Producing pleadings is an essential part of taking my law course. The types of pleadings include interrogatories, discovery, interrogatories relating to adverse parties, and request for admissions. When preparing for my legal examination, I learned that producing these types of legal documents quickly was one of the most important things I could do. After all, I had to produce the answers and evidence I needed to pass the test!
A legal workflow begins with producing the discovery package. A “discovery package” consists of a list of discovery requests made to a party. It includes any emails, letters, faxes, or voice depositions. Next, you will need to arrange and organize all of the discovery into a cohesive document. The main goal of this part of the legal workflow process is to organize and prepare the raw materials so they can be examined later. Once all of the legal documents are organized, you will need to make the next step in the process, which is to write your opinions, take my law license test, and take my written comprehension test.
Another common part of legal workflow activity is preparing for oral arguments. Preparing oral arguments requires writing a legal brief, filing any appropriate legal documents, and finalizing my oral argument. This part of the legal workflow usually takes several days, especially if it involves a complex issue.
Finally, one of the most time-consuming aspects of legal workflow activity is drafting briefs, amend drafts, and filing pleadings. These activities take several weeks to complete. I have found that a helpful tool to use while drafting legal documents is the legal research software package that I use. Using legal research software packages such as Microsoft Word, iPad Legal, and Lexis Nexis Legal Pro, I am able to organize and compose all of my legal documents on the fly. Rather than spending several days sitting in front of my computer, waiting to create articles, briefs, and legal documents, I can finish each task as I get close to completing my tasks.
In this article, I have provided three legal workflow examples. While this may not provide the specific legal documents used in each case, this should serve as an example of the type of work involved. I encourage you to refine, alter, and adapt these examples to your own workflow as you work on legal projects. However, the three legal documents in the example provide a good overall sense of the types of work that must be done to complete the various legal tasks.
If you are a new lawyer, I encourage you to consider hiring a legal assistant to manage your legal workflow activities. While a legal assistant can often be costly, I find that this expense is worth it when my client files a successful lawsuit in a timely fashion. As a matter of fact, it is often better to outsource legal workflow tasks to an attorney rather than to retain a legal assistant for every legal case that you file. This will save you time and money and will increase your client base.
Finally, let’s discuss an aspect of legal workflow examples that I often encounter with my clients: the requirement to conduct litigation calendar tasks. It is essential to maintain accurate calendars that show all of your client contacts, depositions, meetings, court orders, and more. A legal secretary may be able to accomplish this task effectively, but many attorneys find that they cannot do it due to lack of training. You can accomplish the same type of task very efficiently by training your staff in a particular productivity format. One method that many attorneys have successfully used is known as the tabular legal worksheet. This productivity technique provides a quick and easy way to create a calendar and track all of the pertinent information that is associated with your legal workflow.