S6:E8: Boost efficiency: Hiring more intake staff ft. Gary Falkowitz

Join your hosts, Jay Ruane and Seth Price, as they explore intake with special guest Gary Falkowitz. This episode delves into Gary’s innovative AI product, CaptureNow, and its impact on legal intake processes. Gary shares his personal journey, and he provides a detailed analysis of how AI can enhance client service and operational efficiency in law firms. The discussion covers the limitations of traditional call centers, the advantages of AI-driven solutions, and the potential future of hybrid models combining AI efficiency with human touch. Listen now to understand the keys to transforming your law firm’s approach to client intake and satisfaction.

Whether you’re a law firm owner, a practicing attorney, or someone interested in the intersection of law and technology, this conversation will provide you with a fresh perspective on how AI is reshaping the legal landscape. Learn about the challenges and benefits of AI-driven client intake, and get inspired by Gary’s vision of a more responsive and efficient legal service model.

Links Mentioned



Jay Ruane 0:07

Hello, hello, and welcome to this edition of The Law Firm Blueprint. I’m one of your hosts, Jay Ruane, and with me as always, is my man Seth price down there, DC, Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina with Price Benowitz, and all things digital with BluShark Digital. But we’re joined today by a very, very special guest. My friend, Seth’s, friend, a friend to a lot of us in the legal industry, and there’s Gary Falcowitz, who is with us, Gary, it’s so great to be with you again. How are you holding up?

Gary Falkowitz 0:39

Hey, thanks so much, Jay, and Seth, for having me on. And I appreciate you asking. Jay, it’s no, it’s no secret that the last year, actually tomorrow, by the time we, I don’t know when this will be shared with the public. But tomorrow will be a year since my life changed, my family’s life changed, doing the best I can. We’re doing the best we can, we have no choice but to power through and muscle through for other children. It’s definitely a second life for me, Ethan, my son. For those who didn’t know, my oldest son Ethan, was killed by a drunk driver, May 3rd 2023. He was sitting in the backseat, seatbelt on, just having won a big tennis match for his high school varsity tennis team. And was, was and is as good as it gets. So it’s, you know, I could talk about him forever. That is not the reason for this call. But I do appreciate you asking. And I have no, you know, we have no choice but to keep going and doing the best we can in his honor. And we will do that. So thank you.

Jay Ruane 1:44

Absolutely. I mean, Gary, I’ll tell you, it. I don’t think a day has gone by this year, where I haven’t thought about you and your family. Just because you know, I’m in it, like you are in it, with with younger kids and sets in it as well. And it just, you know, it’s it was so crushing to me. I couldn’t imagine what your family has gone through. But I’m glad that, you know, I’m glad that you are fighting through it. Because you do have a lot to offer. But Seth and I wanted to have you on today because there’s a lot of talk in our industry about AI, you have one of the premier AI products that is out there now. And so we want to talk a little bit about CaptureNow because I think it’s the right time to be talking about it. And for those who don’t know, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the product. So we can so we can ask the important questions.

Gary Falkowitz 2:31

Yeah, absolutely. I’ll give you a 30 second summary of how we got there and what the product does. So for those you who may not know, I happen to be an attorney as well. I’ve been practicing since 2005. I’ll skip to the point where not only did I manage the intake for a large personal injury practice known as Parker Wakeman. I’ve been consulting law firms and intake for the last decade, I owned a call center my partner’s and I did and that was acquired. And we sort of hit this fork in the road of hey, what’s the next thing we could create? That’s very valuable for the legal industry. And what we realized was that even though you know, we had a call center, and we did the best we could with that call center. The act of managing and training and interviewing, interviewing and and preparing our call center representatives for all the business that they were going to handle was really, it was quite a gamble. I think we did it as well as one could do. We crushed it really proud of the results that we had for our clients. But after we jumped out of that business, we looked around, not just in our industry, but in other industries in sales industries, and look to see hey, what are other businesses doing with respect to high volume campaigns and sales campaigns? And what we realized was that the call center solution whether it’s a backup solution, overflow, nights, weekends, doesn’t matter. This this call center solution where you outsource it to another company, that’s not your company, was really an antiquated solution. And the reason why is because there was so much gambling that was going on, and I’ll get into that in a moment. But I’ll jump to the solution which was we said, well, why aren’t we Why don’t we create a voice bot which is what American Airlines, and American Express, and and Square, and all, MailChimp, all these other companies that have, they have a voice bot in place. Why? Because 24/7 365 their calls will get answered on the first ring, no exceptions, no gambling, and then information is immediately retrieved and I’ll finish my diatribe with at the end of the day, what you want to do when you’re servicing a potential new client or even an existing client is you want to give instant gratification. You want to give instant response. And when you outsource to a call center, you’re giving them everything but instant gratification. And that’s why we created to CaptureNow and it’s been spreading like a wildfire, I’m really excited to see where it’s going to go. And, quite frankly, I expect that it will replace your outsourced traditional call center model. Because it’s something that you’re not going to gamble on anymore. And that’s what CaptureNow is.

