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Microsoft Outlook Skills for Lawyers

This article was written by Michael Dew, a Vancouver lawyer who practices civil litigation. Click here for contact information and further details about Michael’s practice. This article provides only information, not legal advice. If you require legal advice you should consult a lawyer. 

Most lawyers use Microsoft Outlook as an email client, and for many lawyers email is their primary form of communication. Certainly that is true for me and in the last 7 years of practice an average of over 60 emails a day have been sent from or received into my work email account. Those emails relate primarily to the various files I have worked, but also to administrative and other matters. Disciplined and methodical organization of such large volumes of email is important to ensure that items needing attention are not overlooked, and that emails can be quickly and easily found, and shared, e.g. with a legal assistant or other lawyers working on the file. The following describes three key Microsoft Outlook skill sets that can facilitate effective management of emails:

  1. Using email subfolders (and using your inbox as a reminder list).
  2. Shared email folders (to share emails with legal assistants and other lawyers in the firm).
  3. Search Folders (a central location to search “all mail” and so locate any misfiled emails, review all emails sent and received on a particular day), etc..