5 Productivity Tips for Busy Legal Professionals

5 Productivity Tips for Busy Legal Professionals

5 Productivity Tips for Busy Legal Professionals

Legal professionals work hard to get the job done, but they also have to work smart to ensure their time at work is spent efficiently. This means adopting tactics at work to maximize your productivity, as getting work done more quickly without sacrificing quality obviously benefits both you and your law firm immensely. Here are five excellent tips for legal professionals looking to boost their own productivity at work.

Prioritize by Descending Difficulty

If you do the worst, most painful, most difficult thing on your daily agenda, the rest of your day is going to be easy in comparison. It’s a simple fact: tackling your tasks by descending difficulty means that the most energy-consuming tasks get knocked off the list first. It’s also psychologically comforting, as you don’t have a phone call with a problem client or a particularly tedious legal draft hanging over your head all day. Procrastination and productivity are mutually exclusive.

Make Drafting Documents Easier through Templates and Online Tools

When your job involves drafting documents that share a lot of similarities with each other, a lot of needless and time-wasting repetition can be eliminated simply by using interchangeable templates. Likewise, using online tools to organize these documents can also help streamline the document drafting process — whether it’s Google Docs, Microsoft OneNote, or some other service, having templates available in the cloud means you can draft docs wherever you have access to these online resources.

Block Out Time To Work Without Interruptions

Almost everyone works their best when left alone for specific lengths of time. Nothing’s more disruptive to concentration and productivity than a series of small interruptions, especially when they’re low priority ones. If you want to maximize your productivity, block out time that you can work without being interrupted — tell office workers you’ll be unavailable until a specific time or set an autoresponse for your email to carve out some undisturbed work time.

Delegation Isn’t Necessarily the Best Solution

Have you ever delegated a task to an associate attorney or a paralegal, only to be frustrated by a lack of progress? Based on the task, it might be because the decision to delegate might have been the wrong one. Instead of farming out small but tedious tasks, you might want to consider finding a technology-based solution that makes completing these tasks on your own quicker and easier to accomplish than when delegated to another. Whether it’s document management or something else, there are a number of applications or services to that end.

Become Tech-Savvy in Ways that Support Your Productivity

Speaking of technology-based solutions, a broader integration of technological solutions can certainly pave the way for heightened productivity, but only if applied appropriately. While it might be tempting for your law firm to install an automated phone tree to direct calls instead of an administrative assistant, you having someone manually answering and routing calls can help in letting you work undisturbed while engaged in critical tasks by taking messages or sending callers to voicemail.

Stanley Mosk Courthouse Announces Changes To Civil, Family Law And Probate Judicial Assignments

Stanley Mosk Courthouse Announces Changes To Civil, Family Law And Probate Judicial Assignments

Stanley Mosk Courthouse Announces Changes To Civil, Family Law And Probate Judicial Assignments

April 11, 2018

As stated in the notice to attorneys on the Los Angeles Superior Court website, the civil, family law and probate divisions at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, located at 111 N. Hill St., Los Angeles, are moving some bench officers to different courtrooms and adding new courtrooms to each of these areas of litigation.

For additional information, new department designations, effective dates and changes to case assignments, if applicable, please see all the public information found here.

The LA Court News and Notices section provide new information about Court-related activities, changes, and projects. You might want to bookmark this link for future reference:


Organizational Habits for Legal Professionals

Organizational Habits for Legal Professionals

Organizational Habits for Legal Professionals

The practice of law requires, by default, the ability to keep as organized as possible. Akin to spinning plates, the duties of any legal professional can comprise a baker’s dozen of tasks at any given time, all of which has different priorities and requirements. That’s why it’s so important for anyone working in the profession to develop excellent organizational habits. Here are some of the best that you should consider adopting if you find yourself struggling with your own organizational skills.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute: Procrastination Will Destroy You

Don’t put things off until the last minute. Procrastination is a highly destructive habit that creates undue stress and prevents you from doing your best work, as attempting to rush to complete a task with a looming deadline means you’ll inevitably miss something. Instead, prioritize your tasks on a daily basis, beginning with the one task that will be the most difficult to accomplish that day. Doing so will ensure that not only will it get done first, but the rest of your day will be a lot easier.

