The Greatest American Lawyer has an interesting post–Lawyers Need to Get Their Priorities Straight–that is worth reading. The post draws on GAL’s new practice of having a routing sheet attached to paper that comes in the office that sets a priority for the paper. GAL explains:
When documents arrive at our office by mail, fax or otherwise, a document routing cover sheet gets attached. That document routing cover sheet indicates everything that needs to happen to that document. This sheet identifies where the document is going to be filed on our file server. It indicates everyone the document needs to be transmitted to and how the document is transmitted either by email, leap file, mail, and fax or otherwise. All the calendaring gets Identified and due dates marked on the routing sheet. There are spots and check boxes for uploading the information into the extranet etc.
But the most important part of the routing sheet from my point of view is the priority, 1-4. My secretary attaches a routing sheet filling in the information which is within her control. She routes the paper based on her priority belief to my office. There is a spot for priority 1, priority 2, priority 3 and priority 4 items. I review the documents and reprioritize as necessary (seldom needed). I then fill in the rest of the information on the routing sheet and send it back to my staff, again on a priority bases.
Every piece of paper gets treated as quickly as the priority dictates. Those items which are priority 1 (Urgent) move through the office swiftly and almost always within a couple of hours. Level 2 priority items are next and typically move through the office the same day or within 24 hours. Category 3 priority items are taken care of as soon as the top two top priorities are taken care of.
Sure seems like a thoughtful way to reduce mistakes and make sure work is handled at the least expensive level.