On average, a lawyer is in charge of case management software between 20 and 30 cases. Whether these cases are handled entirely by lawyers or partly by paralegals, it is very important to find ways to be quick, organized, and accurate. After all, how well you handle cases has a direct effect on how they turn out, which affects your ability to keep and get new clients.
Keeping all of this in mind, here is a list of 9 helpful tips and a full infographic at the end to help you become an expert at case management and give the best service to your clients.
Tip #1: Get your case files in order.
As soon as you get a new client or a new case for a client you already work with, the first thing you need to do is get the case file (both paper and digital) in order. To make things easier, you can use an intake form at the first meeting to get all the information you need and then use that information to make the case file. When you start organizing case files from the beginning, you can see right away what is missing or needs to be updated. This saves you and your client time and money on legal advice and trial preparation, in case the case goes to court.
Tip #2: Keep a list that you can change.
Working on a case means doing a lot of tasks, many of which are the same. This means you have a long list of things to do, and it’s not easy to remember them all, especially if you’re working on more than one case at the same time. Having a checklist for each case can help you make sure you don’t forget to do anything. This checklist should ideally have a list of all the steps to take and be used to keep track of how the case is moving along. You will know where you are and what you need to do. You can make a list of all the administrative tasks that are common to all the cases you work on and then change it to fit each case. Keeping a checklist lets you keep track of the case’s status, so you always know where you are and what you need to do next.
Tip #3: Sort your tasks by what’s most important.
When you have a long list of tasks for each case and a lot of them to handle, it’s important to set priorities based on how important and urgent each task is so that you can focus on the right case at the right time. Most things are connected and need to be done together. For example, a paralegal must gather information from witness reports on a certain date for a case that will go to trial and give it to the lawyer on a different date. You can make sure that tasks are done on time by the right people if you think about how they are linked. By putting tasks in order of importance, you can make sure you don’t miss any important dates.
Tip #4: Delegate and plan tasks
Tasks must be given to people with deadlines to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Also, it’s important for people at different levels of the company to keep track of deadlines. If a paralegal needs to do something while a lawyer watches, the task needs to be scheduled (one step after the other) and given to the paralegal (to do) and the lawyer (to review). By giving tasks to other people, putting them on a schedule, and keeping track of how long it takes to finish them, you can improve efficiency and get a better idea of how much time will be needed for future cases.