What is the worst task on the business side of law practice? Some attorneys would say it is intake consultation. Those initial consultations require attorneys to interview clients to see if they have cases worth taking on. Intake consultations can be long, tedious, and less than productive.
Enter automation. State-of-the-art case management applications like NuLaw now use automation tools to streamline the consultation process. In so doing, they are improving intake consultation exponentially. Automation may eventually make face-to-face consultations a thing of the past.
Are you an attorney who has trouble being enthusiastic about intake consultation? If so, check out these three ways that automation is improving the process:
1. Matching Clients with Law Firms
There are numerous ways to employ automation in the intake consultation arena. One way is to bring together a group of law firms who all share the same intake consultation platform made available to clients via an online portal. Anyone looking for legal representation can start his or her journey on this portal.
Upon signing on, the potential client is presented with a form that collects basic information. The system uses that information to ask a series of targeted questions designed to glean more details. At the end of the process, the system matches the client with the law firm most qualified to handle the case.
2. Matching Clients with Attorneys
The strategy described in the previous point is applicable to a single law firm with multiple attorneys. For example, you might have a law firm that specializes in personal injury. Some of its attorneys excel in litigating automobile accidents while others are better suited to workers’ comp cases. A law firm operates more efficiently when attorneys are matched with cases that play to their strengths.
Automation can harness the intake consultation process to match clients with attorneys. For such applications, the technology works the same. A law firm’s software relies on electronic forms and dynamic scripting capable of generating detailed questions that garner detailed responses.
For the record, the NuLaw software makes use of dynamic scripting for this purpose. A dynamic script is one that can adapt to client input. Every time the system poses a question and gets an answer from the client, a dynamic script updates the system so as to keep data relevant to the conversation at hand.
3. More Efficient Onboarding
Delivering compiled and fully qualified cases to law firms is just the start of automation’s benefits. It turns out that automation can also make onboarding new clients much more efficient. The concept here is similar to how automation makes onboarding new employees easier for businesses.
In the human resources environment, automated systems can take the information entered by job applicants and populate it all across a company’s software after an applicant is hired. This means HR personnel do not have to enter data already supplied by the applicant. Payroll doesn’t have to enter it either.
Automation does the same thing for legal case management software. Potential clients already supply a treasure trove of information during the intake consultation process. That information can be used to populate all of the other modules in the system so that no manual entry is required in the office. That’s a real time saver, isn’t it?
There are many we believe that automation is on the verge of changing how law is practiced. It will never eliminate the need for human lawyers, but it will change things significantly enough to allow attorneys to focus the majority of their attention on cases rather than the administrative tasks that come with practicing law.