Seth Price 5:25

Gary, could you see this at some point? Like, look, the future is AI, we all see that. I, you know, you’re as, you know, as thoughtful and as learned as anybody at the intake space, I’ve always heard you in the back of my head on it’s, on your worst day or your in house is better than the, you know, the decent answering service. But is there a, is there, will there eventually be a hybrid where you have that. But if somebody does want to speak to somebody, well, you do layer that in, you just want the instant gratification, you want to get rid of the calls that don’t need to get to a person. But is it really, that we still want to be able to give the white glove service, but that as you saw when we ran an answering service, when there was a spike with a TV campaign, you could only do so much with those spikes, with humans that have good days, bad days? Is it? Is it a combination? Or is this something where you think that AI can really replace the answering service fully?

Gary Falkowitz 6:21

Yeah, it’s a great question, Seth. And I think I’d love to be- I’m gonna give you the lawyer answer, unfortunately. Right? The oh, it depends. Because this is why-

Seth Price 6:30

That’s my answer. I have a shirt that says that.

Gary Falkowitz 6:31

Sorry. But I will give you some, I’ll give you some, but I’ll give you some muscle to that as well, which is this. If you had your own call center, your own staff, right, and you realize shucks, we’re scaling, we’re growing and volume is huge. And we need to make sure we had people available. And you were training your own staff. And they knew about Vinny’s Pizza on 71st Street. So when someone calls up about where this incident took place, I know Vinny’s Pizza, I went there yesterday, and they can have these conversations that make it very personable and warm, and they can be compassionate, when you throw in those traits now becomes a very beneficial solution for your team. Of course, that’s what you want. And here’s what I want you to understand, and everyone who’s watching this to understand, when you have a human being pick up the phone call, the expectations are really high. Which means that if you don’t meet those expectations, you’re disappointing the call. And if you’re disappointing the caller, you’re making them consider a secondary or third option. So when I, when you ask, hey, will it completely take over? Not if you’re going to have your own staff that you’re paying that is adequately prepared and knows exactly how to close, quote, close that lead, not reject that lead, but sign that lead on that call, right? That’s intake baby, that’s what you really want. But if you’re going to outsource that to a stranger, and you’re gonna outsource it to a strange group, who has 100 or 500 clients, and then they start making mistakes where they’re not mentioning I mean, I’m sorry, guys, but I gotta just let the cat out of the bag here where they rented the wrong law firm name, where they tell you know, you both do some criminal defense, we have one CaptureNow client were the straw that broke the camel’s back for them was they had a call that went to their outsourced call center. And the caller talked about the incident details, what happened, and the call center representative said you should turn yourself into the police. This is what this person is-

Seth Price 8:00

It’s preventing thought, you’re, no, no, no, it’s a real deal.

Gary Falkowitz 8:41

Absolute- its not even, preventing thought- sure, its preventing thought.

Seth Price 8:43

Independent thought, meaning bad thought.

Gary Falkowitz 8:45

Yes. And the untrained thought, right at the end of the day, right?

Seth Price 8:49

Or not even untrained, just for the erratic piece that you can’t control.

Gary Falkowitz 8:54

And what it is, control. Right. We’re going to talk about control, and scaling, and modernizing, and AI, you want automation that is reliable, not all automation is great, but you want reliable automation. That’s what Capture Now does.

