Two years ago I discovered an application called Slack (shout out to Lee Rosen for exposing me to it). Slack is a platform that connects teams working on any projects, including lawsuits. Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest growing business application in history. Basically Slack allows lawyers, their staff (and potentially clients) to all communicate regarding the case on a Facebook like channel dedicated to a particular matter.
At my firm, we have set up channels for all of our active clients. Each team member posts regularly on the progress of the case, keeping everyone else in the loop. For example, when we receive a discovery request, the person processing it posts the date it was received with a tag notifying the primary lawyer on the case. Other posts include memos regarding phone calls, next actions, future court dates and any other information pertinent to the case. We also post questions to each other: e.g. “have we gotten the expert report yet?” The application also allows us to post PDFs, website links, word documents, and virtually other reference materials to the particular client channel. All communications are thus saved in the dedicated client folder and serve as a future reference. When the case is concluded we archive the information within the application.
We do not use Slack in lieu of our calendar; we still keep a separate calendar for all dates. But we do post critical dates as reminders for the team. Also, Slack has a To Do feature that allows us to post assigned tasks to the case file.
Inasmuch as this is a cloud based application, we have access to it through our office and on our individual phones and laptops. The app. also allows us to send direct messages that are not linked to a particular file such as “wanna have lunch” type communications. We have also set up a general channel for non-client based communications or notifications affecting everyone on the team (e.g. we are having our Christmas party at…)
Even if your office is two people, I strongly urge investigating this application. You will save countless time consuming internal emails and keep better track of case progress. It has improved our efficiency and case management 100%. The basic features is free but there is a cost for more advanced features or more memory. We use the paid version and it still is relatively inexpensive considering the value it provides.
Check it out at https://slack.com