A few weeks ago I wrote about the launch by Rocket Matter of client-intake forms for law firm websites. As I’ve looked further into this topic, I’ve realized there are very few options for lawyers who are looking for an online client-intake system. In fact, as far as I’ve been able to find, there are only two others: Intake123 and Lexicata.
I have not tried Intake123 but I did recently sit down with the founders of Lexicata, Aaron George and Michael Chasin, for a demonstration of their product, which they describe as “the only cloud-based CRM and client intake system designed exclusively for law firms.”
Lexicata is operating in a beta mode and anyone interested in trying it must request early access. Currently there is a wait list for new sign-ups but the company expects to soon quicken its pace of adding new users. My demonstration was of the platform’s current version, but the company is preparing a version 2.0 for launch fairly soon. The company expects to go to a full commercial release around the end of summer.
Even in this beta mode, Lexicata already integrates with the Clio practice management platform. That means that after someone who comes in through Lexicata signs up as a client, all of the client’s data can easily be exported to Clio, including contact information, matter information, notes and the engagement letter.
“Think of us as pre-Clio,” Chasin says. “We manage the process before you get the case. Clio helps you manage the case once you get it.”
At the same time, there is no need to be a Clio customer to use Lexicata. It is a fully independent platform that operates without requiring integration with a practice-management system.
From Intake to Engagement
What exactly does Lexicata do? Broadly speaking, it performs three functions:
- Contact and lead management. Lexicata is a client-relationship management (CRM) tool that helps you manage, track and follow-up with new-business leads.
- Online intake. Lexicata lets you create custom intake forms to easily collect client information and then set reminders for both the lawyer and client to follow-up on intakes.
- Engagement letters. The platform lets you create engagement-letter templates, send them out for electronic signatures, and automatically remind both lawyer and client if a signature is overdue. (Lexicata uses HelloSign for e-signatures.)
All of this is managed through a simple dashboard where you can add contacts, create intake forms and manage your engagement letters or other intake documents. The dashboard shows you any tasks you’ve scheduled for the day and any that are past due. It also gives you a quick overview of the status of your leads, showing information such as your conversion rate, your total pipeline value, and your top lead sources.
Version 2.0 will provide additional analytics on leads, such as showing conversion rates from specific lead sources.
Start by adding a contact. All you need to add here is a name an email address. You can leave the rest to be filled out by the lead via the intake form. In addition to providing standard contact information here, you can indicate the status of the lead (e.g. a “warm lead”) and the source of the lead (such as an event). You can also add any free-form notes.
The current version does not let you associate a contact with a matter but version 2.0 will allow you to do that. For Clio users, pending matters in Lexicata will export into Clio as actual matters.
Next you send the contact an intake form. Lexicata has a form builder function that lets you create as many custom intake forms as you want. The form builder lets you insert text boxes, check boxes, drop-down menus, and yes or no fields. It can be set up so that certain responses prompt certain follow-up questions — so that if, for example, the lead answers “no” to a question that prompts a follow-up question.
When you have the form you want to use, Lexicata sends it to the contact by email. The email contains a link to a unique URL where the lead goes to fill it out. When you send it, Lexicata prompts you to set an auto reminder, so that if the lead has not completed the form by a certain time, the system will automatically send the lead a reminder. It also gives you the option to request contact information, which prompts the lead to provide that information.
Version 2.0 will add an option for a lawyer, paralegal or other staff person to fill out the form. This could be used for telephone intake to avoid first taking down the notes and then later adding them to the system.
When you are ready to have the lead sign an engagement letter, you can send it to the client via Lexicata for an electronic signature. The client can sign via any device without having to print anything. Here again, you can set reminders so that if the client does not sign by a certain date, a reminder is sent automatically.
Lexicata also lets you schedule tasks and reminders for following-up with leads. You could, for example, set a reminder to email a lead in two weeks for follow-up. Alternatively, you can draft the follow-up email now and queue it go out on a specified date.
Further Development and Pricing
George and Chasin are also founders of the lawyer-finding site LawKick. They are financing Lexicata themselves.
They are actively working on launching version 2.0 of their platform. Among the features planned for the next version are:
- Enhanced analytics for tracking and analyzing leads.
- Integration with email clients such as Outlook and Gmail.
- The ability to associate contacts with matters.
- Scheduling to set up initial consultations.
- The ability to export data in .CSV format to use with third-party document assembly programs such as Doxserá.
Lexicata is currently charging $499 a year for a solo attorney and $100 a year for each additional user. George and Chasin say they have not determined final pricing for when they product is released commercially later this year, but they expect it will be approximately $40 a month for the first user and then $30 a month for additional users.
Lexicata is a distinctly different product than the Rocket Matter Intake product I recently reviewed. Rocket Matter’s product is designed to work only with its practice-management platform and is specifically for new-client intake, not lead management.
Lexicata is a more full-featured CRM platform that helps you manage, track and follow-up with potential clients. It automates the lead-tracking process and nudges you with due dates and auto-reminders to follow-up. The forthcoming version 2.0 will give you even more information on the sources and potential value of incoming leads.
In the final analysis, the value of Lexicata is twofold: It saves you the time of having to input intake information directly. And then it prods both you and the potential client to follow through, something busy lawyers are not always good at.