An Informed Client is a Happier Client: Client Intake Forms and Procedures for Managing Your Law Practice

By: Peggy E. Gruenke, COO Godbey & Associates

Not only is an informed client a happier client – they also tend to pay on time, are less frustrated and have a better chance of becoming a good referral source. All pointing to good things for growing your practice.

Your initial interview is the first step in managing your risk and  is an opportunity to screen cases and clients unsuitable to you, thereby leaving you with the time and resources to provide excellent client service to those clients you choose to represent.  Initial client meetings are to define the working relationship and set client expectations.

  1. Set context for relationship. Remember you want to be in control; don’t let them start off trying to mange you.
  2. Clarify financial obligations and consequences.
  3. For some, it may be first encounter with an attorney and they have no idea what to expect-explain the process.
  4. Clearly and accurately communicate:
  • Course of action
  • Possible outcomes
  • Implications of decisions
  • How long things may take
  • Expected fees and expenses
  • What types of documents they may receive

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