Checklists for Lawyers

Written by Tim Baran

Feb 12, 2015

checklists for lawyersThe Checklist Manifesto brought checklists out of the closet. Checklists reduce errors. They facilitate consistency and completeness in carrying out tasks and avoiding mistakes, and provide a kind of cognitive net, catching mental flaws inherent in all of us — flaws of memory and attention and thoroughness.

Checklists can improve outcomes for everyone – from doctors to airplane pilots. The checklist is also a valuable tool for lawyers.

There is no shortage of checklists on the web – from opening a law firm to closing one. I use them frequently for putting on webinars, sending out press releases or newsletters, creating E-Books, and so on. Even after the processes become second nature, checklists are invaluable as a teaching tool for new recruits. Here’s a collection of checklist resources for lawyers.

Practical Law – Checklists, charts, tables, timelines and flowcharts that reflect current law and practice and help make sure you’ve covered all the bases.

PracticePro – Includes checklists for Giving of Independent Legal Advice and Commercial Transactions.

Checklists for Lawyers – This 2014 book from the ABA covers the process of creating checklists and includes sample checklists from current law practices, court websites, practice management websites, and other sources.

Practice Checklists Manual – This manual from the Law Society of British Columbia provides a list of documents to help lawyers manage their practices.

Tech Startup Lawyer – A series of posts that cover the issues and components of incorporation, financing, licensing, acquisition and other matters in a checklist format.

Contract Checklists – Checklists to see what should be in a contract, how they are organized, what terms they contain, which are standard, optional, and highly negotiated. Contains checklists for over two dozen types of agreements.

iWriteLegal – Free mobile app designed to help legal writers improve their writing skills with legal writing checklists and tips.

Doesn’t include an actual checklist, but worth reading, is Jennifer Murphy Romig’s The Legal Writer’s Checklist Manifesto.

Want to create your own? Check out this tutorial on how to create Master Checklists in Evernote to Be a More Productive Lawyer.

We’ll update this post to include additional checklist resources as they become available.

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