Seth Price 9:08

I get it from me chat point of view. I was first sold on it from the chat side. Right? Right every chat company, no matter what they tell you, was sitting in the Philippines. Right? They’d say we’re both, you know, we’re both Texas and the Philippines. They’re two supervisors for the largest chat company in the country in Texas, the rest are in the Philippines so you already have that issue where you you don’t know what’s coming up, you don’t know timing, etc. Where I’ve seen, I would argue forget about you know, it would take a lot maybe the in house person to jump over what’s possible. But I think people are also in chat, used to the AI bot where they’re not used to it in phone calls. They’re used to phone trees, and some of that back and forth. The question is like to me I always want to be able to, like you know, if you could Get off everything possible to get the raw pieces. But the issue that comes down to me, like, law from other like Jay, right? So if you take the numbers, we do our numbers, I think we’re live from 8am to 9pm, weekdays, more limited on weekends, right? Then it goes, we have to, you have to have an alternative. The question is, when you, when you get there, so you’re at that point where you can’t justify the full time person, you know, equally, the breakage that you’re getting, which devil do you want, can you have your cake and eat it too, where you’re saying, hey, this is all there. But if somebody doesn’t get what they want from this, that they can get that escape hatch to something, even if it’s secondary, but giving somebody what they want, or it’s instant gratification, that upfront digital, but that escape had, similarly with the AI chat, wanting to make sure that you can get somebody out of that. If they say, hey, this is not for me.

Gary Falkowitz 10:57

So you touched on a bunch of things. And I hope I can remember my thoughts because there’s so many things I want to jump in and say, here’s what I’ll say. I’m going to be a little random. So number one, CaptureNow believe it or not, it’s closer to your phone tree, which is controlled, and simple than it is to this really unclear idea of AI, right AI scares the crap out of all of us. It scares me. It scares me right Chat GPT is one of the most impressive things. And my immediate thought is shit, is someone going to have access to all my my questions over here, or my research over here? And the answer is probably yes. But it scares the crap out of me. And are they learning because I’m asking that question. But this is less AI. Does it have AI capabilities? Absolutely. This is more about predictable, and reliable, immediate response. So if you have your phone tree, imagine using your phone tree Seth. But now the phone tree asks very simple yes or no maybe some information gathering questions. And based upon the answers that you set from a logic based criteria. It says you know what? Because Seth told us that A, B and C if answered yes, qualified, we’re now going to try to warm transfer this call to Seth on Saturday at 10am. Because he said it’s worth bothering him only for those qualified leads. That’s what CaptureNow does. Now let’s say 80% of your calls don’t qualify. But there’s some value or you want them in your database or whatever, they bring another value to your firm. You want that information, you don’t want them hanging up. You don’t want them going, no one’s picking up my call. It’s been 12 rings. When’s the last time any one of us had been on the phone for 12 rings and said I’m still gonna wait. Jay you look at you I jump in there for me, so,

I mean, I’ll jump in. I sought out CaptureNow for my own office January two years ago, because I called my office on a Saturday. And our answering service rang 27 times before they picked up. And it was a Saturday at like four o’clock. I was just like, let me I gotta call the office. And you know, I should probably do this once a month. I’m home right now let me just dial in, 27 rings. And I said that can’t be because, everybody else, after 10. I was like now I’m gonna wait and see how long it takes. Everybody else would have hung up.

Seth Price 12:58

And one of the things Gary, that like I get, is that when it hits, I remember when I was looking at answering services early on, I was having a discussion with a digital switch or not right? We’re old enough to know when there was an analog switch and a digital switch. The problem the analog switch was it would ring. But until the answering is service picked up, the caller ID wasn’t captured. So the idea that something’s immediately captured. And even if this call goes completely haywire, you’re getting notice that it’s there. And that to me, most answering sevices, to be fair, fair have that now, but that is the digital switch and the idea that you’re getting that immediate gratification, and you get the second bite at the apple.

Gary Falkowitz 13:59

So two things there. One is and I don’t, I always feel badly, because I don’t like to talk poorly about other companies or their solutions. Unfortunately, I do think we’re at a day and age where there is a solution that’s being used right now that is a little bit too traditional and antiquated .that there are more modernized solutions here. So I have no choice but to say, hey, what are we doing here, grow up a little bit. I want to give you two quick examples. One is, if I can remember them, one is there are call centers where, not, I mean, there are call centers that do this but by accident, never on purpose, usually never on purpose. Where you’re leaving it up to the intake, to the call center representative, to summarize the conversation and provide that information over to the law firm. Now think about what I just said because this is what’s happened.

