The life of a personal injury attorney is hectic—you barely have time to schedule lunch—so we get it if you haven’t devoted much thought to the best ways to improve your calendaring. After all, it’s a secondary concern, an administrative task, something someone else should handle…that is until you’ve missed a deadline—that’s when you learn the hard way that legal calendaring is not something you have the luxury to hit the snooze button on.
Missing deadlines can lead to very real and very expensive consequences. Below we detail some of those dangers and tell you how you can use calendaring technology to improve your firm’s efficiency and put costly scheduling errors to bed.
What’s at stake for your firm?
Missing a legal deadline—e.g., a skipped court date, a past due brief, failure to appear at a deposition—isn’t like missing a haircut; you can’t just call back and reschedule for tomorrow. Litigation deadline calendar mistakes can lead to serious, and often irreversible, effects on your firm’s reputation, goodwill, efficiency, and bottom line.
And they can also lead to further court dates…and not in a good way—according to an ABA study, 34% of all malpractice claims are the direct result of calendaring mishaps (despite their extremely preventable nature).
Is your firm at risk of missing deadlines?
Ask yourself the following questions. If your answer is “no,” then your PI firm is highly susceptible to calendaring errors:
1) Do you have a standardized calendaring workflow?
It’s vital that all information that leads to the creation of calendar events is not only captured but also assigned to the appropriate member of your team.
2) Do you have a solid grasp of jurisdictional rules?
This should be a no-brainer—jurisdictional court rules determine most deadlines and events; not only is it prudent to have a firm grasp on these rules (including recent changes and jurisdictional differences), but it’s also required by ethical standards.
3) Can you easily disseminate calendar info?
Things move quickly in the PI practice area—you need to be able to update relevant parties about new and changing deadlines.
Also read, Tidy up Your Law Firm’s Task Management and Start Cleaning Up!
How can your firm reduce missed deadlines?
1) Centralize your calendar:
Putting your entire calendar in the cloud avoids duplicate entries and ensures firm-wide deadlines and events reside in a single and easily accessible location.
2) The more eyes the better:
Increase access to your calendar (in a secure fashion). The more people viewing your calendar…the more safeguards against a forgotten deadline.
3) Combine forces:
Integrate your supplementary calendar apps—e.g. Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal—with your main calendaring platform to avoid redundant info, eliminate inconsistency, and make sure all of your bases are covered.
4) Capitalize on convenience:
With the cloud, you can give staff and clients easy access to important dates and deadlines from the convenience of anywhere, at any time, on any device.
5) Designate a point person:
Every PI firm should appoint a calendar administrator to oversee their firm-wide calendar—ensuring consistency, accuracy, and a dedicated point of contact for questions and issues.
6) Prepare your staff:
Educate your employees on the best calendaring practices and how to handle the aftermath of critical missed deadlines.
Also read, How to Make the Most of Your Day and Up Your PI Firm’s Efficiency.
And if you’d like to educate yourself on the best legal calendaring system for your PI firm, head on over to our website. There’s no deadline to learn about CloudLex—the personal injury case management software® and sign up for a free demo.
Let us fill you in on all the ways we can help your PI firm stay on top of your schedule and your game—e.g., centralized and secure access to your firm-wide calendar from anywhere, integration with your favorite calendar apps, seamless sharing with colleagues and clients, and intelligent calendaring technology that streamlines your existing methods, protects you from inefficiency, and safeguards your reputation.
So…whaddaya say? Let’s make it a date!