Top Lead Intake Terms to Know

By Stephanie Lica

30 Jan 2020 | Intake

The intake process forms a core component of your legal marketing efforts. Unfortunately, it’s also a source of lost opportunity for lawyers, many of whom lack a fundamental awareness of key intake processes.

Ready to level up your law firm’s approach to intake? Begin by mastering these critical terms.

Case Management Software

Not to be confused with intake software, case management software primarily focuses on handling client interactions after the intake process has been completed.


Any action spurred by marketing efforts. In law, a conversion typically occurs when a prospect completes the intake process and signs the documents necessary to move forward with a selected attorney.


This term references the extent to which prospective clients understand and re invested in a given firm’s brand, messaging and website content. Engaged leads are more enthusiastic about the brand’s message, and are therefore more likely to convert.

eSign (Electronic Signature)

This involves mobile options that allow clients to sign intake documents from remote locations. By removing the need for an in-person visit, eSign solutions can dramatically improve the likelihood of scoring a first-call conversion.


This common marketing analogy references the movement of prospects from initial awareness-building efforts through a process designed to produce high conversion rates. Legal intake constitutes a key component of the marketing funnel for law firms — and an unfortunate source of lost conversions.


Any person who expresses interest in the products or services offered by a specific brand can be referred to as a lead. For lawyers, a lead consists of any potential client who might be interested in working with a particular law firm.


Nurturing constitutes the process of developing a stronger relationship with prospective clients.

Practice Area

This term typically references the primary types of cases a given law firm handles. These can be broad or specific, but they should be confirmed during intake to ensure that the prospective client is actually a good fit for the practice in question.

Qualified Lead

This specific type of lead has already expressed interest in a brand’s offerings or is in some way deemed likely to produce an eventual conversion. With law firm marketing, a qualified lead has often already offered contact information online and is therefore more likely to respond to follow-up calls or actively reach out to a particular practice.


This term relates to any prospect gained through a direct recommendation from a client, a fellow attorney, or some other trusted individual.

Referral Fees

When sending prospects to other legal professionals, lawyers are permitted to arrange for fees in exchange for such recommendations. However, the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct only allow for referral fees under a select set of circumstances.

Referral Management

Technological solutions that automate or otherwise streamline the referral side of intake are known as referral management systems. These offerings allow attorneys to integrate intake information, track referral sources, and keep tabs on outgoing referrals.


Often relied upon in sales, scripts feature preselected content shared with prospective clients in an engaging, yet informative manner to increase the likelihood of conversion. Intake staff members who use customized scripts are more likely to share necessary information with clients while also moving them through the marketing funnel and towards conversion.

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