Legal Assistants Must Monitor Calendars

Keeping track of your attorney's calendar is one of a legal assistant's top priorities.  Law offices procedures differ - it could be a legal secretary's responsibility to monitor the calendar, or the duty may fall to a paralegal.  In still other offices, attorneys wish to be solely responsible for their own calendars.  That particular practice makes office autonomy more difficult on office staff, but calendars must be maintained nonetheless.

It is very important to check your attorney's schedule often, literally two or three times a day.  Appointments cancel, run over, and impromptu meetings are scheduled when there are open time slots.  This means that schedules can completely change even in the same day.  It is the legal assistant's responsibility to help her attorney be prepared for that changing schedule.

First thing every morning, before processing mail, even before that coffee run, check the daily calendar to see if any appointments changed.  Check again before lunch for that afternoon's appointments.  If you have any paperwork for files needed that day, ensure that the filing is done prior to meetings.  Check the calendar again mid-afternoon to see if any late afternoon meetings have been added that may need file preparation, or investigative or informational calls made.

Around 4:00 in the afternoon, check the calendar for the next day's appointments.  Again, if you have any filing, try to get a head start by properly processing that paperwork.  Call clients who are expected the next day and remind them of their appointment time (this duty may fall to a receptionist, legal secretary or paralegal, depending on office procedure - if the duty falls to someone else, you may wish to - tactfully - ensure that contact has been made).

Scan appointments for the next several days as well, and check to-do progress.  Write yourself reminders for work to be accomplished the next day.  Your job will flow smoothly if you keep on top of scheduling and the work preparation surrounding it.  Moreover, your attorney will appreciate your consistent efforts.

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