How Much to Pay for a Law Firm Intake Specialist – Average Salaries for Major U.S. Cities

Samir Sampat

An intake specialist has a very important role in any law firm. They are responsible for taking calls and messages from potential leads, figuring out whether they are good leads for the firm, and then forwarding on the details as necessary. It’s a diverse and dynamic role and can cover a lot more than just lead intake. In fact, most legal intake specialists are classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Legal Assistants and Paralegals. 

So, what can you expect to pay a law firm intake specialist when you need help? Well, that depends on several factors. In the guide below, we’ll take more about what this person is and their role in the law firm, as well as what factors affect how much you’ll spend on a salary. Then, we’ll take a look at the top cities across the country to see how salaries pan out for a legal intake specialist depending on location. That way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about getting the help that you need. 


What does a legal intake specialist do?


In addition to contacting (or being contacted by) new leads for the law firm, intake specialists will also be responsible for qualifying them and ensuring that the firm can meet their litigation needs. They will also be responsible for things like:

  • Onboarding new clients
  • Evaluating the success of potential claims 
  • Determining whether a case is viable (or good for your firm)
  • Managing documentation, communications, and contracts for new intakes
  • Schedule meetings and consultations with lawyers at the firm
  • Handle inbound and outbound calls and emails


Some law firms leave an intake specialist to do just that: take in new clients and find new cases. Others may treat them more like a legal secretary, and add things like filing, office management, and other duties to their list of responsibilities. However, that’s what makes this a great asset for any law firm—it’s a versatile role. 


So, how do you determine what a law firm intake specialist earns?


Aside from the regional list of average salaries below, what else are you going to use to help you determine what to pay your intake specialist? Firms all have different criteria and things to consider, but usually, salaries are based on things like:

  • Years of experience
  • Type of law firm experience or expertise
  • Professional certifications, education, or training
  • The exact duties they perform
  • Type and level of position
  • Any benefits that are in addition to the salary 
  • Commission, if offered

Several factors could influence what you pay an intake specialist, but these are typically the most common. Take the time to review your options and think about what you need. If you’re looking for basic assistance for a startup firm or small practice, it might be okay to hire someone with less experience because they’re more affordable and you can train them to do what you need. 

While you’re digesting these considerations, let’s discuss what everyone else is spending to hire this kind of help. Seeing the averages and understanding what they’re founded on can do a lot to help you get a better idea of hiring your own intake specialist and how to pay them accordingly. 


The average law firm intake specialist salary: across the country 


In the U.S., a law firm intake specialist earns an average of $40,000 to $50,000 per year, which varies based on region, experience, job role, and other factors. For example, in Ohio, an intake specialist earns around $15 per hour, but in California, they are earning about $18 per hour. 

Here's a breakdown of how much different cities throughout the U.S. pay a legal intake specialist, courtesy of Indeed, SimplyHired, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Top cities in the U.S.:

  1. Los Angeles, CA: $58,000
  2. San Diego, CA: $54,000
  3. Brooklyn: $53,000
  4. Denver, CO: $52,000
  5. San Francisco, CA: $52,000
  6. Houston: $50,000
  7. Las Vegas, NV: $50,000
  8. New York, NY: $50,000
  9. Phoenix, AZ: $50,000 
  10. Chicago, IL: $49,000
  11. Miami, FL: $48,000
  12. Orlando, FL: $48,000
  13. Washington, D.C.: $48,000
  14. Austin, TX: $47,000
  15. Elizabeth, NJ: $45,000
  16. Honolulu, HI: $45,000
  17. New Haven, CT: $45,000
  18. Seattle, WA: $45,000
  19. Anchorage, AK: $43,000
  20. Boise, ID: $43,000
  21. San Antonio, TX: $42,500
  22. Annapolis, MD: $42,000
  23. Boston, MA: $42,000
  24. New Orleans, LA: $42,000
  25. Charleston, SC: $41,000
  26. Minneapolis, MN: $41,000
  27. Atlanta, GA: $40,000
  28. Dallas, TX: $40,000
  29. Portland, OR: $40,000
  30. St. Louis, MO: $40,000
  31. Augusta, ME: $39,000
  32. Mobile, AL: $39,000
  33. Burlington, VT: $38,000
  34. Philadelphia, PA: $38,000
  35. Little Rock, AR: $37,000
  36. Tulsa, OK: $37,000
  37. Cleveland, OH: $36,000
  38. Raleigh, NC: $36,000
  39. Salt Lake City, UT: $36,000
  40. Charleston, WV: $35,000
  41. Des Moines, IA: $35,000
  42. Indianapolis, IN: $35,000
  43. Madison, WI: $35,000
  44. Nashville, TN: $35,000
  45. Pittsburgh, PA: $35,000
  46. Lexington, KY: $34,000
  47. Omaha, NE: $34,000
  48. Detroit, MI: $32,000
  49. Dover, DE: $32,000
  50. Kansas City, KS: $30,000


Salary woes? Partner with Smith.ai and get your intake handled for a fraction of the cost


Smith.ai offers a lot of different solutions for the modern business. If you are looking into getting help from an intake specialist but you aren’t quite ready to pay a salary, we can help. Perhaps you just don’t need someone in-house or don’t have the room for them—that’s even more reason to work with us.

Our dedicated virtual receptionists can assist with all kinds of solutions, from lead intake and qualification to scheduling, and even payment collection. Plus, we can assist with inbound and outbound sales and support, and as always, offer 24/7 service for phone calls, live chat, messaging, and more. 

You can schedule a consultation now to discuss how Smith.ai can improve your intake without breaking the bank. You’ll also find us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 


Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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