Use Proper Technological Tools to Create and Maintain Task Lists

Don’t know where to start? Write down every task you have to accomplish and use this list to keep track of your progress. Whether it’s a daily list, a weekly one, or a full calendar month, creating and maintaining a task list provides you a clear, easily recognizable snapshot of where you are and where you need to be. While you can certainly write these task lists out longhand, you’d be better suited to record them using any number of technological tools at your disposal, ranging from a simple spreadsheet on your desktop to a list-making app on your mobile device.

Invest in a Time Management Course to Learn Advanced Skills

Keeping organized is more than just making sure your desk is neat – it’s about managing your time effectively. No one is born knowing how to do this innately, however, and this means that taking the time and energy to learn is an investment in your future that will pay dividends. Taking a time management course that instructs you on best practices will provide you the skills you need to budget your time better, ensuring that all the tasks you need to accomplish get done as efficiently as possible — leaving time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

The Benefits of Good Organization

Being a well-organized legal professional provides you with several benefits. You’ll experience much less stress and anxiety about incomplete tasks if you tackle them in an organized manner, and as a consequence, you’ll be happier and more productive. Office managers and senior partners are more likely to recognize your work performance, possibly leading to increased career success. Finally, you’ll know that when you leave work every day that you’re well and truly done, allowing you to enjoy your time off just that much more. In the end, isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Fake it Till You Make It: How Confidence Goes a Long Way in the Legal Profession

Fake it Till You Make It: How Confidence Goes a Long Way in the Legal Profession

Fake it Till You Make It: How Confidence Goes a Long Way in the Legal Profession

Whether you’re in the courtroom or you’re in the break room, confidence is a key component to your career as a legal professional. At the same time, confidence isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, especially if you’re fresh out of law school or stepping into your first internship. Regardless, you’ve got to talk the talk if you’re going to walk the walk — so you better get used to finding ways around the problem.

Why Confidence is Important

Being involved in the practice of law involves being able to communicate clearly. While in many instances this can take the place of the written word, ranging from legal briefs to court documents and beyond, you’re going to have to open your mouth sooner or later.

This can be an exceedingly difficult task for anyone struggling with confidence issues — and it’s readily apparent in a number of ways. Whether it’s stuttering, a querulous tone of voice, an abundance of “um”s and “ah”s, or any combination of these, a lack of confidence in interactions with clients, colleagues, and courtroom officials is going to sink your chances of having a successful career.

Meanwhile, there are even non-verbal ways that you can betray yourself when it comes to a lack of confidence. Body language can be very telling. Slouching, poor posture, keeping your limbs close to yourself, avoiding eye contact, and other non-verbal tells scream “I am not confident in my abilities” loud and clear, again sabotaging your chances of career success.

Faking Confidence for Fun and Profit

Lucky for you, there are methods and techniques for erecting a veneer of confidence by changing the way you talk and move. Called the “fake it until you make it” technique, it involves making conscious changes to your outward presentation that simulate confidence, even if you don’t feel that way.

It begins by identifying the specific outward symptoms of your lack of confidence and then, for the most part, doing the opposite. Are you restless and fidgety when you’re speaking? Root yourself to the spot instead. Can’t meet the gaze of who you’re talking to? Force yourself to make eye contact — or at least focus on the bridge of their nose. Stumbling over your words? Slow down and take your time. If you feel like you’re talking too slow, you’re likely just right.

Become What You Desire

When you devote yourself to acting more confident, even at times that you don’t feel that way, you’re likely to see the fruits of your labor almost immediately. It’s likely that your professional interactions will resolve themselves more advantageously, which will lead to higher overall levels of success and achievement. Truth be told, adjusting your behavior like this is going to be exhausting at first. However, as you become more accustomed to doing so, you’ll notice that adopting your more confident persona will become like second nature. In time, you might even become that confident person you wanted to be so badly in the first place.