Jay Ruane 14:48

And you’re not training these people.

Gary Falkowitz 14:49

You’re not training these people. They didn’t go to, they didn’t go to criminal defense school, or law school, or PI school. They were told here are the questions and then provide a summary. They took information that they thought was important, put it in two to three sentences, and sent it out. And you said, I’m going to come to a conclusion about that call based upon a stranger’s summary of that, because you’re not going to go listen to that 12 minute conversation. Now, with CaptureNow, because we kept it succinct. First of all, you have access to the recording of every utterance from the caller. But second of all, that information goes right into your CRM. So you don’t have to worry about a breakage of chain, you don’t have to worry about a human being saying, yeah, let’s leave out that information that he said that the accident happened a year ago, or yesterday. That’s not so important. Each one of them has an injury, they don’t know if they have a lawyer, they just want to know if they, you know, sought medical treatment. And it’s like, what are we doing over here? How can we possibly gambling on the response to our calls. And I did forget the second point, because I said two points. But that’s one of the pros. Here’s the second point. There have been times where I’ve had, because because I’ve consulted with so many law firms on intake, I’ll get phone calls or emails, Gary, I need a new, this is going back, like I said, 10 years. Gary, I need a new call center, you’re never gonna be able to happen, right? I call up and yeah, I’ve had that the Ruane of, hey, I called up and waited eight minutes, I’ve had that. But I’ve also had the Gary I just called my law firm. And they had an automated response that said, all of our agents are busy, someone will call you back and hung up on me. And this was the owner of the firm that called their own number and said, oh, we’re too busy. So I’m gonna call you back. And that’s what’s happening. And I just think, from a perspective, and CaptureNow is not perfect, it’s going to get better and better. It’s great right, now I love what it’s doing. We’re constantly improving. But I do think we have to, as a business owner, if you’re watching this and you own a business, your job is to create the efficiency and automation to help you scale faster. One of your jobs, that is the job right? You got to go hey, guys, how can we handle more with fewer mistakes, and less manual BS that can happen? And I think CaptureNow fits in at this perfect little niche of, hey you get an inbound call, and your team isn’t available. Don’t be silly, don’t gamble, make sure it gets picked up and make sure that information is sent over to our system.

Seth Price 17:11

Right? And I assume like everything, you know, you got the strengths and weaknesses, right? The good news is you’re not going to make any mistakes. The bad news is an older person is gonna be like, I don’t want to talk to a machine. What the hell is this? And you sort of, and like as the population, you know, as you see it in real time, right? And you see what the demographics of TV, who’s watching, and who the clients at PI firms are that, you know, the group that is all mobile is used to this versus, you know, the parents generation where I think it’s a harder adaption.

Gary Falkowitz 17:41

You know, what’s interesting, that we’ve, that we’ve learned, first of all the, the older people are more patient. So they don’t really mind as much as you would think, to answer questions, what we’ve learned, and it’s, unfortunately, it’s an indictment on the business, what we’ve learned that the people who don’t like it, are the people that are not getting calls back from the law firm employees. So they keep calling and calling because they’re waiting for someone to call them back, they do, really want to speak with their lawyer. Now, that would happen with the call center as well, because the call center rep is not prepared to say, by the way, your deposition is scheduled for tomorrow at 10am. Please don’t be late. That’s not going to happen. But that’s, that’s where, really, and that’s why you have all these client portals that are out there right now, right? Because you’re trying to make these clients understand that even though I’m not calling you back as often as you’d like me to, we got you. We got you.

Seth Price 18:30

What’s the split? What are you seeing the split between new client intake versus, you know, somebody’s main, main trunk line?

