General Question

Mr_M's avatar

How do lawyers, with many cases, keep up with all the "to do" items each case generates?

Asked by Mr_M (7586points) February 9th, 2009

Specifically, how do they do it? And what if the action has to be done on a specific date? Do they keep a master list? A Day Timers? Computer Program? Do they do all the action items for a specific case one day then the items for another case another day? How does anyone with a lot of action items keep tabs? Please be detailed.

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7 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

Paralegals do that, dont they?

Mr_M's avatar

Regardless. How do they keep tabs?

cheebdragon's avatar

very carefully…?

Darwin's avatar

Successful lawyers with their own practices typically have a secretary or clerk (who might also be a paralegal) who keeps a calendar on the computer and who prints it out daily and who adds to it as he/she learns or thinks of new tasks. Less busy lawyers might simply have a Daytimer or equivalent.

Generally lawyers like to do all the similar tasks together, no matter what case, because it is easier to repeat a similar task and because of “billable hours.” These often total more hours than there are in a day because you can count travel time or work time separately for each case, even though you actually make the trip once physically or actually take less real time per case than you can bill.

A lot of times lawyers DO screw up – judges are used to that, although they don’t like it and it doesn’t help ones case. As a bailiff my husband saw his fair share of lawyers who screwed up.

Bear in mind that defense lawyers, as well as all the various types of paper-shuffling lawyers (tax attorneys, real estate specialists, estate lawyers, and so on) are typically independent business people and so set up their offices in ways that work for them. There is no one correct way to do it.

tinyfaery's avatar

There is case management software for attorneys, for one. Plus, that’s what assistants are for. All attorneys do is dole out the work to others, and them cram the night before a hearing. Not much to it really.

imhellokitty's avatar

they have help – secretaries, paralegals, any number of different staff people put it all together for them.

mzgator's avatar

They have Paralegals who keep track of their casescand schedules. The paralegal tells them when and where they should be and what they should be doing. They provide the research, trial notebooks and any other material for the attorney. They are the attorneys right hand. Paralegals often have a secretary of their own to help them stay organized. That’s the way it was in my office. I knew if I didn’t keep my boss ready to go with everything he needed, might need, wanted or might want, I would not have a job.

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