Improve results and retain staff with intelligent caseload management strategies
Whatever side of the courtroom you’re on, you need the right infrastructure and support system to carry out your legal duties with excellence. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and paralegals know performance in court depends on hours upon hours of work back in the office, sorting through evidence, sharing necessary information and building arguments to secure the strongest case possible.
They also know that there’s never just one case calling for your attention. Effective caseload management is the only way to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward every time you step into the courtroom.
What is caseload management?
Caseload management is the practice of balancing your intake of new cases, prioritizing which existing cases to work on and employing strategies to optimize the time you spend on each. Choosing the right caseload management strategies is essential to cope with the mounting demands placed on prosecutors, public defenders and beyond as a result of staff attrition and ever larger quantities of evidence that must be processed, sorted and shared.
Here are some of the benefits effective caseload management strategies can have for legal organizations:
Faster, more thorough intake: The amount of potential evidence that lawyers must review has ballooned as various forms of digital evidence have grown more common; if four officers wearing body-worn cameras respond to an hour-long incident, that’s four hours worth of video evidence that must be reviewed. Effective caseload management strategies reduce the time required to process this evidence while making it easier to find key pieces of information.
Reduced burnout and attrition: The natural consequence of increasing demands on a limited number of legal professionals is burnout and eventually attrition. This creates a feedback loop as the job gets even harder for those that remain. Caseload management strategies powered by effective technology help legal professionals do more with less, resulting in less overtime and better job satisfaction.
Fewer compliance issues: Legal procedure is essential to maintain the rights of plaintiffs and defendants, but it’s also a heavy burden to work under. Caseload management strategies should implement comprehensive audit trails and other compliance measures to prevent potential issues ahead of time.
Better court performance: When legal professionals have the time and resources they need to do their best work, they’re able to perform better where they’re needed most: in court, securing just outcomes on behalf of the people or their client.
Using a purpose-built digital platform to enhance your caseload management is one of the most impactful steps you can take toward a more effective practice. It speeds ingestion of evidence, allows for safe and secure sharing of essential information and reduces administrative overhead for legal professionals so they can focus on preparing for court appearances.
5 caseload management strategies to adopt at your office
These caseload management strategies will help you handle the behind-the-scenes legwork and documentation for more efficient and effective legal work both outside and inside the courtroom.
Take a complete view then break it down
Any effective caseload management strategy must begin with a strategic-level view of your current cases. Digital caseload tools have the advantage of automatic sorting and search capabilities that make comparisons easy. Still, even if you prefer to go the analog route, it’s essential to put each case side by side to determine which needs your attention first based on filing deadlines, complexity and any other factors you prefer to consider.
Once you have a plan for which cases to tackle and when, use proven time management strategies such as the Pomodoro technique to make effective use of the hours you’ve allotted to each case. By plotting out how you will allocate your time, and actively accounting for how you use that time, you will start each case in a stronger position.
Use technology to tame digital evidence
Digital evidence is everywhere. The abundance of video footage, call logs, data transcripts, and beyond that can be brought to bear in court cases is a massive boon for securing justice – but only when it’s collected, processed and used effectively. Hours worth of footage, file compatibility issues and recordings that must be transcribed to be used effectively can weigh down whole teams of legal professionals.
Modern technology created this mountain of evidence, and modern technology can help refine it to a clear and indisputable source of truth. Tools that automatically transcribe recordings into searchable text and resolve file compatibility concerns let teams focus on the benefits of having an abundance of data rather than the drawbacks. You can even turn hours’ worth of parallel video recordings, such as those taken by body cam-equipped officers, into a single hour of evidence that presents a more complete picture of the event.
Break down data silos
Operating an effective legal team means ensuring that everyone has access to the information they need. But even if you’re working on a case alone, easy and secure sharing of information with stakeholders and the court itself can be a massive boon for productivity and accountability.
Favor solutions that make sharing data from your secured workspace simple, complete with end-to-end encryption that leaves no room for liabilities related to disclosure or privacy violations.
Use the best tool for legal caseload management
Ultimately, the best caseload management strategy to pursue is the one that will let legal professionals focus on cases rather than paperwork. They should be empowered to focus on pursuing justice instead of following tedious administrative workflows. Rather than employing an assortment of patchwork techniques and solutions, they should be able to rely on one system that lets them do their best work in every case.
That system is Axon Justice Premier. With centralized digital evidence, discovery workflows that feature full integration of digital files on Axon Evidence, unlimited, searchable transcriptions for audio and video files and comprehensive third-party video playback, Axon Justice Premier provides legal teams the capabilities they need for better caseload management all in one package. Plus, Axon’s dedicated customer support professionals are ready to guide legal teams both big and small through a quick and easy transition to Axon Justice Premier.
Schedule a free demo to find out more about how Axon can empower your legal team’s approach to caseload management today.