Gary Falkowitz 18:40

So another good question. And I say it’s a good question, because it’s different than what I thought it would be. When we create a CaptureNow, we thought it was going to be an intake solution for overnights and overflow, what we realized was that more than 50%, some cases, as much as 85%, of inbound calls are existing clients, and they’re not the new leads. So we now created multiple paths that the law firm gets to choose what they want to offer to their callers. And we have an existing client path where, if someone calls in, it knows that you’re an existing client based upon the phone number, it says, hi, we recognize your phone number as a client, are you looking to give an update? Are you looking Are you looking for an update or something else? I’m looking to provide an update. Great, what update would you like to provide? We’ll put it in your file and someone to call you back shortly. Just went to the doctors. They said I need surgery. Thank you so much. I’m gonna call you back shortly. And then a post call text goes out. So they get the reassurance that hey, the firm just got my message. That’s a big plus. Right? And I think for, from an intake standpoint, imagine this. Here’s what I want you to imagine Saturday afternoon, call goes out to your call center. They take the message they don’t hear from anybody in the law firm until maybe Monday morning if they’re lucky, right? Or CaptureNow, picks it up. Maybe it’s qualified, maybe it’s not. But immediately after that calls over, a text goes out with the firmbranded video that says here, it’s just to learn a little bit more about the firm you just called. And now you just put this on their phone, they know who they called, they’re gonna remember who they call, they just, you look better than any other law firm they called because you got, you sent them a video and a text and maybe a link to a video testimonial page for who you know, whoever wants that. And it’s one of these things where we’re just, my team and I are constantly thinking about what’s the next value add to the caller, so that they feel really good about the firm that they chose. And if you get that call center rep, where there are 12 rings, long hold time, no compassion, and I’m not even talking about the negative terrible ones. Let’s just go the average ones, right? Fine. Let’s go even less than that. Four rings, no compassion, no answers, long phone call, do you want to talk about the cost? Because your cost for a call center could be anywhere from $1.60 to $2.20 minute, depending on who you’re working with. Now, existing client calls up, that call lasts about six to eight minutes, right? So now you’re paying let’s call it $12, at least for one call from an existing client, whereas CaptureNow took it in 45 seconds, and you paid less than two. Big difference.

Seth Price 21:08

What is your split on people using this 24/7 versus people using it as the overflow?

Gary Falkowitz 21:16

The majority, the smaller law firms are using it 24/7. The larger law firms are using it for overflow, nights, and weekends. They have their own staff. So I would say that, right? If you have your own intake staff, I’m the one that’s pushing intake. That’s what, Seth, you started the call, I want your intake team talking about Vinny’s Pizza and 72nd street. That’s what I want them to do. But if they’re not around, you need immediacy, you cannot play with that call.

Seth Price 21:44

You know, one thing I want to pivot to which is sort of similar, but Jay and I both deal with this when you have a multi. And it goes partly to the AI but partially just to the, the team. One of the things I’ve seen a struggle with personally over the years, and other people, is that the skill set needed on the plaintiff side on contingency work, very different than the fee for service work, and how you, any, any sort of, you know what your best practices are? Because I know you, you’re the thought leader on the PI side. But there’s an entire world out there that many firms have a component of, and how do you advise people to sort of balance that so you can have your cake and eat it too?

Gary Falkowitz 22:24

Yeah. Before we answer that question, Jay, you were gonna jump in half a second ago and wanna make sure we don’t forget what you’re gonna say.

Jay Ruane 22:29

I forget already.

Gary Falkowitz 22:30

Good, same like me.

Jay Ruane 22:32

I’ll remember it. And I’ll pipe back in when it’s necessary.

