Your Law Firm Is Losing Money By Missing This One Critical Step

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How much time do you spend on billable work? According to Clio, lawyers record only 2.5 billable hours per day on average. Yikes. You could be earning more than double if you stopped doing so many non-billable tasks. We know that administrative work can take up a lot of time, and client intake is one of the worst offenders. So what can you do? Hire someone to triage your clients.


In this case, your callers are the patients. Treat them like they’re trying to get a diagnosis and prescription that will make their ailments disappear. Their call is the waiting room, your receptionist is the triage nurse, and the diagnosis and prescription come from your expertise after they’ve made it back to the exam room.


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Stop Wasting Time On Leads That Aren’t A Good Fit. Your time is best spent on people you know you can help. Many times, a caller will be looking for help in an area you don’t serve, or they can’t afford your fee. When the caller isn’t a right fit for you, you’re wasting your time and theirs. To make the most of your time, you should know that they fit into your ideal client demographic. Likewise, you should know that your expertise is not a waste of their time or money.

Potential clients don’t always know the nature of their case, and it very well may take some prodding to get all the information needed to determine it. Often enough, that prodding can be done by a legal receptionist or paralegal who can walk them through specific questions that get to the bottom of their needs. Once your leads make it past these questions, you’ll know that your time spent on a consultation has the potential to be mutually beneficial.


Your clients’ first impression of you is on the phone, so it’s important to get your intake process right. Making mistakes in the way you handle new leads is much easier than you may think. 61% of law firms forget to ask the client’s name during the initial conversation. Not only that, but 72% forget to ask for their phone number! Missing those vital pieces of information is a fast way to lose a lead and, in turn, lose money. However, when a professional legal intake specialist is there to answer that first call, you can guarantee each and every lead will start the intake process and that vital information will be captured.


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Once you’ve set your process and determined who will handle potential new client calls, things become simpler and more streamlined. This is easier on your callers (they’ll know what to expect every time they call) and easier on you (hello newfound time!). Simplifying this process with an intake professional is scalable because you are not being called away from your most important work and have room to keep adding new clients to your calendar.


When you go to a medical appointment, it would be pretty strange to be greeted by the doctor sitting at the reception desk, wouldn’t it? We’ve been conditioned to view doctors as important and hard to reach because they’re so busy and in-demand. Your callers should feel that same way about you! You’re the one that’s going to save them, but first, the triage nurse (intake specialist) needs to gather all of their information and prep them for their appointment. When you show up to that appointment, you’re able to skip the time-intensive initial questions and spend more time offering true value and expertise.

All of this works together to instill confidence in your clients because 1.) your firm presents itself professionally and 2.) they view you as busy and important, so they’re honored to have you helping them.


Wouldn’t hiring someone to do my client intakes just cost me money? Definitely not! Consider how much time you spend triaging clients, completing intake paperwork, and the back and forth that comes with it… how many billable hours are you wasting each day? How much money does that amount to? Your time is more valuable than $20 an hour, so stop doing these $20 an hour tasks. Spend your time on what makes you money. Outsource what doesn’t. Then sit back and watch as your calendar fills up with more paid appointments because you opened up the time to accommodate them.


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Emily Larusch

Emily LaRusch is the Founder and CEO of Back Office Betties (, the only Virtual Receptionist and Assistant solution to offer an unlimited plan for small law firms. As a customer service expert, Emily and her team help lawyers land more clients and make more money with legal specialized and relentlessly friendly call handling. Emily can be reached at (800) 958-8591 or [email protected].

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