Most mass tort firms juggle multiple dockets, single event cases, and other legal matters all at once. Paraprofessionals at law firms are often required to work on different dockets with competing needs and deadlines which can lead to mismanagement of their time and resources. By using a daily task list, paraprofessionals and their supervisors can ensure that work is properly distributed amongst the legal team and that the law firm’s priorities are handled on a day-to-day basis.
There are also many personal benefits of keeping a daily task list. These include:
- Providing structure to your workday
- Breaking larger goals into smaller action steps
- Improving time management
- Decreasing anxiety from the chaos of working in the legal field
- Proving what you have achieved for the day, week, or month
Studies have shown that the brain loves ordered tasks and that writing down tasks makes you more effective. Task lists have also been shown to benefit workers in all industries, from the airlines to medicine and education.
What is a Daily Task and Why Do Mass Tort Paraprofessionals Need One?
- What is a Daily Task?
A daily task is a document prepared by employees to submit to their supervisors. A standard report contains details on how they spent their workday, including any achievements or challenges they encountered. If a particular project is underway, the daily task serves the purpose of updating management on the project’s status. Often, the report also outlines plans for the following workday.
- Why Should You Write a Daily Task?
A daily task updates a team leader or manager about an ongoing project. It provides an overview that describes each employee’s tasks and progress. This saves the time on daily meetings but still allows a project to remain on track and keeps the manager well-informed.
Reports are often more cost-efficient than a daily conversation. It is also an effective way of finding out which tasks have been completed so that the project manager can distribute new tasks discerningly.
Daily reports may also be used when it comes time for employee evaluations. A manager can look back at a series of reports to determine how quickly and efficiently work had been completed during a major project.
- What Should You Include in a Daily Task?
Because this type of report is written each day, it is typically short and concise and refers only to the activities and accomplishments of the specific work period.
Daily reports include:
- Details about the tasks completed
- Any resources that were used
- What was accomplished that day
- Any problems that arose that day
- Action items you need from management
- How Should Managers Use the Daily Task?
The Daily Task should help you keep track of your team’s tasks. You also learn whether employees are fulfilling their roles (e.g., Is a case manager performing tasks of a paralegal?), meeting daily or weekly firm goals, becoming overwhelmed, or need to be given additional opportunities. You can also quickly identify unnecessary or duplicative work.
Other uses include:
- Review for promotions, bonuses, and other opportunities
- Establish accountability for you and your team members
- Improve ability to plan for new dockets
- Smooth out workflows and processes by analyzing time and resources spent on completing tasks
- How to Set Up Daily Task Lists?
Daily Task lists can be sent via email at the beginning or end of each workday. Some managers prefer to receive a morning list and then a list at the end of the day with updates on which tasks have been completed and which ones are still outstanding. Regardless of how often your supervisor wants to receive updates, your Daily Task should contain:
- Any scheduled meetings you will attend that day
- Client correspondence (phone calls, emails, letters) that needs to occur that day
- Work done within the firm’s database or CRM system
- Actions taken to move cases forward, such as:
- Ordering medical records
- Reviewing fact sheets, census forms, and other case management tools
- Administering settlements
- Notes to your supervisor or manager
- RED ALERT items that may need to be escalated to an attorney
The format of the Daily Task can vary but it is important that all team members use the same template to make it easier for managers to review and pull data.
Task lists can be organized by action:
- Client correspondence
- Medical records
- File review
- MDL fact sheets
- Co-Counsel communication
- Attorney tasks
Task lists can be organized by claim phase:
- Medical Review
Or tasks can be organized by docket:
Whichever format your firm chooses, make sure that your template has all the requisite information you need to share your workload and provide substantive notes to your supervisor.
Download our Daily Task templates for Excel by clicking below
The Mass Tort Institute is a consortium of industry leaders dedicated to providing education, training, and networking opportunities for those advocating on behalf of mass tort victims.