Many people’s early legal careers involve spending the majority of their time at the office or in a cubicle. To make this space more comfortable, try to make it feel like home by organizing and personalizing it. This way, you can enjoy spending time there (or at least not hate it as much).
Weekly Clean Up
Not only will organizing your office reduce your risk of malpractice, but it will also create a neat and inviting space for clients. This suggests that you are a professional and organized attorney. More senior attorneys (and eventually clients) like this. You should spend 30 minutes every Friday morning maintaining your office so that it is always clean and presentable.
Organize your Supplies
A crucial and beneficial way to organize your business materials is by having a designated notepad and file folder for each task at hand, then marking them accordingly. This will help you keep track of progress on different projects while avoiding any confusion in the future. Although it may be simpler to lump everything together, it will only make finding what you need more difficult later down the line.
And when a partner comes into your office and asks you to quickly look back at your notes on a particular assignment, you want to be able to retrieve them without spazzing out flipping through all of the notepads piled on your desk.
File, Label, Repeat
Creating file folders with labels and categories helps to organize hard-copy documents. Ask your administrative assistant for help in categorizing the files (i.e., research and working files, personal/firm information files, “chron” files) so you can easily find what you need.
Below the Fold
Designate an empty banker’s box as a personal item storage container to be kept under your desk, so you can avoid having shoes and other things were strewn about messily.
Furthermore, your workstation should display characteristics of yourself to those around you. An empty office is repulsive and boring, which may make it seem like you’re not planning on staying with the company for very long (even if that’s the case). Instead, try personalizing your surroundings a bit more.
Show that you’re excited to be part of the team and in it for the long haul by putting up your diplomas and other personal items around your workspace. This will score points with the older lawyers at your firm.
By having an organizational system in place from the start, you can design and maintain a productive yet comfortable workspace – even as your client base grows.
For tricks of the trade on how to make it in the legal industry, look no further than Desiree’s book Thrive A New Lawyer’s Guide to Law Firm Practice.
What tips do you have for staying organized and on top of things?
This article was originally posted on House of Marbury.