15 Signs of Poorly Managed Assignments


Just because you have a lot of work does not mean that you get it done with very little stress or problems. Managing workflow starts with recognizing the signs of poor management - and that may start right at your own desk.

Here are 15 warning signs that you may not be aware that is happening to you. It may be time to fix that pipeline!

1. Missing deadlines because you are handling too many matters.

2. Receiving assignments from more than one attorney and cannot prioritize them.
3. Consistently receiving assignments you don't know how to complete.

4. Attorneys stop you in the hallway and demand your immediate attention to a matter. You drop other assignments, causing delays.

5. Routinely given ASAP and RUSH deadlines. A difference of opinion emerges regarding interpretation of these deadlines.

6. No available paralegals to assist you when you need them or not enough time to bring someone up to speed.

7. Unknown impending event (i.e., closing, deposition, filing, meeting and so forth). Not enough time to complete it or you could have completed it last week when you had more time.

8. Afraid to go on vacation. Sure you will be called by the firm or attorney. No one else but you knows anything about exhibits, status, or details. No one close to you fully understands the database.

9. Not receiving enough assignments or can't seem to get the types of assignments you would like. Find yourself frequently having to knock on doors for work.

10. Access to or knowledge of software or legal research programs, databases other is restricted limiting your ability to complete assignments.

11.Time is written off or criticism is rendered because the assignment took much longer to complete than the attorney anticipated.
12. Criticized for too much administrative (non-billable) time.

13. Because so many different paralegals have been assigned to a matter during different phases, no one particular paralegal knows the case inside and out, making it difficult for you to complete an assignment.

14. Because you are a star, attorneys seem to always request your services and not those of a more junior member of your staff. Consequently, you are performing assignments below your level of expertise and you are overloaded.
15. You are asked to redo an assignment.

©Estrin Education Inc. 2012

[Reprinted with permission from KNOW, The Magazine for Paralegals. Chere Estrin is the Chairperson of the Organization of Legal Professionals and CEO of the Paralegal Knowledge Institute. You can reach her at chere.estrin@theolp.org.]

Just because you have a lot of work does not mean that you get it done with very little stress or problems. Managing workflow starts with recognizing the signs of poor management - and that may start right at your own desk.

Here are 15 warning signs that you may not be aware that is happening to you. It may be time to fix that pipeline!

1. Missing deadlines because you are handling too many matters.

2. Receiving assignments from more than one attorney and cannot prioritize them.

3. Consistently receiving assignments you don't know how to complete.

4. Attorneys stop you in the hallway and demand your immediate attention to a matter. You drop other assignments, causing delays.

5. Routinely given ASAP and RUSH deadlines. A difference of opinion emerges regarding interpretation of these deadlines.

6. No available paralegals to assist you when you need them or not enough time to bring someone up to speed.

7. Unknown impending event (i.e., closing, deposition, filing, meeting and so forth). Not enough time to complete it or you could have completed it last week when you had more time.

8. Afraid to go on vacation. Sure you will be called by the firm or attorney. No one else but you knows anything about exhibits, status, or details. No one close to you fully understands the database.

9. Not receiving enough assignments or can't seem to get the types of assignments you would like. Find yourself frequently having to knock on doors for work.

10. Access to or knowledge of software or legal research programs, databases other is restricted limiting your ability to complete assignments.

11.Time is written off or criticism is rendered because the assignment took much longer to complete than the attorney anticipated.

12. Criticized for too much administrative (non-billable) time.

13. Because so many different paralegals have been assigned to a matter during different phases, no one particular paralegal knows the case inside and out, making it difficult for you to complete an assignment.

14. Because you are a star, attorneys seem to always request your services and not those of a more junior member of your staff. Consequently, you are performing assignments below your level of expertise and you are overloaded.

15. You are asked to redo an assignment.

©Estrin Education Inc. 2012

[Reprinted with permission from KNOW, The Magazine for Paralegals.
Chere Estrin is the Chairperson of the Organization of Legal Professionals and CEO of the Paralegal Knowledge Institute. You can reach her at chere.estrin@theolp.org.]


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