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Why law firms should invest in intake training (and get up to 50% tax credit)

law firm write offs

Perspective by Mara Siegel, Legal Intake Training Manager

I used to be the intake director for a law firm in Ohio.

Each year the attorneys allocated a huge chunk of our budget to external brand-building, which meant we shelled out a small fortune in advertising and lead generation year after year.

Meanwhile, internal team building and training took a back seat.

Internal growth efforts were relegated to low-stakes, low-reward group outings and one-time events that provided a temporary boost in morale, but not much else.

In these shortcomings I saw an opportunity: Instead of allocating a huge portion of our budget to external advertising efforts, we could place a greater emphasis on team training and professional development.

We made the shift and realized professional intake training was an effective way to create long-term change at the firm and save money.

For example, Georgia businesses can receive 50% tax credit for direct training expenses with up to $500 in credit per employee, per program.

Other states’ credit incentives for direct training expenses:

State Maximum credit
Connecticut $2,500 per employee per year
Georgia $1,250 per employee per year
Kentucky $500 x number of full time employees 
Mississippi $2,500 per employee per year
Rhode Island $5,000 per employee over 3 years
Virginia $1,000 per employee per year

That’s right – professional development and continuing education courses can be used as tax write-offs for your firm. Keep reading to learn more about training write-off opportunities.

Law firm tax deductions for professional training and continued education

Think your employees don’t need additional training? Think again. I recently discussed the benefits of proper training for intake professionals, so head over there if you want to know why ongoing training is a must.

Today, though, I want to talk about the financial benefits of investing in a hard-hitting intake training program.

If you’re an attorney, you can deduct your own Continued Legal Education (CLE) courses on taxes, but did you know you can also deduct the cost of training for your intake team?

Per the IRS, you can pay up to $5,250 each year per employee without it counting as taxable income. There are some stipulations, so make sure you follow IRS guidelines and choose an intake training program that:

  • Equips employees with skills necessary for their current roles, and
  • Maintains or improves your employees’ legal skills, or
  • Is required for employees to maintain their roles

It may also be a good idea to see if your state offers additional tax credits for education expenses. Here in Georgia, businesses can receive 50% tax credit for direct training expenses with up to $500 in credit per employee, per program.

law firm tax deductions

If you’re looking to save money on your 2022 taxes, it could be a great time to apply your extra budget from the year toward training for your intake team. You’ll not only enter 2023 with a highly specialized staff, but with some extra money in your pocket.

Budgeting for staff training

With expectations and exceptions for tax write-offs in mind, you should be starting to see the picture I’m trying to paint.

Law firms typically budget for CLEs to ensure all attorneys stay up to date with their accreditation requirements.

That’s great, but don’t neglect your intake specialists. They’re the first people your clients meet, and they’re the ones who can make or break that initial perception of your firm.

If your firm already accounts for education expenses and the tax incentive you will receive as a result of such spending, it’s a great idea to set aside some extra funds for staff training as well. 

The best way to account for this expense is to project your income for the next year and include the approximate cost of staff training in the appropriate budget category.

Our approach to continued education

In the years I spent working as an intake specialist and manager, I attended numerous webinars, training, and in-person classes in law firm intake protocols.

My biggest qualm with these training sessions was that whatever person or organization led the training knew nothing about my firm or skill set. They also never followed up with me after I attended these courses, and I felt unable to track my progress in the field.

The experts at EverSpark noticed this gap and we built an intake training program from the ground up. Our legal intake training service takes the concept of continued education-style training for legal professionals and expands it to include intake specialists. 

When I came up with the idea of creating a legal intake training service, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t setting my clients up for failure. I spend extensive time getting to know how each law firm operates, their intake processes, their strengths and their weaknesses.

This approach helps me tailor my intake training process to each client, utilizing industry standards to inform each firm’s individual needs.

Wrapping up on tax-deductible training

There’s a strong link between a highly trained intake staff and a financially successful law firm. The better the quality of phone calls your staff can perform, the more likely your firm is to have higher client conversion rates.

The second-best part? Our intake training service for law firms is tax-deductible. What’s not to love?

I’d love to get an opportunity to work with your law firm’s intake team. Send me an email today at [email protected] and let’s see how we can work together.


Mara Siegel

Legal Intake Training Manager at EverSpark Interactive

*The EverSpark Interactive legal intake training program is not associated with any national program, though we do work with firms across the United States to take their intake team to the top.