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Archive for ‘Columns’

Access to the Civil Justice System in Canada Is a Concern According to Data From the 2016 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

According to the most recent World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, Canada ranks 12th overall out of 113 countries included in the survey. Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands rank 1st to 5th, respectively. Canada’s overall index score of 0.81 is tied with the UK and Australia. The US ranks 18th overall. Ranking 12th out of 113 puts Canada near the top of the global ranking. Canada ranks 9th out of 24 European and North American countries and 12th out of 36 high income countries, above the median in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Prospecting

Everyone gets excited when a new client comes on board. Once they are signed, keeping them and providing excellent experience is a must. But how do you get that client to sign in the first place?

Winning new business in a competitive legal industry is not easy. There is a lot of money involved and often a lot of emotion in the decision. We know that today clients are buying value more than ever, they want total solutions and they are willing to select individuals best suited to resolve the issues at hand rather than staying with a firm they . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

What Can We Do With Big Data? Problems and Products

In late October, I attended the 12th Annual Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession conference. I have been attending this conference on and off since its inception, and this was absolutely the best so far. Which is really interesting: as Joshua Fireman, co-chair, noted “We still have things to talk about!”

One of those things, if not the biggest thing, is the continuing changing landscape of legal technology and how law firms can and should be using it. In particular, the emergence of “big data” remains a promise and a worry.

Big Data – Problems and Products

Intro . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The KF Modification: A Canadian Approach to Organizing and Understanding Law

Anyone who has studied law will have used a library at some point in their studies. If you studied at an American or Canadian university, it is likely that the library’s print collections were physically organized on the shelves using the Library of Congress Classification system (LCC), a subject-based classification scheme using a letter or combination of letters to represent a broad subject (eg, D for History, DA for British history, DC for French history) and a number between 1 and 9999 to represent a narrower topic within that subject (eg, DA 445 for the Stuart Restoration, 1660-1688, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Stepping Up for Diversity: Law Societies Must Begin to Address the Challenges Faced by Racialized Lawyers and Paralegals

Law Societies have a lot on their plates these days: ABS, access to justice, advertising, articling . . . and that’s only the first letter of the alphabet! It is critical that the work of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees not get lost in all this regulatory alphabet soup. The report is important. It is groundbreaking. It is also controversial. And it is necessary. This report will be debated by Ontario’s benchers on December 2nd. The Law Society of Upper Canada has a real opportunity to exercise strong . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Why Do I Need a Marketing Plan?

If you were to go on a holiday, would you just jump in your car and start driving? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d determine your destination. You’d figure out the best time to go. You’d book accommodations and make travel arrangements. You’d consider the costs involved, and you’d pack according to the weather and your planned activities. And that’s just a holiday. But when lawyers run a $500k to a million dollar practice, they do so with far less planning. In doing so they are operating with far more risk, far less control, and ultimately may be leaving money and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

CRTC Assesses Conspicuous Publication Basis of Implied Consent in CASL Enforcement Decision

The CRTC released a compliance and enforcement decision, CRTC 2016-428, October 26, 2016 in which it found that Blackstone Learning Corp. (Blackstone) committed nine violations of paragraph 6(1)(a) of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) by sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) without consent, and imposed an administrative monetary penalty of $50,000 on Blackstone.

The decision is noteworthy as it give more details and analysis than the CRTC’s prior press releases of enforcement action. As a result, it give a glimpse into the process used by the CRTC in an enforcement action. Importantly, it also confirms the CRTC views on the requirements to . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Security Fatigue and Its Impact on Law Firm Security

People are inherently lazy. After all, why do something today that you can put off until tomorrow? Users hate to do anything that would slow down their access to their computer or data. That means they would much rather just sit at a keyboard and start to surf the Internet instead of entering logon credentials and then entering a second factor. How many times have you been tired of the constant password changes only to resort to using one you know you’ll remember and have previously used? Didn’t feel like creating a new account so passed on that online purchase? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! It’s Rankings Season!

If you read a little bit of sarcasm in the title, you read it correctly. Law firm marketers across the country are scrutinizing recently released business law firm rankings, while growing increasingly anxious about looming submission deadlines in mid-December. It’s an intense time of year, one that makes many of us question the value of participating in various rankings processes.

But given that firms of all sizes are paying more attention to rankings than ever before, the perception of the value of rankings, particularly when aggregated across a firm, remains high. Many firms are developing specific strategies and devoting greater . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Make Lawyers Smarter, Not Dumber, or Worse, With AI

This might be one of the more important things you read. It’s purpose is to direct you to a submission to the Law Society of NSW Future of Law & Innovation in the Profession (FLIP) Commission of Inquiry. Robyn Bradey is a mental health consultant to the Law Society, NSW Legal Aid and other organisations. Her submission is among the many excellent videos to download. This one should be compulsory viewing for every lawyer, and their management teams.

Robyn is testament to the benefits of a culture of diversity, and the foresight of those driving FLIP which also saw . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Path From Print to Web Has Just Become Much Shorter

If you have print assets that you want to publish on the web, until now you had two options. The first one: the scanned material is OCR-ed, the text is then extracted into an editable text format (Word or XML), formatting and structure are applied throughout, and then the document is converted to a web-friendly format, like HTML. This is an expensive process even if done offshore. The second option: you can simply publish an OCR-ed scanned PDF file and accept that it will be clumsily rendered, not interactive, somewhat searchable, and in the case of large documents, your browser . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

A Natural Experiment With Intellectual Property’s Original Intent Reaches a Milestone

In 2001, I and an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia started an intellectual property experiment with the original intent of this area of law. I didn’t think of it that way at the time, but now that fifteen years have passed and the results of this imagined experiment could be said to be in, I want to set it out here in those terms (warning: unabashed hubris to follow). What we set in motion in 2001 and have worked on steadily since then is a piece of software. I sketched out workflow and wrote the words, while . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing