Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 20 of 111

ask the vendor What should a new lawyer know when entering a law firm to ensure a successful career? How Your Firm Manages Its Work name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tom O'Connor company �������������������������������������������������������������GGO website . . . . . . . . . . . . Nothing, and I mean nothing, you learned in law school has prepared you for how law firms really work on a day-to-day basis. Judge Monty Ahalt of Prince George's County, Maryland once said "if you learn how one court works, you've learned how exactly one court works," and the same is true of law firms. But what does that really mean? Well, it's what management gurus like to call "workflow," and it has two main components: people and technology. You need to learn as quickly as possible how your firm manages its work. How does a new case come in the door, get assigned a billing number and transition to a team of firm employees for handling. And then how exactly do they handle it? Which people do what work, and what tools do they use to not only perform but track, evaluate and bill for that work? Now comes the tricky part. The technology your firm is using can become outmoded, if not obsolete, very quickly. You may have a better computer and/or software at home or in your briefcase than at your desk. But you won't be allowed to replace that desktop system, so you need to learn how to use the tools provided to increase your efficiency at work. One more thing … make friends with the IT folks. They rule the world. (Don't tell the partners I said that.) 22 Peer to Peer

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