Every Wednesday, a reminder sits on my calendar prompting me to call Detective Briscoe to find out if he needs my help with whatever case he’s working on that day. Fine, that’s only half true. I do have an ongoing Wednesday reminder I call “Law & Order,” but it doesn’t have anything to do with Detective Briscoe.
With so many cases and court dates and continuances, preparation for a conference/hearing/trial can be a little overwhelming and messy if you’re not prepared with a sense of order. Does the client’s file need to be organized? Does the attorney need copies of any documents for court? Do any subpoenas need to be issued? Do we need a certification of attorneys’ fees? Is the client up-to-date with us on their bill? Hence, we have ourselves our own BKW weekly Law & Order. Here’s how it goes: I scrutinize the calendar for the upcoming four weeks and assemble a list of the upcoming cases scheduled for court, the date of the court listing, who the attorney handling the case is and what type of matter it is. Very simple. Here’s what an entry on the list would look like:
JJB (attorney’s initials) – Case Name – Support – 9/1/15
After the four week list is populated, I forward a draft to Matt Laurie (hi, Matt!), our Financial Assistant, and self-proclaimed BKW token male. Matt then canvasses the list and marks it up accordingly with the financial status of the clients as necessary. Matt then volleys it back to me and in turn, I e-mail the finalized Law & Order list out to the entire BKW cast and crew. (See what I did there? Law & Order . . . BKW cast and crew . . .) At that point, the attorneys can determine what they need and enlist their ready and able paralegals to make it happen.
Not only is the weekly Law & Order e-mail a practical and convenient way for attorneys to see what they need from their paralegals for their upcoming court dates, but it is also a good tool for the paralegal for the following reasons, just to name a few:
- By looking at the calendar a month in advance, it gives you the foresight to familiarize yourself with what cases are coming up and what their status is;
- It serves as a reminder to confirm whether requested continuances were granted, denied or even received; and
- It gives you an extra chance to see if there is a conflict on the calendar – the attorney can’t be in court in Bucks County at 9:00 am if she’s also scheduled to be in Delaware County at the same time, after all.
So, feel free to adopt our idea and add a little extra order to your law.
Interesting fact: I don’t know if you’ve ever tried, but the Chung Chung noise at the introduction of Law & Order is pretty impossible to replicate. I know from personal experience because my sister, Irene, and I once tried for about twenty minutes. It turns out “The Clang” sound, as it’s officially called, is a fusion of nearly a dozen sounds including a jail cell door slamming and some sources say, five hundred Japanese monks walking across a hardwood floor. The more you know . . .
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