When it comes to practicing law, facts matter—but your ability to access and manage facts matters more. Why? Because what you have in your head is best supported by evidence and action. So, what are some good tips for managing facts for success? These five tips will provide an excellent foundation.
Start off on the right foot
For every case build a binder and include:
- Contact sheet: List information for every person related to the case. If there is a question about whether someone should be included, include them as a precaution. You will be glad you did when you need to reach them later.
- Court deadlines: Make a list so you have a visual. Include calendar alerts as well.
- Chronology of the case events: Having a visual will be helpful for planning.
- Key documents: Use index tabs for easy access to all case related items.
- Other relevant items: Avoid the mistake of misplacing anything you will need for the case.
Consider using Bindertek Corporate Kits to keep client files organized and your practice looking polished. Having all relevant documents in one place will make the job easier for your paralegals and support staff, so they can spend their time assisting your case instead of wasting billable hours chasing down files.
Get rid of clutter
Everything on your desk or in your office should add function or give pleasure. Examine everything and discard whatever does not fit in either category. Develop a storage/archive system so that old files don’t pile up on your desk or floor. Create more space with periodic purging (again, get rid of anything you no longer need).
Looking for advice on decluttering or creating a filing system? Check out these posts from our archives:
- 4 Tips for Organizing Your Workspace
- Designing a Desktop Paper-Flow System
- Summer: A Perfect Time to Declutter
Everything in its place
There should be no question about where journals, pens, paper, files or contracts should go—or where they can be found. If you need to ask a colleague to get something from your work space for you, you need to be able to say where it is. Looking for things wastes time and robs you of productivity. Moll Carousels are the ideal shelving solution and are designed to hold binders. These shelves rotate, allowing you easy access to all sides and offer more storage than a traditional shelving unit.
Keep a notebook
If you aren’t a to-do list kind of person, you should still draw your road map to keep an eye on the big picture. Create task lists for cases and develop a deadline list by working backward from trial (and other important) dates. Ease the stress of last minute rushing and give yourself time to do your best work, for your clients and the future of your practice.
Your notebook can be used outside the office too! Write down random ideas or any useful thoughts that occur to you about the case throughout your day, like when driving or in the shower. The goal is to capture these gems so (a) they aren’t lost, and (b) you save your brain space. Conceptum Notebooks have a classic appearance, making them perfect for taking to the office.
When it comes to practicing law, organization is half the battle. Organization makes success possible by giving the confidence of preparedness, improving access to support of relevant facts, saving time, and improving efficiency. In other words, organization helps you do your best work.