How to Organize Your Law Office
There’s a reason why employment in the legal occupation is expected to grow by 9% over the next decade. We rely on law offices to help us with everything from legal trouble to tax help.
However, regardless of whether your law office is new, or has been around for decades, you need to prioritize employment if you want to stay on top of your cases.
That’s why we made this article of organization tips. In it, we’ll go over some of the best tips for getting your law office organized and keeping it that way.
That way, you no longer have to stress out about deadlines, clients, and documents. Let’s get started!
Why Is Organization Important In a Law Office?
Before we jump into the HOW of organizing your law office it’s important that we first tackle the WHY. One of the main reasons why leaders decide to overhaul office organizations is to be more efficient.
When you know where everything is and the current status of your cases it allows you to get work done more quickly. This, in turn, gives you the ability to take on new clients which improves business.
However, efficiency isn’t the only benefit that comes with law office organization. There are also mental health benefits to consider. Clutter doesn’t just affect our productivity but also our moods and thoughts.
These environments make it difficult to concentrate. And, worse, they can be a source of great stress in your life.
And, as a lawyer, you already have more than enough stress to deal with. So, make things easier on yourself and follow these tips.
Declutter and Purge
The most disorganized workspaces are surrounded by mounds of clutter. This often happens at law offices because there are duplicates of almost every document. So, stacks of paper can quickly pile up.
Sadly, you can’t just throw all of these documents out. If you do this there’s a good chance you’ll toss out something important.
So, you will need to go through each stack at a time. If you have an extremely messy office you’re dealing with, then don’t tackle this all at once. Instead, begin with one section of the office.
Don’t move on until you finish that section. For each piece of paper, you should either put it in one of two categories.
You can either keep and store it or shred it. Remember that you only want files that are open and active. Old ones are just taking up needless space in your law office.
Develop a Filing System and Organize
Congrats, the hardest part is over. However, if you don’t have a good filing system in place in a few months you’ll be back at square one.
Make sure you standardize the filing system so it’s not just you that understands it. This is the best way to stay organized.
Once you find a system that works with your operating procedures, then write it down and send it to your employees.
That way, everyone is on the same page in terms of the organization moving forward. Here are some of the things that you should consider:
- How to organize new client files
- How to close document files and destroy the documents
- How to organize payment information
- How to organize office supplies
- How to organize appointments
- How to organize pre-trial notebooks
- Other types of miscellaneous daily filings
Once you have your system in place, then it’s time to get organizing.
The easiest method to do this is the old-fashioned way: filing cabinets and custom index tabs (like the kind you can find here https://tabshop.com/legal-industry).
Color coding is typically the simplest way to classify each folder for your needs.
Streamline Client Management
Client management is the key to staying organized in legal practice. If you take on more clients than you can handle, then it doesn’t matter how organized your office is.
So, make sure that you keep a list of all your current clients present before you accept any new ones. In addition to this, you should make sure that any new clients have realistic expectations for the outcome of their case.
If you’ve had trouble with these expectations, then make sure you set policies for each new client to read. You should also develop a system for clients that don’t pay you for your services.
These cases are bound to happen, so it helps to have a clear system in place to follow. That way, it’s less stressful every time you encounter one.
Don’t Forget About Technology
Gone are the days when law offices relied entirely on physical filing for the organization. These days, if you aren’t using technology to stay organized, then you’re missing out.
The most obvious software to get is billing software. This allows you to easily log how many hours you’re spending on a case. However, there is also software that can handle things like case management, scheduling, and file-sharing.
File-sharing is especially important because communication is vital for any law team. The more collaborative you are about cases, the more good you can do for clients.
If you’ve been avoiding technology for some time and don’t know where to begin, then stay calm. Consider hiring a technology consultant.
They can give you some specific recommendations for implementing technology into your organization’s system.
Appreciate Learning About Law Office Organization? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn how to organize your law office. As you can see, no one organization system will work for every law office. That’s because different teams have different organizational styles.
So, find the system that works for you and stick with it. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then keep reading to find many more guides just like it.