The initial client interview is, of course, an important step in preparing a divorce case in New Jersey. Attorneys need to gather a great deal of information not only to handle the case successfully but also to complete the needed state forms, specifically the Case Information Statement (NJ).
Nowadays traditional interview method is, to be blunt, a waste of the attorney’s time. The lawyer serves as little more than a stenographer, copying down what the client says or entering information from financial statements onto the NJ CIS form. Some of the routine tasks might be turned over to a paralegal but even then you have a skilled worker who’s doing nothing but data entry. Wouldn’t it be great if the client could enter the information directly?
“What?” you exclaim in horror. “You want me to give the client access to my Case Information Statement software?” Yes, but only in a very controlled fashion by means of a tool called CISlite.
CISlite is a Microsoft Word document a lawyer can email to the client. The client fills out the form, providing everything from the full names of the spouses and children in the divorce to detailed financial information. The client then emails the completed form back and the attorney imports the information into the software, which in turn populates the New Jersey CIS form.
The client performs a sort of self-interview. The case information ends up in the attorney’s files without giving the client direct access to the software. Practice employees can use their time more effectively and it keeps the client busy with a useful task. This doesn’t eliminate the need for a client interview but it does shorten and simplify the process.
CISlite is a valuable tool when used with the desktop version of the legal office software, but it really shines in partnership with the cloud version. Attorneys can send and receive the form, and then import the data into the case file without needing to be chained to an office. Family law attorneys have the flexibility to meet with clients, judges and opposing attorneys anywhere and still have full access to the tools needed to provide counseling to couples divorcing in New Jersey.
Bring your practice to a new level of efficiency by using modern digital tools such as NJ Case Information Statement software designed specifically for the needs of the legal profession.