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The Legal Tech-To-English Dictionary: Customer Relationship Management Software – Above the Law

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of The Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary, part of our Non-Event for Tech-Perplexed Lawyers. Jared Correia is the host of the Non-Eventcast. 

There’s a term for when attorneys use Latin and other arcane languages to describe legal processes to consumers: “legalese.”

But there’s no similar term for when vendors use technical and other arcane languages to describe their legal software operations to lawyers.

True, this dynamic may seem unfair. But now we have The Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary to help us cope.

Read on for the latest installment, where we translate customer relationship management software-related topics to plain English.

Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)

1. The system that manages the process a business uses to generate continuing interactions with clients, both ad hoc and automated. While such systems are often used for intake management, these tools can also be used to establish nurture campaigns for staying in touch with existing clients, former clients, and referral sources.
A software tool allowing users to track lead and client interactions within a single program, with reporting features available.

Lawyer 1: Well, I went through my entire case list, and followed up with all my leads and clients I haven’t contacted for a while. It was a hell of a weekend.

Lawyer 2: Everybody gets my e-newsletter, but I still have to stay on top of callbacks with existing leads. It was a hell of a Saturday. 

Lawyer 3: I automate pretty much all of my followups, and I’m very drunk right now, because I’ve been slamming mojitos for the past two days. It was a hell of a weekend.

Cf. It’s a process.

Client Journey

1. The intake process for a business, including all affiliated interactions, for onboarding new leads through close.
 The customer experience, from the consumer’s perspective, from lead to close.

Lawyer 1: Our intake system is like a black hole.

Lawyer 2: Because leads are strongly attracted to us?

Lawyer 1: Um, it’s more like a dumpster fire.

Lawyer 2: Because we treat people warmly, and with kindness?

Lawyer 1: Can I just publish an intake form to our website?

Lawyer 2: We have a website?

Cf. Some people refer to it as a quest.

Cf. Like I said.


1. The series of phases through which a lead evolves, before converting as a client.
A feature within customer relationship management software that tracks lead progress through specified default and custom phases.

Lawyer 1: Did you finish roughing out our intake process yet, Chaz?

Lawyer 2: Yup, I’m done. But, let me just tease it a little bit before I give you the full series of interactions, because I’m really proud of what I was able to put together here.

Lawyer 1: Go on.

Lawyer 2: Okay. Lead comes in. We FAX them our intake form. They send it back by CARRIER PIGEON. We CLEAN the pigeon shit off of the form so we can read it … 

Lawyer 1: [facepalm]

Cf. The importance of securing your pipeline, so it doesn’t get hacked.  Whoops: different pipeline.

Marketing Automation

1. Generating specific follow-up sequences with leads and clients that do not require human intervention after the creation of such automation flows.
The designed follow-up messaging sequences that release to leads and clients on a recurring basis via preexisting workflows.

Lawyer 1: Did anyone follow up with the lead who called us yesterday?

Admin 1: They’re in a follow-up sequence in our CRM, that will generate messages automatically over the next few months, so no one has to.

Lawyer 1: You’re letting the robots contact our clients, while you’re sitting here drinking a latte?!?!  Don’t you know you can’t trust the robots?!?!

Marketing Campaign

1. A specific plan to sell a product or service, or the execution of that plan.
 A defined marketing strategy tied to a specific product or service, existing within a larger marketing plan.

Lawyer 1: Remember when we bought that billboard campaign?

Lawyer 2: Vaguely.

Lawyer 1: How did that do?

Lawyer 2: Damned if I know.

Narrator: Next time, track those calls, and manage the data via a CRM.

Cf. Not Voltswagen.

Cf. Neither New Coke.

Cf. Remember OK Soda?

Jared Correia, a consultant and legal technology expert, is the host of the Non-Eventcast, the featured podcast of the Above the Law Non-Event for Tech-Perplexed Lawyers.