There are few jobs that demand more organizational skill than managing a busy attorney’s office. Keeping on top of all of the paperwork can be a tough task – especially when there are multiple cases and dozens of documents and filing deadlines to be monitored.
Fortunately, there are tons of free, or cheaply available, online tools out there to help you stay on top of things and manage the workload of your law office more efficiently.
Here are five of the best tools we’ve heard attorneys and paralegals are using to manage litigation more efficiently.
Trello – Organize the flow of work
Law offices are collaborative places, often with several people working on the same case. This sort of working can quickly get confusing, with people unclear on how their tasks fit into the bigger picture and whether prior tasks have been completed. Trello, a free and simple project management tool, can help to overcome these problems.
In Trello you create a board for each project (a case you’re working on perhaps), and then set up boards (by default these are “to do”, “in progress” and “done”, but you can add others) which are then populated with tasks. You can allocate tasks to team members who, once invited, can create and move tasks around the board so that everyone stays up to date.
Grammarly – Make absolutely sure you’re free of spelling or grammar errors
We all dread the possibility of accidently submitting a court document that contains a spelling mistake, typo, or grammatical error. Ideally we’d always write with plenty of time to spare for proofreading. However, if you’re under time pressure that isn’t always the case, and it’s inevitable that some errors will sneak in.
The check built into the word processor will only catch so much, though. To avoid more complicated errors of grammar and syntax, you need a sharper tool. That’s where Grammarly comes in. It’s a like a super spelling and grammar checker that will find over 250 errors that are commonly missed by the Microsoft Word checker, explain where you went wrong, and offer useful advice on corrections.
Dropbox – Access your documents from any device with an internet connection
These days it’s vital to have easy access to your files, wherever you are and to be able to share documents with ease between colleagues. You could spend thousands on an office server to achieve this – or you could use Dropbox.
Dropbox is a really simple cloud-based storage service that removes any need for your own server. With Dropbox, files are stored in the cloud and accessible to those with the right permissions and logins wherever they have an internet connection. So, no more emailing documents between colleagues or remembering to upload the latest docs on a memory stick before you leave the office!
Understandably legal professionals have concerns about security. Fortunately, Dropbox has responded in recent years to concerns and really beefed up their security. For more advice check out these top Dropbox tips from our friends at the San Francisco Bar Association.
One Legal – File, serve and research court papers through a single platform
In parts of the country, such as California, where county courts are moving towards eFiling at different speeds, a complex patchwork of filing requirements is being created. Were it not for One Legal this would mean remembering multiple court requirements and managing multiple filing services.
Fortunately, unlike other providers that are limited to either electronic or only physical filing services, One Legal is a single platform that will allow you to complete both your physical legal support needs and your electronic filing and service needs.
In addition, the same One Legal platform allows you add on courtesy physical copies, to serve papers anywhere in the United States and to request and retrieve court documents from any US courthouse. All at the touch of a button through a single login.
We think these simple online tools have the power to save law firms hours of time and effort and help you to manage litigation more efficiently. Join the conversation. Tell us your favorite time-saving online tools in the comments. Have you tried these tools? Let us know how you got on.