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Productivity tips for paralegals

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Whether you are working from home or inside a law office, there are several proven productivity tips for paralegals that can help avoid procrastination and get more work done while at the same time achieving a work-life balance that is better for your mental wellness.

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Working as a paralegal can be a highly rewarding career. However, the legal industry is known for having a lot of high-stress occupations, and working any job within a law firm requires good time management skills.

Thankfully, there are a number of productivity tips that paralegals and other legal professionals can use to power through time-consuming important tasks more efficiently. In this article, we will explore several productivity hacks for paralegals and innovative legal tech and apps that are sure to help you be more productive throughout your workday.

Productivity tips for law firms

Whether you are working from home or inside a law office, there are several proven productivity tips for paralegals that can help avoid procrastination and get more work done while at the same time achieving a work-life balance that is better for your mental wellness.

Taking a moment each day to prioritize your tasks and write them down on a list from most to least important is one effective way to organize your workflow for optimum productivity. It may sound simple, but writing tasks down on a to-do list serves both as an organizational tool as well as a source of motivation. Tackling your most important tasks first, meanwhile, ensures that you have the energy and focus to do your best work when it matters most.

Ever since the pandemic, more and more paralegals have been working from home, and remote work has become a key aspect of practice management. If you work from a home office, it’s important to design a workspace that is optimized for productivity. Limit distractions and seclude yourself from the rest of your home. Try your best to separate your work life and your home life into two separate spaces and two separate states of mind. Avoiding social media and other sources of distraction that are impossible to remove from your workspace is also key regardless of whether you are at home or at the office.

Avoiding burnout is another key part of being productive as a paralegal. If you spend hours on end performing legal research and case management with no breaks in between to refresh your mind, your performance is sure to suffer. Even if you can power through the stress and tired eyes, you still aren’t likely to get much quality work done when you are burned out and exhausted. For this reason, many career coaches and productivity experts recommend taking brief, five-to-ten-minute breaks throughout the workday.

Helpful legal technology apps

Using technology to streamline your workday and perform tasks more efficiently is one highly effective way to be more productive as a paralegal. Today, there is a wide range of apps that law professionals make use of, including legal tech apps designed specifically for the legal industry and general-purpose apps designed to help employees across all industries be more productive.

If you are working remotely, videoconferencing apps such as Zoom and team management apps such as Slack are a must-have. These apps make it easy to communicate with your co-workers, share files, organize projects and assign tasks, and much more.

Apps designed to help paralegals perform legal research more efficiently can help save a lot of time and hassle. Fastcase is one example of these apps and provides the ability to search through digital copies of thousands of court cases. This makes finding the cases you’re looking for quick and easy, and Fastcase also tells you how frequently cases have been cited in specific arguments so that you can hone your search for cases based on relevancy. Pocket Justice is a similar app that allows paralegals to search all past Supreme Court rulings and keep up with new Supreme Court rulings.

Text-to-speech software such as Speechify is another tool that can make a paralegal’s work much easier. Reading through page after page of legal material is something that can quickly become exhausting to both the brain and the eyes. Reading also makes it impossible to do multiple tasks at a time since it requires your full, singular attention. Listening to that material read aloud, though, eliminates both of these problems.


With Speechify, law professionals are able to choose from dozens of natural-sounding AI voices and have those voices read aloud any digital document or online text. This enables paralegals to multi-task while they listen and avoid the mental and physical fatigue that comes with reading for too long. Speechify also lets you adjust your listening speed so that you are able to speed through documents as fast as you can comprehend them and can even be used to scan printed documents so that those can be read aloud as well.

To see how Speechify can help you avoid burnout and become more productive, be sure to sign up for a free trial of Speechify Premium today!

Paralegal time management

Effective time management is one of the biggest keys to productivity, and it is important to develop a time management strategy that works well for you. Setting a schedule and sticking to it is one essential part of good time management, and apps such as ClickUp and Google Calendar can help with this.

Eliminating distractions is key to good time management as well and is especially important for paralegals who are working from home. Along with designing a workspace that is as free of distractions as you can get it, using apps such as Offtime and Freedom can help eliminate online distractions. With these apps, you can set up hours when social media sites, gaming apps, and other distractions are blocked on all of your devices, making it easier to avoid temptation during working hours.

Lastly, simply completing your tasks more efficiently can go a long way toward promoting good time management as well; when you are able to finish tasks more quickly, you get more mileage out of the time you have available and managing it is much easier. All the productivity-boosting apps that we covered in the previous section such as Fastcase, Pocket Justice, and Speechify can help you work more efficiently so that time management is less of a concern.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What should paralegals not do?

A: There is plenty that you shouldn’t do as a paralegal, but practicing as if you are a licensed attorney is one noteworthy example. Generally speaking, paralegals are not allowed to represent clients in court, take depositions, or sign pleadings. In keeping with the topic of this article, burning yourself out is another thing that you shouldn’t do as a paralegal. Taking breaks and using tools to work more efficiently will help you avoid burnout and the impact it has on your productivity.

Q: How do paralegals organize their files?

A: Most paralegals organize their files by organizing the files that pertain to each individual case in chronological order. Using file management software is an effective way that many paralegals organize their files more efficiently.

Q: How can a paralegal become more productive?

A: Creating a schedule that ranks tasks based on priority, eliminating distractions, and leveraging time-saving legal apps are all tips that can help paralegals become more productive.

Q: What are the different parts of a lawsuit?

A: Civil lawsuits generally proceed in the following fashion: pleadings, discovery, trial, and possibly an appeal. However, this process may be halted at any point if a settlement agreement between the two parties is reached.

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