When you're an attorney, you're often juggling a lot at once. You have several cases to handle, as well as information and paperwork related to each case. With so much paper flying around, staying organized and on top of things can sometimes prove challenging. Fortunately, with the right tools and the right tips, you can keep your files organized and accessible.
Use Large, Capable File Jackets
First of all, you should always separate and contain your files by using file jackets.
However, bear in mind that, with many cases, you will have multiple files, especially if several people are involved in the case. While you could have a file jacket for each and every person, it's often easier to just keep one file jacket per case.
Since this can mean a lot of paperwork, you'll need to buy very large and capable file jackets that can hold thick files or stacks of files. Usually, you'll want to aim for file jackets that can hold one to two inches of paper since your documents can really start to stack up.
Carefully Label Each File Jacket
Since you will likely have many file jackets, make sure you clearly label each one and then organize these file jackets in a way that you understand. Storing them alphabetically by the client's last name is a common choice, but different people have different systems that work for them. Just do what makes the most sense to you.
Remember, as you label your files, that anyone might be able to see the outside of them, especially in a courtroom. Thus, keep the labels discreet and ensure they never reveal any sensitive information. Also, keep the file jacket on the file at all times when you're not in private.
Dispose of Files Properly
Finally, when the time comes, always dispose of files and file jackets carefully and properly.
Remember, there are specific rules about how long you must keep different types of files. Be sure to know and honor these rules. And, if and when you are able to dispose of files, shred both the file and file jacket in a secure location. Luckily, file jackets are very affordable, so buying new ones won't be a problem.
For files you must store but don't access often, develop an easy organization system and store the files and file jackets out of sight where they won't bother you or take up excess space in your office.
By following these tips, you'll find that your law office is more organized and runs more smoothly than ever before.
For more information on file jackets, contact a company like American Legal Forms.