On any given day, Legal Assistants have a variety of important duties and tasks to complete in order to support lawyers in their work. From investigating the facts of a case to compiling information and preparing documents, Legal Assistants are the professionals who keep operations running smoothly within any legal practice. In order to juggle their responsibilities while staying on top of deadlines, a good Legal Assistant must be highly organized.
Organization is essential in preventing those in this role from becoming overwhelmed by their workload, allowing them to provide the highest level of assistance for the lawyers they work with.
If you’re considering a career as a Legal Assistant, read on to discover four tips for staying organized on the job.
1. Those with a Legal Assistant Diploma Should Schedule According to Priority
One of the most effective ways to stay organized as a Legal Assistant is to learn how to prioritize tasks. Legal Assistants have a wide range of responsibilities on their plate on any given day, and learning what needs to be done first will be essential in staying on top of upcoming deadlines while working productively. After completing a Legal Assistant program, take the time to figure out which duties are the most important. For example, preparing motions and pleadings to file in an upcoming trial may take priority over drafting a contract for a client that isn’t needed until the following week.
During your Legal Assistant career, keep organized by maintaining a detailed schedule, putting tasks in order of priority. Learning how to prioritize as a Legal Assistant will ensure that both the client and lawyers’ needs are met, and no documents are missing or inaccurate.
2. Conduct Your Own Research
As a Legal Assistant, it can be tempting to complete only the tasks that are expected of you. However, Legal Assistants can ensure success throughout their career by showing initiative and conducting their own research. Legal Assistants are often tasked with investigating the facts of a case and compiling the pertinent laws, legal articles and judicial decisions. Throughout your career, you can demonstrate your commitment and organizational skills by gathering any necessary information independently. Coming to a meeting prepared with relevant research will not only help you to stay organized, but it will also equip you with a greater understanding of the case at hand—enabling you to provide a higher level of assistance.
3. Be Sure to Communicate Efficiently
Learning how to communicate efficiently will not only save time, but will also help you to stay organized when juggling correspondence between a number of different parties. Professionals with a Legal Assistant diploma are often responsible for communicating with clients, witnesses, attorneys, and other relevant parties. Instead of allowing communication to consume your workday, save your energy by developing a system for organizing your emails and other correspondence. You can create folders and label them by project or case, setting time aside throughout the day to file your emails and clean up your inbox.
While efficient communication will make your life easier as a Legal Assistant, communication errors will only complicate it. Ensure that you’re proofreading the emails and documents you send out in order to avoid spelling or grammar mistakes, as these can negatively impact the reputation of your firm.
4. Remember That Consistency Is Key
Given the amount of responsibilities a Legal Assistant has, the best way to stay organized on the job is to maintain consistency. Develop systems for staying organized and continue to use them as time passes. Staying consistent will help to showcase your reliability as a Legal Assistant, ensuring that information is never lost or missing, and files and documents can always be found in their designated folder.
As a Legal Assistant, staying organized will be much easier by implementing these four methods – and by implementing them, you’ll be showing your employer your value and willingness to go above and beyond in your role!
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