Gary Falkowitz 22:34

So Seth, you’re right, with respect to the, the training and the knowledge base. I’m gonna give you a simple answer. Because every, every law firm is different. And what they’re expecting from each caller and their criteria is different. I’m going to say two things. One is, we have to empower our staff, that they are experts, period. They are experts. They need to communicate as experts, they need to convey themselves as experts, they need to answer questions as experts, not lawyers, no one is saying they have to be lawyers, but they are experts. They’re experts at intake. They’re experts at determining whether the law firm has any interest in representing them, whether it’s criminal defense, Social Security, personal injury, workers comp, doesn’t matter. They are experts. So in order for them to become experts, and feel that they’re experts, their knowledge base, and that expert category has to be the level of expertise. So how do we do that? They’re not going to law school overnight, what we do as we keep it simple for them, we have to tell them that hey, say it’s criminal def-, and I do, you and I have had this conversation many times. And I and I’m, without remembering what I’ve told you, I’d like to think I’m going to be consistent anyway. I do believe that your team needs to be trained in all of your areas. You don’t want the warm trail- I mean, that’s our criminal defense expert. Let me get you over there. Wait, they’re on hold, they’ll call you back in 15 minutes, you don’t want that,¸ you want the person who’s picking up to be prepared to handle every type of lead that comes in and prepared to make a decision? And if there’s contingency fee, then it’s contingency, if they have to get paid, then they have, they have to know how to get paid. And what the benefits of using your law firm are. I’ll tell you something really cool. One little story, just worked with a law firm where they are fighting with the idea that you have these discount lawyers that are marketing in their market, right? So they were at like 40% attorneys fee, then they had to consider a third. And then they had to shucks, even come down to 25% just to compete. And one of the things that we talked about was, well, why don’t you incentivize your callers to say you know what, if you signed today, we can sign you up for a third. But you have to sign today. Why are we not, we have to think outside the box a little bit. So if we really want that client and then same thing goes with the pay, a pay up front.

Seth Price 24:59

I agree with you, I like our lawyer to be the $1,000 lawyer, that, the the old days, the $40,000 DUI, let’s say $10,000. But for you today, it’s $5000. Because you’re-

Gary Falkowitz 25:14

And because we want to get started, right? We, your team needs to understand, they can’t explain urgency, then we’re in trouble because sales is really about urgency. It’s why you go in, you know, my favorite analogy, you go into a car dealership, right? And you sit, sit down with the sales agent, if you’re really good, and you’re about to walk out, and the sales agent says, well, why don’t go go don’t go, Mr. Falkowitz. What is it sir? Can I introduce you to our manager? Why they introducing me to their manager, very simple. They want to leave all of it on the field. They basically say, Gary, I want to give you the keys, and I want your check right now. I don’t want you leaving, because I know you’re going down the block to my competitor. And that’s the, that’s the mentality. All of us in the legal industry. I don’t care what type of law you do. It can be immigration, it can be personal injury, guys, you’re competing to not think you are the best. And if you can’t close on that first call, you don’t have that attorney available. If you don’t have those experts, real experts picking up the calls and making decisions, then it doesn’t matter whether you work with CaptureNow, or another call center, you’re in trouble.

Seth Price 26:09

Okay, so I have the billion dollar ideam then I’ll flip to Jay, can we do, just like the driving, driving instructions, where you get like a James Earl Jones voice directing you? Can we have Gary answering our firm’s phones?

Jay Ruane 26:21

I love your voice.

Because I haven’t I haven’t put it out there yet. But we did a Spanish TV commercial for the firm. And they took my presentation and AI’d me into Spanish, including lip movement. I barely got through high school Spanish. I was, it was my worst grade in high school. I am so fluent, and so perfect, that is unbelievable. So when Gary can answer my phones, then I know you’ve really made it, Jay.

Gary Falkowitz 26:48


Jay Ruane 26:49

We’ll get Gilbert Godfried.

Seth Price 26:51

No no, I want Gary, I don’t want Gilbert Gilbert, Gilbert doesn’t make money, Gary makes me money.

Gary Falkowitz 26:55

Right. Right.

Jay Ruane 26:55

So since we’re talking all things intake, there’s something that I want to talk to you about and get your opinion on. And it’s it’s it’s the volume that your intake team is dealing with. Because, you know, when people call in if they’re involved in an accident, and they’re dealing with people who are hurt, and dealing with the fallout from that, or it’s a family law case, and they’re dealing with the stress of maybe having to get divorced and seeing their family structure change, or in my case, it’s people who are dealing with criminals, your intake team takes on a lot in getting these stories from their people. And how do you, how do you avoid burnout on an intake team? How do you know when you have enough, because I mean, these people that are a such an important part of the team. And I truly believe that too many lawyers focus on intake as, I will just throw somebody in intake. And they don’t train them to do, like to know about their their caseload and their state, or county or wherever. And they’re just like, that’s the entry level for us, is intake when I think really you want your best people in intake. But you have to protect and not coddle, but it, protect the people who are good at this intake job because it’s a skill, it’s a skilled profession to be good at intake. You know, I just said to me before the pre call, like, is it should it be like a psychiatrist where they spend 15 minutes of every hour, and then they get a 10 minute sort of mental health break before they’re ready for the next one? When do you know that you need more people? That’s really the question.

Gary Falkowitz 28:34

So there are a few answers, from my, from my perspective that we have to be on the lookout for. And you’re right. But I want to I want to reiterate what you stated. It is usually the lowest paying job in a firm. Yet it’s one of the most important jobs in a firm. And there are a lot of people that are hands off, look the other way and whatever happens happens. Because it’s a burnout position. The level of appreciation and attention and thank yous that we give to our intake team has more value at that level than any other position in the firm. So when things do go really well, or just well enough, they need to get some pat on the back. They need to get that thank you, their firm needs to know how great such and suc, or this person did. And I’m gonna tell you why. When I first took the managing attorney position at the firm, what I did is I spent about three hours on the calls to understand how these calls go, how to use the system with the calls, really understand what my team was doing. I could not do that for a full day. I would be exhausted. These folks are being asked to do it every single day eight hours a day. And what I tell my intake folks when I when I consult or I present on this, is that say I know you guys are being asked to be in your A game 50 times a day. I get it. And it’s really tough. And I also know that this all comes second nature to you, because you’ve had so many calls that are similar. What I need to remind each of you is that when somebody calls the firm, it is likely the first time they’ve ever needed to call a law firm. So we need to match that first time experience with our first time interest in wanting to help them. And if we speak with them, like they’re the 50th person that we spoke with today, there’s no way we’re gonna match that enthusiasm to help them, there’s no way. So that mentality shift is really important. And you’re also right that the burden that is on their shoulders to do this day in and day out, requires them to take a break. Now, I’m not going to give you the science of 15 minutes on 10 minutes off, but I will tell you that I’ve worked with law firms where they get afternoons off, from, from calls. So they’ll have other responsibilities, afternoons off from calls, they will, they will ask their team, hey, if you’ve had a tough call, you need a break, you get it, just let us know, we’re not going to ask any questions. I worked at law firms where they brought in mental health experts, or mediation, not mediation, meditation moments for their team. So absolutely, we as as as firm owners need to think about this. Because otherwise, we’re going to be up shits creek when we only have three intake folks. And two of them together said we need to get out of this place. And now you’re stuck with one who can’t, who might leave too, because now you’re scared to do the job of three. So I think it’s really important you keep it a priority, I think it’s important that you give these folks the attention and the, and the, credit that they deserve. And when something, if something does not go well, it is not, I like to, I’ll say one more thing about this, which is I do like to separate the communication between my lawyers, and my intake team. There needs to be a buffer, whether it’s a manager, a supervisor, one lawyer, the owner, I don’t care. Needs to be a buffer. And here’s why. Those folks that are the legal team, they only want good cases, the want really strong cases, they don’t want. And I’m not, I hate to generalize, but most of them don’t want to have to look for reason to help this person or to make money for the firm. They want the easy, open, open shut case. So when the intake signs a questionable case, which any law owner in the law firm would love a questionable case, give me more questionable cases, the lawyers in the law firm, I go really you gave me a questionable case, what were you thinking over here, and yell or or denigrate? You know, or condescend the intake folks. And you can’t have that, because that’s the most intimidating thing from an intake specialist standpoint, when a lawyer says on their phone, can you come into my office, please do you know, they just start sweating. Like I’ve seen it, they just, I have to go into this lawyer’s office, what are they gonna do, they’re probably mad at me about something. It’s never about something good, never about something good. So if we want to protect them, then we really have to put a shield around them. And we got to give them a lot more credit than we give to everybody else. And that’s what I’ll say about that.

