The first communication you share with a new client can set the tone for your entire professional relationship. People turn to law offices during some of the most stressful, confusing times of their lives. By catering to client needs and making them feel at ease, attorneys and their teams can foster the safe space that’s so vital to the success of a case. If you’re interested in facilitating that kind of experience with your legal intake, look no further than the movie Legally Blonde.
For the uninitiated, Legally Blonde follows the legal education of Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon. Underestimated as a sorority girl stereotype her entire life, Elle heads to Harvard to earn her law degree. There, she befriends classmates, falls in love, and even helps defend a sorority sister accused of murder. It’s a hilarious and surprisingly educational look at the legal world – one that has a lot to say about the client experience and how to build trust.
Set the stage for effective legal intake with these tips from none other than Elle Woods herself:
When Elle is required to submit a resume for a prestigious internship, she quickly delivers a pink version that’s been spritzed with her signature scent.
“I think it gives it a little something extra,” she explains to her professor.
That little something extra helps set Elle apart from her peers. As her classmates hand in their crispy white – and uniform – resumes, there’s no doubt that her version stood out from the pack. While the choice is played for laughs on screen, legal intake services can learn a thing or two about branding from Elle.
When people are eager for legal representation, a lot of time is not usually a luxury they have. If your office doesn’t answer the phone or sends them to voicemail, then they will find someone else to be their attorney. On the flip side, if your legal intake process includes answering all calls quickly with a real person, then you are off to a great start. A helpful representative who can take their information and reassure them that they have called the right office can make all the difference when it comes to earning the business of new clients. Deliver a professionally branded caller experience each time someone dials and your firm will stand out.
While you don’t necessarily need the perfume equivalent of a greeting, it does help to cultivate conversations with potential clients during the legal intake process that are unique. Branding matters at every stage of that experience, but never more so than during initial legal intake conversations. You only get one shot at a first impression, so why not prioritize what makes you different from the competition?
Lead with Empathetic Connection
After Elle is hired on to assist with a murder case at her professor’s firm, she’s asked to interview the client about the allegations. Unlike the other law interns, Elle leads the conversation by connecting with the client on a personal level. They bond over their sorority days, shared interests, and similar values. It’s only after Elle connects with the client on a human level that she earns enough trust to begin building a case. It’s a critical moment in the film – and one legal intake services can learn a lot from.
Whether you’re defending an alleged murderer or simply trying to get traffic tickets dismissed, it’s important to connect with your potential clients on a human level. Too often, clients are not prioritized as people until after firms have taken on their cases. Bring a personalized human element to your intake process and you can endear clients to you from the very beginning. By prioritizing human connection during your initial intake conversation, you set the tone for a mutually respectful, trusting professional relationship.
Know When to Walk Away
The Legally Blonde movie has become something of a cult classic for feminists who love romantic comedies but resent the traditional roles so often enforced by such films. Elle Woods initially goes to Harvard to win back an ex-boyfriend who has never appreciated her for who she really is. About halfway through the movie, Elle realizes the futility of the chase: “I’m never gonna be good enough for you, am I?”
Legally Blonde quotes like this are good to keep in mind as your phone rings. Not every caller will be a good fit for your firm. Lead qualification can help separate the valuable clients from the ones who will waste your time. By focusing only on the qualified leads, you’ll concentrate your efforts where you’re likely to get the very best results. It saves serious time for everyone involved – including the clients you choose not to take on.
Partner with a Legal Call Answering Service Now
One of the most important takeaways from Legally Blonde is the importance of trustworthy partners. Elle relies on her friends, classmates, and professional connections to build the career of her dreams. It’s yet another lesson that will resonate with lawyers who are eager to improve their legal intake procedures. With the right tools and allies, anything is possible – which is why we’re so eager to become your partner.
MAP Communications offers legal intake services to firms across the country. Allow us to field intake calls from prospective new clients while your team handles the most important tasks at hand. Our legal intake answering service uses customized call scripts to reflect your branding and policies – many callers may never even realize they’re speaking with a third party. We make a great first impression while vetting leads and crafting the ultimate client experience.
Finding professional partners to lighten your load won’t happen without taking a chance. Channel Elle Woods as you try something new: a free trial of our live answering service is the perfect way to preview our offerings with zero risk.
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