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Best Practices for File Naming Conventions in Law Practice

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Using best practices for naming files in your law practice can save you time and frustration. The Law Practice Management & Technology Division at the Chicago Bar Association produced a helpful tutorial shared below.

Ivy B. Grey (author of American Legal Style for PerfectIt) and Catherine Sanders Reach (director of the Center for Practice Management at the North Carolina Bar Association) created a tutorial on how to Use Best Practices for File Naming Conventions and Tags for Retrieval and Storage a couple years back to help lawyers learn best practices for file naming conventions and folder structures to help keep your files in order.

WATCH Best Practices for File Naming Conventions and Tags for Retrieval and Storage here.

Of course, digital file naming conventions work most effectively in a paperless law practice. No law office is completely paperless — but using less paper makes operations more efficient. A previous guest post on our blog offers an overview on why Law Firms Should Be Paperless — Not Paper-Free here. You can also watch Practice Law, Not Paper Pushing — a webinar Ernie Svenson presented for us awhile back.

For guidance on preserving client files, we’ve previously reviewed obligations under the new Massachusetts Rule 1.15A (effective September 1, 2018) in this post.

The Chicago Bar Association’s Law Practice Management & Technology Division regularly produces helpful tech tutorials available in their How To… Video Library in the following topic areas:

  • Calendar/Appointments
  • Career Issues
  • Cloud Computing
  • Communication
  • Document Management/Automation
  • eDiscovery
  • eFiling
  • Firm Management
  • Law Practice Management Applications
  • Marketing/Social Media
  • Microsoft Office
  • Operating Systems
  • PDF
  • Practice Area Specific
  • Project Management
  • Research
  • Security
  • Web Browsers

Our thanks to the CBA and the creators of the tutorial. Here’s more on Ivy B. Grey and Catherine Sanders Reach:

Ivy B. Grey is an accomplished lawyer and writer. Ivy focuses her practice on bankruptcy, which includes distressed transactions and some litigation. She has been named a Rising Star in the New York Metro Area two years in a row and has published numerous articles on bankruptcy and commercial law topics. Her significant representations include In re AMR Corp. (American Airlines), In re Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, In re Eastman Kodak Company, and In re Nortel Networks Inc. She was also Chief Notes & Comments Editor of the Houston Business & Tax Law Journal. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ivy spent about 10 years working in public relations and advertising.

Catherine Sanders Reach is Director for the Center for Practice Management at the North Carolina Bar Association, providing practice technology and management assistance to lawyers and legal professionals. Formerly she was Director, Law Practice Management and Technology for the Chicago Bar Association and the Director at the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center. Prior to her work at the NCBA, CBA and ABA she worked in library and information science environments for a number of years, working at Ross and Hardies as a librarian. She received a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa in 1997. Ms. Reach’s professional activities include articles published in Law Practice magazine, Law Technology News and GPSolo Magazine, as well as numerous other publications. She has given presentations on the use of technology in law firms for national bar conferences, state and local bar associations and organizations such as the National Association of Bar Council and the Association of American Law Schools. In 2011 she was selected to be one of the inaugural Fastcase 50, celebrating 50 innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the field of law and in 2013 became a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. She served on the ABA TECHSHOW Board from 2007-2009, 2014-2016 and is co-vice chair in 2019. Follow her on Twitter or connect at

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An earlier post on our blog titled “Finders’ Keep: The Use of Naming Conventions Within Records Management” now redirects to this post.

CATEGORIES: Law Firm Management | Productivity | Risk Management | Technology

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