Organization is important to an efficient, productive legal practice. Clients expect their lawyers to be organized—but let’s be honest…lawyers are only human.
Having an organized work space allows an attorney to maximize the time that he or she has available to put towards producing great work product, marketing, or networking activities (the ingredients that grow a practice).
Here are a few tips to help any attorney fine tune the organization of their space:
Help future-you do a better job, to feel good about past-you
Final exams in law school and deadlines in practice make the trap of procrastination highly tempting. Putting achievable tasks off today, however, means piling up work tomorrow (and who knows what tomorrow will bring?).
Tomorrow becomes the day after tomorrow. And suddenly, your office looks like it has been hit with a hurricane (but hopefully, that’s not reflective of your mental or emotional state). Of course, that’s going to be the time where anyone and everyone who will judge you based on your office is going to stop by to see you.
While it is totally fine to wait until a slow part of the week to declutter and file documents into the proper folders, it’s not fine to get into the habit of scheduling your procrastination. The couple of minutes here and there add up to lost hours throughout the weeks.
Everything in your space should have a purpose and home
Interior designers emphasize form fitting with function. For each object in your office, consider whether it will help you run your practice or produce your work more effectively (in the present and the future).
Every time you reorganize your office, aim to improve it. Are there stagnant piles? Items that you never touch or use?
If you are hesitant about removing them from your office, set aside a section for potential throwaway items and files. If after a few months you haven’t accessed them, then you were right. They can find a new home!
Aim to do it right the first time, every time
The first day in a new office space presents the opportunity to customize, plan, and execute how you want to organize your space to your standards. Remember: it is never too late to reorganize and rework within your law office.
Look at your office and more than just a physical space. Interact with it as if it’s a constantly evolving system that is there to help you. A few seconds or minutes to evaluate how your law office is organized can save you future headaches, embarrassment, and the potential loss of clients. Make “being neat” a part of your practice.