How Changing Your Office Environment Can Make You a Better Legal Professional

How Changing Your Office Environment Can Make You a Better Legal Professional

How Changing Your Office Environment Can Make You a Better Legal Professional

It’s important to have a good working environment no matter what line of work you’re in, but it’s even more crucial for legal professionals. With so much on the line at any given time, office environments can become tense and toxic all too quickly, which will negatively affect not just your engagement while at work but your productivity as well.

But there are steps you can take to make your office environment better. Taking these steps don’t just make your office more pleasant to work in — they make you a better legal professional as well. Here’s the key to accomplishing just that.

Embrace Technology that Makes Your Job Easier and More Efficient

Working in a law office involves doing a lot of exacting, important, but sometimes repetitive and tedious work. Having to do this work by hand can make you feel less like a legal professional and more like an office zombie, and this can lead to making needless mistakes that could end up costing your firm.

In order to prevent this — and in order to improve your own productivity — it’s important to seek out and implement technological solutions that give you a break and make you more efficient. That’s why, if you’re a legal professional, it’s vital to move to adopt an online attorney service firm today.

Physically Alter Your Environment to Lift Your Mood and Better Your Health

Nobody is at their best if they spend several hours a day in a place that feels bleak and lifeless. It’s not exactly inspiring if you’re staring at the same blank cubicle walls day in and day out, and an uninspired work environment can easily lead to uninspired work performance.

It may seem simplistic, but physically changing your work environment is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your performance. If you can get your firm to transition to an open office environment, one without cubicles or walls in order to let in more natural light and prevent workers from feeling claustrophobic, that would be ideal. The benefits of open working also include better communication and collaboration as well, if you need more ammunition.

Don’t Ignore Your Work-Life Balance

One of the best ways to truly improve your productivity and efficiency while you’re in the office is to spend more time out of it. This sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true: legal professionals tend to work long hours, spending inordinate amounts of time in the office. If you’re one of those nose-to-the-grindstone types, you need to get out of the office once and a while if you want to be at your best when you’re at work.

One solution is to ensure that you’re not ignoring your work-life balance. Seek out alternative work schedules that will benefit you in the long run. Telecommuting is one option, as is working part-time, flex working arrangements, or working a compressed schedule. Burning yourself out helps no one — not your clients, not your firm, and certainly not yourself — so make sure to take some me time when you can.

4 Conflict Resolution Strategies for Your Firm

4 Conflict Resolution Strategies for Your Firm

4 Conflict Resolution Strategies for Your Firm

When it comes right down to it, the practice of law has conflict built right into it. It’s an adversarial system by design, one side pitted against the other in a battle that relies on a successful argument.

But making a persuasive legal argument in court and getting into an argument with a colleague are two very different things. Conflict within a law firm can jeopardize clients and careers, so it’s important to adopt ways to resolve these issues successfully. Here are 4 of the best conflict resolution strategies for your firm.

1 – Don’t Beat Around the Bush

Most people are hard-wired to avoid direct conflict. This means employing strategies like avoidance, triangulation (talking to a 3rd party about a conflict), and other mitigation strategies. This doesn’t do anything but prolong the issue. If you don’t take active steps to confront the issue head-on, this will lead to whatever conflict caused the issue in the first place to potentially worsen. Remember that confrontation is the only method for moving past a conflict successfully, and while this can be painful, it’s a necessary component of interpersonal growth.

2 – Keep Things Professional

Whether it’s a procedural, ideological, or an interpersonal difference, whatever might have caused the conflict is likely due to emotions spiraling out of control. When you do have a confrontation, whether it’s with a client or a colleague, approach the issue from a professional perspective and don’t let emotions run high. Doing so will only make it more difficult to reach a successful resolution. This is obviously more easily said than done, but if you want to be considered a professional, you’re going to have to demonstrate the ability to act in a manner befitting your position.

3 – At the Same Time, Acknowledge the Emotional Component

However, you can’t discount the emotional component of a conflict completely. It’s important to acknowledge and validate the emotions of those in conflict. Using empathy to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and then telling them “I can see how this would be upsetting and you have every right to feel the way you do” goes a long way in resolving conflicts. People want to feel that they have been heard and understood. While this isn’t universal, in many cases it’s this understanding that is enough to resolve a conflict altogether. If not, it’s an excellent first step in demonstrating your willingness to discuss and resolve an issue.

