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Office Worker with Mountain of PaperworkThe fourth step in becoming an indispensable paralegal is Organization.  With the numerous filings, deadlines, and hearings that occur within the legal industry a disorganized paralegal is like a ticking time bomb.  Being disorganized can lead to serious consequences for clients and firms, and should not be taken lightly.  While organization is second nature to some paralegals, others find it difficult to incorporate an organized approach to the way job responsibilities are handled.  If this skill is not developed beyond a cursory level a paralegal’s career will be derailed.

Although, there are numerous gadgets and gizmos that make claims to help with becoming more organized they are only as effective as the user.  The only real way to become more organized is to just do it.  This will take time, but after a while organization will become your new modus operandi.  Following is a list of ways to practice the science of organization:

  1. Start the day off by listing tasks in order of importance
  2. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by unimportant tasks
  3. Create mid-day, mid-week, and mid-month checkpoints to ensure goals are being reached
  4. Operate on the quarter system.  This allows for the scheduling and forecasting in three month increments
  5. Build additional time into projects and assignments that are being worked on

This is not an exhaustive list and will not transform you into the world’s most organized paralegal, but implementing the items on this list will create a realistic and workable solution to becoming more organized.  The point is to create an effective system to stay on top of projects and tasks without simply relying on gadgets and gizmos that may fail at delivering on their claims.

Written by Lakisha Bealer of Paralegal Rainmakers