Your law business—indeed, your entire legal practice—depends on effective legal calendaring. If you aren’t calendaring effectively, you’re increasing your odds of getting into trouble.
Lawyers have very specialized calendar needs, with each case or transaction having its own schedule, and each one interacting to become part of your hectic day:
- Matter scheduling
- Bring forwards
- Limitation periods
- Ongoing matters
- Bring forward tasks
- Court days
- Docketing rules
- Pleading due dates
- Hearing dates
- Closing dates
Deadlines matter; as lawyers, we know we must be there, be on time, and file documents on time—or severe consequences ensue.
While mobile calendars get their data from a lawyer’s Outlook, Outlook by itself is too general for a law practice. An attorney doesn’t want to lay awake at night wondering what they have missed.
That’s why it’s critical to have a calendar unified across all of your devices: viewable on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Otherwise it’s chaos waiting to become malpractice.
The good news is that the best law practice management software provides the necessary legal-specific functionality of a unified calendar, and does so on all of your devices.
Upon opening Amicus Attorney, you immediately recognize that it’s for attorneys, and it appears reminiscent of Outlook.
When you see you have a client meeting, you can see which matter the meeting is about. The file is a hyperlink; clicking on it brings you to the entire client matter file: documents, business cards, contact information, research, and events, right at your fingertips. When anyone needs to be notified of something, everything is right there for you.
If opposing side wants an adjournment, it’s easy to change dates once adjournment is granted. If opposing side keeps asking for adjournments and you are ready, you can open Show Adjournments, click the Details button, and see a list of previous adjournment dates and reasons. Print it and hand it to the judge while registering your objection to further adjournment.
The Task List tells you how many days an item has been on your list and counts down the days until the due date. If you want to block off time to work on an item, then move the task to the time you want to do it.
Progressive priority allows you to set a task to move towards the top of your Task List. After you have set the time, a task moves from average priority through high priority to top priority as time progresses.
You can also see calendars of individual staff members, along with a combined view of everyone in your office for when you want to find a time for everyone to get together.
A legal calendar has a date calculator for calculating days in between events. You can link a series of 10 or more events together for a case, then save and reuse it multiple times as a template.
If, for example, a closing date changes, when you reschedule one date for a weekday, all other relevant dates to that file are changed automatically, according to what you’ve set up.
Clients also need to be kept updated about date changes. A secure client portal lets clients view only what you have allowed them to view.
Amicus Attorney law practice management software gives you deep calendaring features that are fully mobile, because Amicus links in real time to the same calendars your devices use, like Outlook, Exchange, and Google Apps. Anything you put into your Amicus calendar is immediately available in your device’s native calendar. The reverse is also true.
So when you are in court and the judge asks if you are available to continue on April 12 (Be Kind to Lawyers Day), you can open your calendar on your phone and enter the new date. Your assistant and paralegals will have the updated information in a minute, because Amicus updates across your entire office.