4 – When All Else Fails, Apologize

Admitting you’re wrong can be difficult, especially if you feel the other person is the one who’s at fault. At the same time, there are bigger things at stake than your personal sense of justice. If a simple, sincere apology will mollify an upset client or ensure that a conflict between a fellow legal professional will be resolved, consider doing so. Additionally, a simple statement that you’re sorry the other person became angry or upset because of something you did means you can express regret for the outcome without compromising your original stance.

4 Simple Steps to Increase Productivity for Legal Professionals

4 Simple Steps to Increase Productivity for Legal Professionals

4 Simple Steps to Increase Productivity for Legal Professionals

When it comes to productivity at work, the legal profession is at the forefront. The demands of your average law office require high-quality results delivered quickly and well, placing pressure on legal professionals to be as efficient as possible.

While your law firm might provide you with productivity tools, managing your own productivity is always a personal responsibility whether you’re a lawyer, a paralegal, or any other type of legal professional. If you’re looking for ways to increase your own productivity at work, you’re likely to benefit from the following four steps.

Step 1: Track The Time You Spend on Tasks

Before you can improve your productivity, you need a benchmark to measure yourself against. People can be relatively poor judges of elapsed time, so using a stopwatch app or similar time tracker on your laptop or mobile device will provide you a much clearer picture of just how long specific tasks take you. This lets you apply targeted pressure to the most time-consuming tasks, enabling you to pursue solutions to these tasks without wasting time on processes that already work for you.

Step 2: Find Ways to Streamline Processes Without Compromising on Quality

Using technological tools or developing specific approaches to certain tasks will certainly go a long way in streamlining processes that otherwise take up too much of your time. That being said, keep in mind that productivity is about more than completing work tasks as quickly as possible – it’s also about ensuring that work is done accurately and without error. In the field of law this is doubly important — a mistake on a crucial court document could cause needless delays or even cost you clients, so ensure that you’re not streamlining processes by sacrificing quality control.

Step 3: Work in Blocks of Uninterrupted Time – But Not For Too Long

We all work best when we’re not subject to distractions or interruptions. If you can, position yourself at the office (or wherever you’re working) in an environment where you’re sure you won’t be bothered for long, uninterrupted periods of time. However, working for too long without taking a break is actually counter-productive; both your mind and your body need to reset periodically, so ensure that you don’t work in blocks longer than an hour or an hour and a half. Make sure any breaks you take get your blood pumping – going for a short walk, or even just taking a flight of stairs, are both excellent options.

Step 4: Employ Environmental Adaptation Techniques, then Adapt to Your New Environment

It may seem trite, but environmental adaptation has a definite positive effect on your productivity. Take steps to personalize your work environment and you’ll increase your overall happiness at work; this will have the secondary effect of making you naturally more productive.  If you’ve got your own office, decorate it to your own specifications, including objects like plants and other aesthetic elements. Even if you’re relegated to a cubicle farm, you can still decorate the walls and shelves with personal items.

How Technology has Changed the Practice of Law

How Technology has Changed the Practice of Law

How Technology has Changed the Practice of Law

The practice of law has been around for a very long time. As civilization evolves, so does our approach to practicing law. Nowhere is this more obvious than how technological developments, even just over the past few years, have changed how legal professionals approach their job. Here’s a few examples.

Electronic Document Filing Makes Life Easier for Lawyers

No one in the legal profession likes dealing with preparing and filing court documents. It’s a tedious, expensive process, made even worse by how absolutely crucial it is — even the slightest mistake can lead to the courts rejecting your documents. In some cases, the delays caused by having to re-file could cost you cases and clients, simply because someone put the wrong case number on a document.

Not so when jurisdictions accept documents that can be prepared and sent electronically. Instead of having to hand-deliver a stack of paper documents by way of a courier, law firms can upload PDF versions of these same documents. The time and money saved in doing so provide ample opportunities to ensure each document is thoroughly vetted before upload, thus reducing errors overall by a sizable margin.

