I’m a New Orleans attorney and, starting in 2011, I became tired of dealing with paper, and even more concerned that I took home two litigation bags full of paper every evening. If I could minimize paper, I reasoned, I could improve my practice and simplify my life. I’ve replaced those two litigation bags with an iPad. All of this is the result of attending CLE seminars offered by PaperlessChase.com.
Based on what I’ve learned at their CLEs (and from their free email newsletter), I’ve developed a workflow to review medical records as they come in, summarize them, and scan and organize everything. When a court hearing is scheduled, the tedious organizational work needed to prepare for my appearance is already done, which allows me to work on important strategic issues instead.
Preparing for trial is also easier: my files are already organized and ready to go. The only paper I take to court is witness documents and notes, which makes the whole ordeal significantly less stressful. I always feel organized, and can easily find what I need. I never thumb through ring binders, paper files, or boxes. I smile when I see opposing counsel huffing into court carrying industrial-strength briefcases and pulling dollies with boxes of paper.
In addition to developing efficient paperless workflows, I’ve also learned better email management techniques. Over the Christmas holidays, I achieved Inbox Zero, a point at which my email inbox was completely empty. I had successfully processed all of my emails into tasks, appointments, and reminders. I used to dread dealing with email. Now, I enjoy sitting down with a cup of coffee in the morning and processing email. Surprisingly, all it took was learning the right methods.
The best tip I’ve ever received at a PaperlessChase seminar was to purchase a $40 app containing various federal and state laws. I used to keep a desk set with the same laws that costs $500 per year. Next year, I will not be purchasing the desk set.
My paperless workflow recently produced an unexpected benefit after a case I was trying ended in a mistrial. Any time you get ready for trial that gets postponed, or if an appeal court orders it retried, it’s hard to get the case back to its pristine state of pretrial organization. For example, in the past I used to remove documents as I need them during trial, but never bothered to properly refile them. Before I retried the case, I’d have to spend hours reorganizing my documents. But because I prepare for trial with a paperless organization system, everything is exactly where I left it. (I only work with copies that I temporarily extract.) So preparing for trial the second time is less stressful, and faster, which saves my client money.
No doubt I could learn more tricks and tips for being efficient with technology, but what I have learned so far has saved me money, reduced my stress, and made my life and law practice easier. I heartily recommend the PaperlessChase.com seminars to any lawyer who wants to make their life easier and to do a better job for their clients.
Neither the ABA nor ABA entities endorse non-ABA products or services. This review should not be construed as an endorsement.