1 Strategy for Attorneys for Reducing Email Stress

Are you an attorney with a secretary you trust? Then this solution may be a life saver for you.

As I talk to attorneys around the country, email management is the number one pain point. One attorney at a Northeast firm told me he spent 2-4 hours every Sunday afternoon dealing with his email. Sad.

It doesn’t have to be this way! You can employ your secretary to help reduce the load.

I have two recommendations as to how you can use you secretary: have her archive your matter related emails and create a digest of your non-critical emails.

The best approach to archiving case related emails is matter-centric. A matter-centric system is where emails are filed like other document by matter. So the top level folder might be: 123456-654321 (matter). Other folders might include Correspondence, Pleadings, et. al., and Emails. This system is great because if you ever have to respond to a Court Order regarding email you can do this without too much trouble. On the other hand it takes a fair amount of effort to maintain.

That is where your secretary can come in. My suggestion is that you create one folder called “To Be Archived” and then ask your secretary to file all of them in the correct folders. Then when an email needs to be filed you don’t have to think about it or take any other action than to drag it into that folder.

Also, have your secretary create a digest of your non-critical emails. Chances are you get dozens of newsletters and other non-critical items via email. Sometimes you want to see those and sometimes you don’t. I use a service called Unroll.me for this but it currently only works with Gmail and Yahoo mail. I would recommend that you have your secretary take the contents of each of these emails and put them in a Word doc. She can use the Outline feature and make the subject of each email Level One and the body Level Two. That way you can quickly scan the subject lines and only look at the body of the ones that interest you.

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