Heightened Connectivity Democratizes Individual Access to Legal Professionals

Access to the internet is increasingly common as time and technology march on. Whether it’s a netbook, a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet, or even just access to a friend with these items, individuals have the option to use the internet when it comes to pursuing a need for an attorney.  As a result, the ability to find and speak with a legal professional is much easier today than in years past.

People can use a search engine to find the address and phone number of a nearby law firm, read any pertinent online reviews, and then reach out to speak to a lawyer directly. In some instances, there’s no need to even leave the comfort of their own home. For instance, video conferencing technologies like Skype make it easy for those with mobility issues to still seek, and get, the legal aid they need.

Cloud Computing Makes it Easier to Work from Anywhere, with Anyone, at Any Time

Many legal professionals spend just as much time out in the field as they do in the office. Whether it’s meeting with clients, attending depositions, representing clients in court, or simply traveling from one location to the next, there’s a lot of legwork involved in practicing law. This meant that a lot of catch-up work needed to be done once you got back to the office.

Today, however, this simply isn’t the case. Being able to stay connected with your law firm remotely through cloud-based technologies means you don’t have to sync work done in the field once you get back to your desk. Uploading documents on the fly to a cloud-based server provides you have the access needed to work efficiently and productively and makes it easier than ever to collaborate with colleagues in real-time wherever they are.

There’s Even More Innovation on the Horizon

These examples aren’t the limit of how technology has changed how we practice law. New innovations on the horizon are sure to be even more revolutionary in ways that we might not even be able to predict. It might be uncertain as to what the future holds, but there’s one thing you can bet on: it’s going to change things even more.

5 Productivity Tools Your Law Firm Should Be Using

5 Productivity Tools Your Law Firm Should Be Using

5 Productivity Tools Your Law Firm Should Be Using

Managing a law firm effectively requires high levels of organizational dedication and oversight. That being said, ensuring your firm remains productive isn’t something that you can accomplish without the right tools at your disposal. Here are five of the best productivity tools your firm should be using if you want to build a professional reputation.


Note-taking app Evernote is an incredibly versatile tool that should be in every legal professional’s playbook. Featuring the ability to capture notes on the fly, organize them, and then share them quickly and easily. From scanning business cards with your phone camera to importing content from whole websites, Evernote is a flexible tool for information gathering, especially while you’re out of the office and don’t have the luxury of writing emails or drafting memos on a laptop or desktop.


Evernote might be great while you’re on the go, but you also need a robust data storage and sharing solution for interoffice communication, too. Dropbox is an excellent solution for law office productivity, as the cloud-based document management tool can act as a digital server for an entire law firm. Allowing users to maintain a local folder that then gets synced to the cloud, Dropbox offers seamless integration to office staff, ensuring you don’t get bogged down in needlessly copying files to specific locations – just drag and drop and you’re done. Available as a mobile app as well, Dropbox works to keep you connected to the office, providing you with crucial documents even when you’re in the field.

Rocket Matter

Project management software specifically created to support legal practices, Rocket Matter is a full-figured platform that offers a number of benefits. Providing billing optimization, casework management, scheduling tools, secure collaboration, and full integration with Office 365 on PC, Mac, and mobile, Rocket Matter is a popular choice for law firms both big and small that need some extra organizational framework. Rocket Matter also integrates with Dropbox and Evernote, offering high levels of synergy to legal professionals already using these tools.


If you’ve ever cursed your inability to enter text quickly and accurately on your smartphone, you wouldn’t be the first. Up until now, alternatives have been voice-to-text apps, which can be dodgy at best, or using a larger, more cumbersome device like a laptop or tablet. TextBlade changes all that – its innovative, miniature Bluetooth multitouch keyboard offers uncramped typing, but folds together into a little rectangle 1/3 the size of an iPhone after use. Magnetic self-assembly and packing means never having to fiddle with it, either.

Process Street

Simple and free-to-use, checklist software Process Street is a powerful tool for managing workflows for any size team of legal professionals. Featuring easy to create process templates, the ability to use that template as a checklist across multiple instances, and offering progress tracking and collaboration capabilities across your team, Process Street is lightweight and versatile, making it ideal for not just individual and project management in a legal setting but in any professional setting.