Free Online CLE (Continuing Legal Education)

Time-Saving Tips for Lawyers: 60 Tips in 60 Minutes

The following free online CLE tutorial, "Time-saving Tips for Lawyers: 60 Tips in 60 Minutes", should save you time reading, writing about, and researching the law.

It takes around 1 hour to scroll through all the tips and complete the exercises. Or you can browse the tips out of sequence by navigating the "Time-Saving Tips" link from the "Extras" menu (above).

The Tips come from an audio recording we made in 2008. Back then, you had to purchase Win More Cases: The Lawyer's Toolkit to receive the bonus audio recording. But, now, both the Toolkit and the Tips are available as free online resources.

If you find the Tips relevant to your professional development, then you might be able to claim continuing legal education or continuing professional development points. Check the rules of your local Bar Association or Law Society to find out if this tutorial qualifies for CLE or CPD points.

The Tips come in 4 main Parts:

  • Part 1 helps you save time searching the Internet, provides useful and handy shortcuts when using Microsoft Word, and suggests ways to save time with your email.
  • Part 2 helps you save time finding the law in the law library.
  • Part 3 helps you save time reading the law.
  • Part 4 helps you speed-up the writing process, and it helps you make your writing easier and quicker to read.

Sometimes, we will ask you to practice a tip. If you want to practice a tip, download Tips Worksheet 1Word exercises. You can also download a quick, 5-question quiz that will test how well you remember some of our Internet search tips.

If you have any questions, or if you have any time-saving tips you would like us to include in future versions, please contact us.

Index to tips

Part 1: At your computer

Part 1A: Searching the Internet

Tip 1. Set Google to display 100 results per screen

Tip 2. Open all search results in a new browser window

Tip 3. Turn off graphics

Tip 4. Adjust your screen’s resolution

Tip 5. Know and use Boolean logic

Tip 6. Use Google’s special features (watch video tutorial)

Tip 7. Use your cache (watch video tutorial)

Tip 8. Use your browser’s “Find” command

Tip 9. Use an auto-fill program

Tip 10. Save time typing Web addresses

Tip 11. “Save” rather than “Open” downloaded files

Part 1B: Using Word

Tip 12. Use your word processor’s shortcuts

Tip 13. Use “Autocorrect” creatively (watch video tutorial)

Tip 14. Use “Autotext” (watch video tutorial)

Tip 15. Increase the “recently used files list”

Tip 16. Turn off “Adaptive” menus

Tip 17. Print smart

Tip 18. Use 2 or 3 monitors

Part 1C: Using Email

Tip 19. Use proper subject lines

Tip 20. Create and use folders

Tip 21. Create rules

Tip 22. Use signatures

Tip 23. Upload rather than e-mail large documents

Tip 24. Use a desktop search program

Part 2: In the law library

Tip 25. Cultivate a good relationship with your librarian

Tip 26. Come prepared

Tip 27. Categorize your materials

Tip 28. Know the library’s layout

Tip 29. Get all like materials in 1 go

Tip 30. If possible, gain access to closed stacks

Tip 31. Ask to increase your borrowing limit

Tip 32. Make copies

Tip 33. Make your copies efficiently

Tip 34. Record the bibliographic details on your copy

Tip 35. Get a fast, reliable photocopier

Tip 36. Outsource your photocopying

Tip 37. Outsource your research

Part 3: Reading

Tip 38. Know what you want from the source

Tip 39. Read the table of contents

Tip 40. Preview the book

Tip 41. Read the topic sentences

Tip 42. Improve your vocabulary

Tip 43. Have a law dictionary handy

Tip 44. Read words in chunks

Tip 45. Read it, don’t say it

Tip 46. Ask questions as you go

Tip 47. Get the cases off paper and into your head

Part 4: Writing

Tip 48. Organize your thinking before you start writing

Tip 49. Write first, edit later

Tip 50. Read, watch, or listen to others to get into the flow

Tip 51. Close every other application

Tip 52. Embrace plain language

Tip 53. Avoid the verb “to be”

Tip 54. Use special editing software

Tip 55. Count words

Tip 56. Count syllables

Tip 57. Count letters

Tip 58. Order words in a series from short to long

Tip 59. Use numerals for numbers rather than words

Tip 60. Follow design tips

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