As a legal secretary, it is essential to develop tactics to save time and gain efficiency. Our advice on how to organize your work.
Responding to clients, setting up meetings, making appointments, filing legal documents, opening and distributing the mail, attending court hearings, writing minutes… As a legal secretary, you have to do everything at the same time. In addition, these daily tasks are often interrupted by unforeseen situations, urgent requests and unexpected events. To be effective without being glued to your seat all day you have to be well organized… What tactics can be used to save time?
1. Develop a routine to organize your work
Imposing a routine on yourself doesn’t mean monotony, however. On the contrary, it lets you optimize your use of time and organize your work. It is important to set yourself a schedule, so that you don’t forget anything during the day. For example, determine the time needed to check emails, and schedule time slots for certain other tasks, such as filing. “The first thing to do in the morning is to check and sort your emails,” says Danielle Demers, a legal secretary teacher at the School of Informatics, Commerce and Administration (EMICA).
2. Organize your work by prioritize your tasks
Once the emails have been processed, it’s time to organize the rest of the day. “To straighten out your thoughts, it’s good to review your agenda the day before or just before getting to the office,” advises Mrs. Demers. To be sure not to forget anything, two elements are essential: an electronic agenda, such as Outlook, and a notepad to write down the list of things to do. “They complement each other,” the teacher believes. To find out what needs to be done first, she advises above all paying attention to the legal deadlines.
3. Know how to adjust
To optimize your work, it’s also necessary to adjust to various unexpected events that can arise during the day. “Even with preparing lists, you need to be able to adjust to situations that evolve and change,” the teacher says. So take care not to draw up lists that are too ambitious, so they can be more easily changed to take care of emergencies.
4. Be able to stop
Knowing how to take breaks during the day is still essential. This makes it possible to step back as needed so the tasks to be done go smoothly. “We often work in teams, so it’s important to know how to delegate,” says Mrs. Demers.
For more tips on how to optimize your work, consult our article 10 steps to improve your office organization.