5 Steps to Defining the Scope of your Legal Intake and Triage Tool

February 22, 2024

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5 Steps to Defining the Scope of your Legal Intake and Triage Tool

Having a legal intake and triage In-house legal tool can help relieve pressure from legal teams to fulfill requests and make it easier for anyone with a legal question to find answers. Without such a tool, it can be difficult for business users to find the appropriate resources for their legal inquiries and cause lawyers to spend too much time on low value, repetitive tasks.

The Ideal Legal Intake & Triage Process

The legal intake and triage process should be a straightforward process for both legal teams and business users alike. The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), the world’s leading association for LegalOps professionals, describes the ideal intake and triage process as the following:

  1. A business client submits a legal request form and the required background information
  2. An in-house counsel runs a diagnosis, then:
    • Validates the matter objectives and success factors
    • Categorizes the matter’s risk and complexity
    • Assigns the appropriate lawyer

What is the scope of your tool?

Depending on your organization's size, your tool can be used differently to solve various needs. For example, smaller organizations might decide that a legal intake and triage tool to provide basic legal information to their business users seeking legal advice. Conversely, larger organizations might opt for their legal intake and triage system to offer an extensive library of legal resources and forms to ensure that business users get the answers to their legal questions and direct them to the proper lawyer to fulfill their request.  

Regardless of size, setting up specific parameters will be important in determining the scope of how much your intake and triage tool can do for your organization.  

Legal service request banner

5 Steps to Define the Scope of your Tool

Defining the extensiveness of your legal intake and triage tool is one of the most important decisions to make when developing your system. These five following steps can help successfully implement your new system and create clear expectations for your business users on how to engage with your legal intake and triage tool.

  1. Establish a set of protocols for the business to engage the legal department: The first and easiest step in defining the scope of your legal intake and triage tool is by controlling the inputs that come into your system. For example, routine decisions that can be addressed via a self-service portal that provides resources to answer a question do not need to be put through the system as a legal request, saving lawyers even more time when it comes to managing requests.
  2. Create and enforce instructions for the business on how to structure their requests: After business users have been made aware when to make a legal request in the system, it is important to offer them guidance on how to structure their requests. A simple form outlining the basic information to include when making a legal request can be helpful for business users too. The forms can include information like:
    • The business unit making the request
    • Nature of request
    • Summary of issue
    • Deadline
    • Involved parties
    • Relevant document to make request
  3. Ensure business users have access to and understand the defined protocols and instructions: After setting parameters for your legal intake and triage tool, educating your larger organization on how to use the tool and when to use it are paramount to your system’s success. Whether the HR or finance department is making the request, all departments and business users must know the proper way to interact with the system.  
  4. Determine which types of requests are assigned to which the proper legal personnel: Before making your system available for use, determining which lawyer addresses which types of requests can help to streamline service request delivery even further. By doing this, it removes any confusion from the legal team about who should be performing which request.  
  5. Track requests to view work-in-progress and report on key metrics: Tracking data through your tool is essential in empowering legal teams to make better, more well-informed decisions about the resources they have available to them. With tracking legal requests, you can see:  
    • The number of requests coming in
    • Requests by business units
    • Project turnaround time
    • Types of requests

Meet with our legal automation experts today to evaluate your current intake and triage methods, learn how to get started in building a legal front door for your organization, and capture best practices we have seen with other leading legal teams.

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