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CRM and the Law Firm



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CRM and the Law Firm

  1. 1. Customer Relationship Management: CRM and the Law Firm Kentucky Justice Association May 21, 2014 STACEY BURKE ATTORNEY/OWNER 4615 SOUTHWEST FREEWAY SUITE 850 HOUSTON, TEXAS 77027 OFFICE (713) 714-8446 FAX (877) 314-9990 STACEY@STACEYEBURKE.COM WWW.STACEYEBURKE.COM
  2. 2. Stacey Burke Lawyer and Marketer • Licensed Texas lawyer since 2001 • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40 • Vice President of the Year – Houston Trial Lawyers Association • Editorial Board – Houston Bar Association • Publications Committee – American Association for Justice • AAJ Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Publications Committee Co-Chair
  3. 3. What is a CRM? • CRM = a system by which a company manages its prospects, customers, and business partners. A law firm will use a CRM process to manage its interactions with its current, former and future customers. – Who are the customers of a law firm? • Leads (Potential Future Clients) • Clients (Current and Former) • Other Lawyers
  4. 4. Law Firm Customers: Prospects • Where do leads and new cases come from? • Marketing is accomplished through multiple channels, including websites, social media, press, television, referral attorney, email, and direct mail. • Intake is the conversion component of marketing. Marketing is pointless without effective intake procedures.
  5. 5. Law Firm Customers: Prospects • Potential Pitfalls: – Lead entry does not happen in real time – Lack of consistent, formal screening questions by case type – Transmission and tracking of paperwork (email, online contract, regular mail, UPS) – Lack of lead nurturing sequence – Failure to convert leads into cases despite sending contracts – Failure to keep trained staff in intake positions
  6. 6. All intakes must be entered into the CRM, even if rejected. ReviewQualificationCriteria If the lead does not meet the firm’s established intake criteria: 1. Send the appropriate rejection communication to the PNC. 2. Save a digital copy of the communication. 3. Change the CRM designation to “Rejected.” 4. Add to appropriate marketing lists. If the lead qualifies: 1. Send the PNC an intake packet with a self- addressed, prepaid return enclosure. 2. Assign staff for follow-up sequence steps. 3. Add to appropriate marketing lists. If a qualification determination requires more information, create a task.
  7. 7. Potential New Case Report 1. Run a PNC report to present at a weekly meeting. 2. Report should include PNC name, case type, SOL, and case summary. Case Rejected. Follow rejection protocol. Case Accepted. Follow protocol for opening a new matter. Pending Approval. More information is required, such as medical records, incident report, death certificate, defective product. At the weekly meeting, the team should decide:
  8. 8. Law Firm Customers: Clients • How do we keep current clients happy? – Personalized communication – Consistent contact person who is knowledgeable about their case – Be responsive – Monthly or quarterly case updates – Keep track of feedback – Be positive and say thank you
  9. 9. Law Firm Customers: Lawyers • When are lawyers the customers of other lawyers? – Referral Attorneys – Local Counsel – Co-Counsel – Joint Venture Partners – Multidistrict or Mass Litigation Steering Committee – Outside Counsel to General Counsel
  10. 10. Law Firm Customers: Referral Lawyers • Potential Pitfalls: – Lack of consistent screening criteria and/or forms for referral lawyers to use to sign up clients they will send your way – Failing to provide consistent and adequate updates to the joint client and/or to referral counsel – Failing to circulate relevant documents so that all law firms can maintain the requisite files for mutual clients
  11. 11. Law Firm Customers: Referral Attorney Management • Relieve busy lawyers from spending significant time dealing with minor RA questions and issues. • Provide signup documents, keep track of these RA “leads” so you can follow up with those who requested forms • Provide standardized reporting • Show your best RA’s some love by keeping them on your “Hot List” for new projects • Consistent point of contact with knowledge of the referred matters • Host RA Marketing Events
  12. 12. Sample CRM Options • SaaS platforms (pay as you go) – Any software application you run that is not located on your physical premises or on your machines. You generally log into your vendor’s website and run the application “in the cloud.” You have no software to buy, install, maintain, or update. • Zoho ( • BatchBook ( • Salesforce ( • Law Firm Database (either software or SaaS) – Needles has a CRM tab you can make active ( • Law Firm Marketing Automation Software (also generally SaaS) – InfusionSoft ( and Marketo ( track metrics associated with each contact’s interactions and provide automated all-in-one sales and marketing platforms • Law Firm Email Service Provider – MailChimp
  13. 13. Email Marketing/CRM Email Marketing • Make your existing contacts work for you – database mining. • If you don’t tell your contacts what you are working on, who will? • Announce firm news • Instantly blast your entire hit list • Throw parties and host events • Judicial and political fundraising Customer Relationship Management • A CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and the data and information associated with them • Reporting and analysis are centralized and streamlined • All data is captured in a singular clearinghouse for both conflicts checking and remarketing
  14. 14. Ethical Issues When Using a CRM • Most jurisdictions require that a law firm use “reasonable care” with regard to confidentiality, security, accessibility, etc. (ABA Model Rule 1.6, Kentucky Rule SCR 3.130(1.6)) – Collecting Customer Data – Storing CRM Data – Using CRM Data – Destroying CRM Data • ABA Model Rule 1.4 Communications (Kentucky Rule SCR 3.130(1.4)) (a) a lawyer shall (1) promptly inform the client … (2) reasonably consult with the client … (3) keep the client reasonably informed… • Conflicts checking mechanism (ABA Model Rules 1.7- 1.11, Kentucky Rules SCR 3.130(1.7-1.8))
  15. 15. The CAN-SPAM Act: Overview • Governs “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service” • Do not use false or misleading header information or deceptive subject lines • Identify your messages as advertisements • Give recipients the ability to OPT-OUT • Each separate email violation is subject to penalties of $16,000
  16. 16. Law Firm CRM Best Practices 1. Training 2. Personalize and customize your system 3. Process all new leads through the system 4. Run reports to show Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)/develop success metrics 5. Test, monitor, and communicate so that adjustments can be made
  17. 17. Connect with Stacey! • Website: • Twitter: @StaceyEBurke • LinkedIn: • Google+: