I was scrolling through my backlog of unread articles when I found this Year-end Law Practice Checklist It has some good advice about things to do or review at the end of the year that might be easy to forget, like archiving closed files, tax prep, CLE, and updating your processes (client intake, billing, etc.)

I’m sure you use checklists in your work, as do I; I want to encourage you to use more.

My goal is to use a checklist for almost everything, especially for recurring tasks.

I recently revised my daily schedule checklist and set up a new checklist for a certain project I frequently do. I also revised my weekly review checklist.

These checklists help me get the job done more quickly, avoid errors or omissions, and provide peace of mind that once I’m done, I can put the task or project out of mind until the next time I do it.

Checklists can be useful for

  • Your morning routine (so you get everything done before your workday begins)
  • End of day shut down process (so you remember to plan tomorrow before tomorrow begins)
  • Travel packing (. . .that time I went to a convention and forgot to pack neckties. . .)
  • Blog/newsletter (Where to find ideas, what to include, where to share it)
  • New client intake (What to ask, what to tell them, what to give or send, when to follow up)
  • File closing process
  • Preparing for arbitration, negotiation, or settlement conference
  • Preparing the client for deposition, etc.
  • Demand package checklist
  • Scheduling and conducting a Zoom conference (don’t forget to wear pants)

Start by brainstorming a list of checklists that might prove helpful and schedule time to flesh out a new one, or revise an existing one.

I often edit my checklists on the go, adding additional steps, removing steps I don’t use, and re-arranging the order to streamline the process.

What checklists do you use? Which new ones are you going to work on?

Will you be ready for year-end?