Checklist Manifesto: Where to find legal practice checklists

From surgical safety to pre-flight inspections, the value of checklists in professional practice is well known. These simple tools remind practitioners of questions that need to be asked or steps that need to be taken to complete tasks safely and consistently.

In the practice of law, checklists also serve to reduce errors and improve adherence to best practices.

For example, a drafting checklist for a separation agreement lets you confirm your document contains the required elements and correctly reflects your client’s instructions. Using a simple client intake checklist can help ensure compliance with Law Society client identification and verification rules.

Presenters at legal CPD programs frequently include handy checklists in their materials. Some recent examples:

  • Agreement of purchase and sale due diligence provisions checklist / Lanette Wilkinson in Commercial Real Estate Transactions 2017 (LSUC 2017)
  • Checklists for pre-trials & settlements / Hilary Book in Civil Litigation Practice Basics 2017 (LSUC 2017)
  • Employer counsel checklist for assessing appropriate notice period / Michael Richards, Jennifer Zdriluk in Employment Law Fundamentals (OBA 2017)
  • Minute book review checklist / Jonathan MacKenzie in Mastering Due Diligence (OBA 2017)

To find a checklist, search the Great Library’s catalogue, type “checklist” plus search terms to describe the specific task or area of law you need.

Here are some other places you’ll find checklists for legal practitioners:

  • practicePRO offers checklists for commercial transactions, domestic contracts, and independent legal advice, plus several others.
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Lawyer Practice Area Resources include step-by-step how-to guides in the following areas: administrative law, business law, civil litigation, estates and trusts, real estate, family law and legal research. Paralegal Practice Area Resources include how-to guides for administrative and criminal law tasks.
  • The Law Society of British Columbia’s Practice Checklists Manual covers a range of client tasks and transactions from drafting share purchase agreements to preparing immigration deportation appeals.