services referral company. If a referral, find out who referred them (and remember to thank the referral source)!
- Other items tailored to your practice area that would help knowing in determining proper representation.
You can find other forms for your practice in our resource manual: Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice.