Friday, June 18, 2010

"New" Client and "Prospective" Client Files

If your practice is either starting out or simply growing, here are some quick tips on opening a new client file and how to keep track of prospective client.


• Create A - Z file folders

• Six Month follow-up

• One Year follow-up

1. Create A - Z file folders: When a potential client calls, you have met with him/her but they have not made up their mind yet, this would be considered a "potential" client (especially, if a Retainer Agreement is not in place). At this point, place the client information and notes that you have, place these documents in the folder under the appropriate alphabet of the potential client’s last name.
2. After six months, prepare a form follow-up letter to see if they still need legal representation.
3. After a year, you can destroy the file if the individual has not retained you.


• Fill out a new client form

• Conflict of Interest Check

• Client Notebook

• Excel / Spreadsheet cross-reference

• New Files for Separate matters

New Client Form
Create a “new file” form/template that will be placed in the file in addition to a “New Client File” book. This way, you will have all the pertinent information (along with the intake form) pertaining to this client and/or case.

Conflict of Interest Check
Be sure to perform a “conflicts of interest” check (if applicable). Have a hard copy (form file) in a notebook verifying that a conflicts of interest check was done.

Cross-Reference Index
Create an index or form (cross-reference) in the computer in Excel or whatever form is comfortable for you.

Client With Multiple Matters
If your client has several matters, don’t co-mingle files, create separate files for each separate matter.


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