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How to Become an Intake Specialist

Do you enjoy helping people connect with the tools and resources they need? Are you an excellent listener with an attention to detail? Then a position as an intake specialist might be the service-minded role perfect for you.

Attorneys rely on intake specialists to take potential plaintiffs’ calls and review the facts of their claims.

The first voice a plaintiff hears when he or she enters the legal process is often from an intake specialist. This empathetic voice can speak intelligently about what’s to come after a claim is filed. Intake specialists reassure clients who are confused, hurt or scared and ask thoughtful questions to gain as much relevant legal information as possible.    

An intake specialist must be a skilled multitasker, coordinating schedules and communications for the entire legal team. They must also possess strong clerical skills since they’ll be doing tasks such as keeping different case files in order. 

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced and charismatic intake specialist to join our team. We are looking for someone who is experienced in customer relations and understands the key role that you would play in being the first face that our clients see when walking in. An intake specialist is responsible for making customers feel immediately comfortable and helping kickstart their positive experience with us. This initial interaction will set the tone for our customer’s entire visit and is crucial in our company’s success. If you have exceptional people skills and enjoy meeting new people then becoming an intake specialist may be a perfect fit.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Screen incoming calls and emails to the law firm
  • Review and record potential clients’ claims by phone and email
  • Submit claims to the attorney for review
  • Schedule appointments between potential clients and legal staff
  • Process and file necessary paperwork from the client and legal staff
  • Coordinate schedules for clients, lawyers and staff
  • Obtain signatures and other essential qualifiers from clients
  • Serve as a “friendly face” and “friendly voice” of the firm

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or GED, but many law firms prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in data management, criminal justice, behavioral science, or a similar field. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Strong listening and interviewing skills
  • Proficiency using standard office equipment 
  • Ability to console and advise distressed callers
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to multitask and organize in a fast-paced environment

Preferred qualifications

  • Bilingual Spanish 
  • Associate’s degree in behavioral science, data management, or related field depending on the company
  • Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, data management, or related field depending on the company

Typical work environment

Intake specialists typically work in the medical field but can also work in a variety of industries like hospitals, law firms, clinics and mental facilities. The employees in most cases will have a desk with a computer to be able to accomplish their job. Most of the time intake specialists work full time and sometimes are required to work weekends depending on the company.

Typical hours

The work hours for an intake specialist are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting.

Available certifications

As they work in many industries, there are plenty of certifications to choose from. Here are a couple of popular ones:

  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS). This certification is geared towards those who will work on medical billing and coding. You must be 18 years old and obtain a high school diploma. It helps students translate medical diagnoses and symptoms into the codes in order to file a reimbursement claim. Renewal is required every 2 years.
  • Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM). This certification proves that you are highly knowledgeable in all the areas needed to be successful. For example financial management, time management, risk management, facility management, and medical record keeping. 
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). This certification is a great one to have for this line of work. This proves that you have the ability to keep a healthcare office running correctly and efficiently. You are able to achieve clerical duties.
  • HIPAA Professional (HIPAAP). This certification helps you be more familiar with the HIPAA terminology, administrative simplification provisions, and procedures needed for organizations to comply with security and privacy standards.

Career path

Becoming an intake specialist starts by earning a high school diploma or GED, although some employers also require a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, data management, or a similar field. 

A proven track record of solid work experience in the legal system or an intake setting can compensate for the lack of a degree. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 43-6013

2020 Employment611,200
Projected Employment in 2030676,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift64,900 increase

Although nothing can replace the value of in-person appointments, sometimes face-to-face meetings are difficult to arrange — if not impossible — between claimants and the legal team. Fortunately, new smart apps like Zoom are making telecommunications and video calling more accessible than ever. Intake Specialists will need to stay on top of emerging technologies to meet potential clients’ needs and ensure every claimant feels seen and heard.