Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2009

CIO Canada’s ‘Quick Hits’ to Trim Legal Costs

A view from outside the legal industry, IT World Canada’s CIO Canada blog offers a couple of “Quick Hits” to help technology companies trim their legal costs. That section clipped here:

Legal Services: 1) Does your policy or are your relationships with Law Firms segregated according to the type of work and risk? Mid-tier firms charge up to 25% less than the large, national firms 2) Do you negotiate fixed professional fees for routine work? 3) Do you negotiate and cap administrative and incidental rates and fees?

Some interesting insights, on fixed fees, commoditization, market prices for routine work, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LawTop Trouble

Google News search has changed the way it reports the results of a search, with the consequence that LawTop is misfiring, bringing down photos, though none is asked for, and linking back to Google instead of two the website that originated the story.

I’m taking LawTop down for repairs and reconsideration. I’ll let its users know when it’s up again by posting about it on Slaw. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Digital Division

In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for an end to print textbooks in schools. Thanks to Josette McEachern for posting about this Quill & Quire article on the Edmonton Law Libraries Association blog. There are various spins to this attempt at budget efficiency activism.

A couple of items from the various articles caught my eye:

On average, California schools have just one computer for every four children — a situation that prompted Education Week to give the state a D-minus this year for its use of education technology compared with other states.

From Associated Press

‘A world of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Fourteen New Canadian Law Blogs

We’ve had fourteen new additions to lawblogs.ca since our April update:

These probably represent the largest group of additions we’ve had to date. Most blogs tend to operate for a period before emailing us, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Obiter2: Moteur de Recherche Google Ciblant La Doctrine Et L’information Juridique

Simon Fodden posted here last Fall about Obiter2, the wonderful Quebec-legal-research-focused website by lawyer Marco Rivard.

A colleague in Montreal pointed out to me yesterday that his site has since added a Custom Google search engine that targets Quebec/French civil law doctrine and legal information (Moteur de recherche Google ciblant la doctrine et l’information juridique).

For example, a search on “valeurs mobilieres” produced French language results here from a number of law firms and other organizations. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Teach Your Children Well… but How?

Perhaps it’s Jordan Furlong’s articulate insistence, or maybe it’s my own distance from active academe, but I’ve been increasingly “of the devil’s party” when it comes to the need for the reform of legal education. I’m not yet prepared to say that all the action is with the “profane” and none of it in the “sacred,” but the practical is a vital source of learning that is still held at too great an arm’s length at law school. It’s not a matter, of course, of the simple opposition of theory and practice, nor even a productive dialectic . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools

Put Yourself on a Billboard With Rasterbator

Rasterbator is a free tool that turns any image into a huge poster. While you can have fun with pictures of family, friends or your pets, or monsters in your living room window for Halloween, for work purposes you could also use this app create a sign or to blow-up a chart or graph.

Rasterbator gives you two ways to blow-up images: You can upload an image to the Rasterbator site or you can download a Rasterbator app to your computer.

Rasterbator gives you a blown-up image that you can print on multiple sheets of paper. Assemble these sheets in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Do ‘I’M on Vacation’ Posts Pose Security Concerns?

Take a look at the article by that title on the Canoe Tech page.

It questions whether the tendency for people to put reply messages on emails that they are on vacation, or talk about their vacation plans or current locations on Facebook and Twitter is setting themselves up for breakins. Most people would not have a home voice-mail saying they are away, or let newspapers pile up on their doorstep while they are away – so is letting the world know about it by one’s web 2.0 tools any different?.

Take a look at the article and feel . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New York Times on White and Case

If you haven’t yet had your fill of reading about the sea change that’s running through the legal profession, you should read “A Study in Why Major Law Firms Are Shrinking” by Alan Feuer, published in the June 5 edition of the NY Times. Among the myriad points of interest within the article — I won’t attempt a summary — are references to blogs, where the aftermath of the lay-offs got dealt with, particularly abovethelaw.com and what the Times describes as “the wildly popular” lawshucks.com (what a great name).

From everything I’ve read, firms in Canada are laying . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

About Electronic Medical Records – Not What You Think!

The impetus for the upcoming project on electronic medical records, to be carried out by Professor Pina D’Agostino, in assocation with the Law Commission of Ontario, was not all the notoriety around consulting contracts at eHealth Ontario, but all the talk in the news and Ontario legislature about the agency has motivated me to talk about the medical e-records project. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law

Canadian Lawyer Is Building Relationships

June’s issue of Canadian Lawyer just came out, with a great article by Glenn Kauth on using web tactics for client development.

There’s a few familiar faces (including yours truly), and some familiar platforms.

But what’s interesting about the piece is the rationale provided for why more big firms are not jumping into it. As a cost-effective strategy, some of these firms indicate that most of their clients are not heavily utilizing social media.

In my opinion, this misses the point slightly. Not only do bigger firms have the ability to produce more comprehensive and polished approaches to social media, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Substantive Law

Twitter Study

Bill Heil and Mikolaj Piskorski, a graduate student and an assistant professor, respectively, at the Harvard Business School, studied 300,000 plus Twitter users to see… well, to see what use it is. They presented their results last week in a catchily titled piece, “New Twitter Research: Men Follow Men and Nobody Tweets” on one of the HBS blogs, which has subsequently been picked up by various news media. (See today’s BBC story, for example.)

Here are some of their findings, presented in point form:

  • People understand how Twitter works: 80% of users had at least one follower
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing