Why Legal Timelines Are Important
Being an attorney is hardly as glamorous as in the movies – you probably spend 99% of your time carefully documenting your case to make sure you get your point across when you finally go to court. So here’s a tip: one of the most effective ways for legal professionals to present the sequence of events in court is through the use of legal timelines.
When done properly, a timeline can prove crucial to organizing your ideas and obtaining a successful outcome at trial because:
- It unifies the critical elements of the case (evidence, issues, times, dates, facts and witnesses) within a single compelling visual that captures the audience’s attention.
- It allows litigators, lawyers and attorneys to prepare more persuasive court presentations, and particularly improve their opening/closing statements.
- It provides judges, jurors and mediators with a logical sequence and clearly outlined overview of the events, thus enabling a better understanding of the case.
- It helps the parties involved to process information and remember the key facts that have been laid out for them more easily.
Given the potential impact that compelling trial graphics can have in the courtroom, it is worth investing the time and effort to create such visuals. A great way to fast-track the whole process is to start organizing your case for court on the pre-designed framework that a legal timeline template provides.
Top 4 Templates for Legal Timelines
In this post, we’ve gathered four of the most common types of such templates which you can use to build court presentations with strong impact on judges, jurors and arbitrators. These are:
1. Crime Timeline Template
- Made for attorneys who need to present a clear overview of events and their circumstances, the crime timeline template will help lay out all the critical facts in an easy-to-follow manner.
- Using this template to build a chronological, facts-based visual exhibit, attorneys can better analyze evidence, structure their arguments and support them more convincingly in court.
- The crime template was built natively in PowerPoint, which makes it simple to update and present to your legal team or your client.
- You can download it for free and manually enter your case information, or you can use the Office Timeline add-in to do this automatically.
2. Court Timeline Template
- Ideal for lawyers and other legal professionals who need to present evidence in a clear and simple way so that they can easily capture a jury’s attention, the court timeline template can be used at any point throughout a trial (whether during the opening arguments, witness examination or closing statements).
- Presenting a case’s vital facts chronologically, it turns numerous details into a streamlined PowerPoint timeline which is also useful in depositions, client meetings or in briefings with your legal team.
- The free court case timeline template is natively designed in PowerPoint, so it can be downloaded and edited manually or automatically using the Office Timeline add-in for PowerPoint.
3. Lawyer Timeline Template
- Chronologically illustrating the events of a legal case and the timing relationships between those events, this template helps lawyers to better support their oral arguments and make an impactful opening statement in any litigation or defense case. It can be used beyond the court instance, during any lawyering presentation that requires impactful visuals.
- Using different colors and shapes to highlight the logic behind the elements on the graphic, the lawyer timeline template clearly communicates the essential in a way that is easy for audiences to understand.
- Made in PowerPoint, it can be updated and further customized using the wide set of formatting controls that come within the presentation platform.
- Download it for free so you can either manually enter your case information or automatically edit it with Office Timeline’s PowerPoint add-in. Once finished, it can be shared as a static slide or embedded in other Microsoft Office documents, or printed as an image to be handed out.
4. Legal Timeline Template
- Presenting the events of a trial case in a chronological sequence that is easy-to-understand, the legal timeline template can be useful in a variety of litigation cases (including business, construction or personal injury, intellectual property and liability litigation).
- It is a free native PowerPoint template, which enables you to easily update, share and present it. After you download the template, you can edit it manually in PowerPoint or automatically with the Office Timeline PowerPoint plug-in.
- It serves as an effective alternative to outsourcing the creation of legal timelines, as litigators can leverage all of PowerPoint’s formatting features to customize this template to suit their particular case and theme.
Bringing together the building blocks of your case through a compelling visual can significantly increase the chances of success in court. With jurors and judges being very visual, these legal timeline templates help you deliver vital facts in a format that captures your audience’s attention and better supports your arguments. They were all created with Office Timeline, a user-friendly yet powerful timeline maker which generates professional-looking visuals in PowerPoint with only a few clicks.
Download any of the four templates above and start editing them with the add-in’s free edition, or further customize the visuals by adding more items on your timeline using the Pro+ edition of the tool.
For many other free timeline templates, go to our timeline gallery and choose your favorites.