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Organized chaos? (access required)

In a busy litigation practice, order and organization are vital. If you looked at my desk and office right now, you would seriously question whether I understood this basic principal on any level. I promise, however, there is order beneath the chaos. When I arrived at Bodie, Dolina, Smith & Hobbs, P.C., I took over for an associate who left the firm unexpectedly. I had dozens of active files that required my full and immediate attention. I realized early on that I had to get organized. Almost three years later, my system has evolved into something that really works for my team. Each week, my staff and I review deadlines for the next two months. We discuss assigned tasks and department goals and objectives. It is also a time for everyone to come together and remember that we are the moving parts to a bigger unit. We created an assembly line of sorts for our files. One person serves as the administrator of the file, monitoring what came in and went out, as well as monitoring deadlines. Another handles all discovery, another drafts pleadings and performs research, another reviews and abstracts medicals, etc., etc. I have a predominantly young and inexperienced staff, and allowing them to focus on one area of litigation and to develop task-specific skills has led to greater efficiency and better results.