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Checklist for the New Year
Post on January 7th, 2021

2020 was a year many of us are glad to see behind us. Let’s start 2021 off right! Here’s a checklist to help you make this a great year for practice!


1. Tech Check

Practicing during COVID has lawyers relying on technology even more than in the past. Check off these items to use your technology safely and efficiently.

    • Do a technology audit of ALL devices used by all lawyers and staff.
        • List the device, who uses it, and what cyber security measures protect it.
    • Be sure these systems on ALL devices are updated:
        • Passwords (We know you don’t like to change them! Try using a pass phrase!)
        • Malware
        • Antivirus
        • Spam filters
    • Review and revise your firm IRP (Incident Response Plan – You DO have one, don’t you?)
    • Visit OBLIC Cyber Toolbox
        • See samples of IRP and other data protection recommendations.
        • Utilize training videos to prevent phishing scams with lawyers and staff.
    • Consider your cyber insurance (OBLIC provides basic coverage with each policy, but broader coverage also available)


2. File Check

Whether you keep paper files, electronic files, or hybrid files with elements of both, it’s a good idea to periodically review all open and active files.


3. Policies & Procedures

While this is really an ongoing project, you can use this checklist to determine what you may want to revise this year. Review and plan to revise, if needed, these elements of your Office Procedure Manual.

    • Client communications
        • Engagement letter
        • Fee Contract
        • Update/status letter
        • File Closing letter
        • Email procedures
        • Social media policies
    • Conflict of interest checking system
        • Refine how you address if there is a conflict
    • Billing procedures
    • Record retention policy
        • Consider returning the file to the client at the conclusion of representation.
        • If your firm has old, closed files, start the process to reduce this backlog.
    • Website and Advertising


I hope you find this checklist helpful. If you have questions or additions to this checklist, please feel free to contact me. As always, OBLIC is here to help!


Gretchen Mote, Esq.
Director of Loss Prevention