Client tip - how to keep a file for your legal transaction or case
Apr 06, 2016

Your lawyer keeps a file for your matter and so should you.

Keeping a file is important. It will keep you organized which will allow you to stay current with the status of your matter assist your lawyer by providing information and instructions as needed. For most, a well-organized file will also reduce the stress that is associated with your transaction or case.

What you put in your file will depend on the nature of your case. For a will, you may keep questions provided to lawyer, financial information and instructions. For contracts, you may keep instructions, drafts and a final contract. One part of every file is the correspondence folder - the communications between you and your lawyer.

What to include in your file

A traditional lawyer file may include the following subfolders:

  • Correspondence
  • Billing
  • Documents
  • Notes / Drafts
  • Final / closing documents

You can use the same subfolders for your own file.

Electronic, paper or both?

You can choose to keep a paper file, electronic file or a file with both paper and electronic elements.

If you are keep a paper file, you should have a main folder, with your labeled subfolders. An electronic file will be fairly similar, except you are using electronic folders and subfolders. Where there are a lot of emails, it may be cumbersome to keep a paper copy of all of your communications with your lawyer. You can simply keep a folder in your email account, to help you quickly scan your emails if you ever need to.

Concluding thoughts

In the end, the type of file you keep is not as important as the fact that you keep a file. Just choose a filing system that is easy and work for you.