An Attorney's Thoughts...
Depending on the type of attorney that he is, having 100 active files (cases or clients) is not uncommon.
Originally Posted by ero213
When I practiced criminal defense work (not all of us are Robert Shapiro and work on a criminal case for 2 years), I had well over 100 active criminal cases at any given time. When I had a significant divorce/family law practice, I could not handle more than 75 active cases, due to the litigation requirements.
Personally, I have transitioned to a transactional lawyer, dealing with real estate, probate/elder law, and small business and transactional law. I conduct over 110 closings per month, and I have about 25-30 estate planning and probate files, and about 10-15 business representation files.
The problem with industry specific software is that not all attorneys practice the same way. I have tried all of the industry staples (Amicus, PCLaw, Needles, Juris)... their canned inability to deal with multiple inputs is what led me to GTD. With GTD, you can focus on what works for you. As long as you have the workflow and a trusted system with the safeguards (particularly a tickler system), you don't need to pay $1500 for a canned piece of "legal" software.
Originally Posted by iannarino
Depending on each client's needs, I don't necessarily agree that clients are not projects. I think some clients are projects to some people. I think that some cases/files are projects.
Originally Posted by mcogilvie
Everyone would set their GTD system related to this differently. Personally, I can tell you that I have tried, unsuccessfully, on several occasions, to set up systems like this:
Client = Project - FAILED.
Case = Project - FAILED.
File = Project - FAILED.
What has worked for me is by taking David's step of "defining work" to an extreme. I establish outcomes, and those are my projects. For instance...
ABC Trucking comes in to see me in order to open a new office in TN. This would consist of several "projects". 1) form an LLC, 2)purchase a competitor's business, 3) purchase land for an office, 4) form a contract with a builder to build their office, and 5) general corporate matters.
My projects would be as follows:
1) Form LLC for ABC Trucking
2) Purchase XYZ Trucking for ABC Trucking
3) Purchase Lot 13 for ABC Trucking
4) Establish contract with Elite Contracting for ABC Trucking
5) ABC Trucking, LLC - General Corporate
Each one of those projects has tasks that I can define and delegate, do or defer (the three D's). I can use Omnifocus (insert your searchable database here) to search for anything related to ABC Trucking, so I can see it all together, for the purpose of a client overview. Each of the tasks within the projects have contexts and are ready for the three D's.
As to "ABC Trucking, LLC - General Corporate", it is a project of its own, because it usually just involves following up -- client relations, letters reminding of tax season, letters re: annual reports, etc.
If you need or want a GTD Partner to bounce ideas off of, I am available at al-AT-alfrazier.com.