Microsoft Word for Lawyers

A lawyer cannot be merely proficient in using Microsoft Word; a lawyer must be an expert. MS Word, after all, is the primary tool in the lawyer’s toolbox.

In these three videos, I share my thoughts on the importance of becoming an expert in MS Word, and discuss some of the essential MS Word skills every lawyer should develop.

Finally, I set forth a few links to other sources that address MS Word in general, and its Table of Contents and Table of Authorities features in particular.

Videos

Microsoft Word for Lawyers: Introduction

Microsoft Word for Lawyers: Tables of Contents

Microsoft Word for Lawyers: Tables of Authorities

Additional Resources

In the videos, I mentioned these two books:

There are many, many other resources on these topics on the Internet, including on YouTube and on the Microsoft Office support site. If you have a question, Google it; answers are out there. Here are a few posts that are helpful:

Scanning and Structuring

PDF Scanning

  • Scan all documents to PDF (Portable Document Format).
  • Scan must be done in black and white (not grayscale and not color).
  • Scan at a resolution no greater than 300 x 300 dpi.

Document Structuring

  • Each document must be scanned to a separate PDF file.
  • Do not scan multiple documents together into a single PDF file.
  • It is sometimes difficult to determine where one document in a stack of papers ends and where the next one begins. Please be very meticulous in separating documents from one another.

PDF File Names

All documents must be named with the date (YYYY-MM-DD), the author’s last name, and a detailed description. Use initial caps for all big words in the description. For example, a document management protocol created on January 1, 2020 by Dane S. Ciolino would be named: “2020-01-28 Ciolino Electronic Document Management Protocol.”

  • Date. The “date” of the document is the date that appears on the document. The date is not the date you scanned the document.
  • Author. The “author” is the human being who authored the document–not the organization with which he is associated. If, however, no human being’s name appears on the document, use the name of the organization as the author.
  • Description. The “description” should describe the document in some detail. It should not be generic (like “Letter”), but instead should be descriptive (like “Jones Letter Putting Smith in Default for Non-Payment”). Use an initial capital letter for all words in the file name, except small words like “to” and the like.

Do not use unusual characters in file names like “, /, \, <, >, #, %, and, *. Windows cannot make file names out of them. (These are OK: -, $, ., (, ), !).

Disposition of Originals

After scanning, please retain all original papers if you wish. Do not send any paper to me; I hate paper and will delight in destroying it upon receipt.