When a call comes into your law firm from a prospective client, will your intake specialist know if the case is a good one for your firm? How long will it take before an attorney can review and evaluate the lead? Will that potential client have found someone else by the time you call back?

For many firms, especially personal injury firms, time is of the essence when evaluating and prioritizing incoming leads. But few firms have the ability to evaluate leads on the spot.

The case management software company GrowPath is today introducing a newly patented lead-scoring tool designed to address this issue. The tool uses an algorithm to help law firm intake specialists identify high-value cases in real time while speaking by phone with prospective clients.

The scoring algorithm reduces the need for intake specialists to send leads to an attorney for review and evaluation — a process that creates delays in intakes and that can cause a firm to lose a potentially valuable client.

As the intake specialist interviews the lead, the specialist records the answers and notes in the lead-scoring tool. Based on that input, the tool generates the score in real time, using a set of predetermined variables defined by the law firm.

As GrowPath put it during a demonstration earlier this week, the tool applies subjective values to objective answers.

The lead score is shown in the upper right of the intake screen and changes in real time according to the notes entered by the intake specialist.

For leads that score above a set value, the specialist will know to initiate the process of converting that lead to a client. For lower-scoring leads, the specialist can refer the lead to marketing for further development or otherwise handle it according to the firm’s procedures.

The product is based on a process for which GrowPath was just awarded a patent, U.S. Patent Number 10,656,794, awarded on May 19.

“If it sounds easy, that’s the point: we’ve put a simple interface in front of a sophisticated firm-created algorithm, which allows attorneys to use it to analyze data and drive better business decisions for their law firm,” said Eric Sanchez, GrowPath founder and vice president of strategy and innovation for the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in North Carolina.

“Competition is pressing law firms to make important business decisions, like accepting a case, faster than ever. It’s nearly impossible to do this efficiently without the aid of technology.”

The intake questionnaire and scoring algorithm can be customized for each type of case the firm handles, and even for the same types of cases but with different parameters, such as for a firm that handles personal injury cases in multiple states.

Another way GrowPath helps evaluate incoming leads is through a feature it calls Buzzwords. The idea is to help intake staff pick up on words that may identify a potential mass tort or derivative case.

When an intake specialist enters a trigger word during an intake, prompts appear that direct the specialist to probe further. The prompts can be accompanied by scripts or hyperlinks to internal or external materials.

So if the lead mentions that he has diabetes, the specialist might ask about the drug Invokana, which is the subject of litigation. Like the scoring tool, the firm can configure these buzzwords to its custom preferences.

GrowPath is a full case management platform that manages not only intake, but a firm’s entire caseload, and that includes an array of business intelligence and analytical tools.

It grew out of founder Sanchez’s role running a large plaintiffs’ firm and his frustration with what he saw as the inadequacies of case management products on the market.

In 2013, the firm began to build its own case management software, without ever intending to commercialize it. But as other law firms expressed interest in it, GrowPath was launched in 2017 to take the product to market.

This latest patent is the 18th awarded to the company for features related to is software.

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal…

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division. At LexBlog, he oversees LexBlog.com, the global legal news and commentary network.