Seth Price 32:59

Before we wrap up, I just want to say on a personal level, thank you. Not, you know, not only a great guy, a great friend. But as a thought leader in this space, I would not have the intake I have today without having spent countless hours talking this stuff through with you. Good example, Jay knows this, pre-COVID, 12-13 people in the basement of our firm, right? That model disappeared when people stopped going to law school and couldn’t be in the basement, today. 25, split between international and domestic, with the supervisors as that buffer, recorded calls something you’ve preached for years, you know, and the moment that we did this, about a decade doing it now. But the listening to record calls, continuing to coach, been a game changer. And thatm to Jay’s sort of question, that he just asked to me every time there’s even a question of whether or not we need another person. I’m like, yes, we’ll make more money if we hire another person. And worst case scenario, I asked my person who, is there somebody in the firm you’re keeping, because you’re just being nice to me kicking the can, you know, Jack Welch said, bottom 10% If you have somebody that’s heart’s not in it, you know, they’re not giving you that first time impression. So all of that, with an intake attorney now embedded for both criminal and PI. All of this has taken us to the point where, you know, Bill Biggs talks a lot about this, what is your percentage of wants? Every client thinks 100%. And we’re good case, we’re genuinely at 96% of cases that we want on the PI side, and it wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for putting all those pieces in place. So, thank you.

Jay Ruane 34:32

Yeah, you know, I’m a firm believer that the more you can invest in, in, in your intake, the better your firm will be, whether it’s a firm of one intake person, one paralegal one lawyer and you say, hey, look, I’m not going to scale, but I’m going to put attention to qualifying the cases that I want in my office and having somebody doing it the right way. That in and of itself will provide dividends long term, or if you want to scale up and have a team of 25 insane people, that’s going to pay dividends as well.

Seth Price 35:05

And before we get off, can you tell people about how to get involved with your mastermind? Because it’s something that, you know, look, I just came off a BluShark client where, you know, they were upset, they weren’t getting cases, and we realized, secret shop them, listen to the recorded calls, 75% of our calls not being answered, LSAS, crazy, they’re like,

Oh, my lord.

Oh, yeah, somebody quit. So it is an investment and unless the owner of the firm believes in it, but tell us a little bit about how people get involved with that.

Gary Falkowitz 35:32

Thank you Seth. So yeah, guys, I mean, if you go to intakeplaybook.com, you’re gonna learn all about what I do with consulting or coaching. I have this masterclass where, basically, it’s, you know, there’s CLE for lawyers on how to be great lawyers. Well, this is like CLE for how to be, have a manage and operate an intake department, or if you want to grow and create one. So what we do is we, I give you all the tips, and I give you all the access to my, my private data, my playbook, my library, and we talk about all the issues that law firms have at some of the largest law firms in the country, and also some small law firms in the country. So it’s, I’m excited about where it’s going. But it’s all intake, and it allows you to once a month, just once a month to focus on intake, right? What could we be doing better? Where are the holes? Where are the black holes? And and how can we improve? So I, if you couldn’t tell them all in on intake, whether it’s CaptureNow, whether it’s consulting, whether it’s intake playbook, and I love these guys, I mean, if you’re watching this, I assume this is not your first time, but these guys are looking to help. Right, Seth and Jay are just, they’re just sharing, they’re literally open books, sharing everything they know, hoping that they can help you run a better practice. So I’m really honored to be on this, on this call with you guys. And I’m available to you and anybody else. Anytime. So thanks so much for having me.

Jay Ruane 36:44

Gary, that, that was awesome. I gotta tell ya, I’m really excited about CaptureNow being able to say, hey, Billy, thanks for calling us back. For existing clients. I think that’s going to take it to the next level of just, you know, people want mass customization that is taking the, you know, when you walk into McDonald’s and get the burger exactly your way. It’s the same thing. You’re greeting you and your name. People love the sound of their name the most. And so I think your product is by far, one of the best things out there on the market for any law firm. If you’re starting off, it’s probably one of the best investments you can make early on is to get your intake working the right way because that’s going to solve a lot of problems for you down the line. But folks, that’s gonna do it for us this week on The Law Firm Blueprint and of course, you can take us anywhere you need to go by following us on any podcast platform. You got Google YouTube, Spotify, Anchor, Apple podc-, wherever you get your podcast, search up The Law Firm Blueprint podcast, be sure to give us five stars. Of course you can catch us live every week in our Facebook group 3pm Eastern, 12pm Pacific and also broadcasting LinkedIn live now 3pm Eastern and 12pm Pacific, its a mouthful to get all this stuff out at the end of the show, guys. But thank you so much for being with us once again for Seth price and our good friend Gary Falkowitz. Thank you so much, and bye for now.

Load More

Don’t miss our weekly episodes. Subscribe now!

Subcribe to our newletter to receive news on update