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Archive for the ‘Practice of Law’ Columns

Government Innovation

The other Arab world. Not the masked, Kalashnikov wielding crazies the media treats us to each day. But highly educated, global citizens that are passionate about innovation in government. There are times you see very pointedly that you are being brainwashed.

The impressive three-day Government Summit that the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) annually organises in Dubai is a Davos style combination of large plenaries, cosy workshops, and ‘experience-it’ expositions. I was there last week. The crowd is decidedly international, but it’s refreshing to walk around in a definition of ‘international’ in which ‘Western’ is a very small . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Third Tool: The Off Switch

In four preceding articles I have described the idea behind becoming a very highly valued five-tools project manager, ready to manage each of the five progress factors:

  • Manage the project, starting with the project charter (discussed in the previous article).
  • Manage the client, starting with the Conditions of Satisfaction.
  • Manage time, starting with the Off Switch.
  • Manage money, starting with budgets.
  • Manage the team, starting with assigning tasks accurately.

Let’s look this month at a core tool for managing your most precious resource. You can take control of your time via the Off Switch.

Overview

Consider the following somewhat typical . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Electronic Discovery: The Concept and Purpose of the Sedona Canada Principles 2nd Edition

  1. Electronic records management system technology

My published paper “The Sedona Canada Principles are Very Inadequate on Records Management and for Electronic Discovery[i] criticizes the first edition (January 2008) of: The Sedona Canada Principles—Addressing Electronic Discovery (hereinafter, “Sedona Canada”) because it provides neither analysis nor description of the relationship between electronic discovery and electronic records management systems.[ii] The integrity (reliability; truthfulness) of an electronic record is dependent upon the integrity of its electronic records management system (its ERMS). That is the “system integrity” concept of records reliability, i.e., “records integrity” requires proof “records systems integrity,” which . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

5 Resume Tips for the Legal Job Hunter

Resume drafting is it’s own unique torture. First, there’s pressure because you very much want to secure a new job. Second, you can no longer recall much of what you did even a year ago. And on top of that it is really hard to sell yourself. For those of you who have started the New Year with a search for greener career pastures here are 5 tips to help you to create a resume that succeeds at highlighting your unique strengths.

Tip One – Include a summary

The big challenge for job hunters is that the common approach to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Is New Law the Answer for Women Lawyers?

Since women entered the legal profession there has been a steady erosion of women moving from private practice to in-house, government and other legal positions that offer a more supportive work environment. This trend may reverse itself with the advent of New Law.

New Law refers to the new model firms that have exploded into the marketplace. Some of these firms operate as legal outsourcers contracting their lawyers to small businesses that want a lawyer on-site but cannot afford a full-time in-house lawyer or to large corporations that have in-house legal departments but need extra assistance from time to time. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Second Tool: The Conditions of Satisfaction

In three preceding articles I have described the idea behind becoming a very highly valued five-tools project manager, ready to manage each of the five progress factors:

  • Manage the project, starting with the project charter (discussed in the previous article).
  • Manage the client, starting with the Conditions of Satisfaction.
  • Manage time, starting with the Off Switch.
  • Manage money, starting with budgets.
  • Manage the team, starting with assigning tasks accurately.

Let’s look this month at a core tool for managing the client: the Conditions of Satisfaction.

Overview

Client or customer satisfaction, often called repurchase intent, is generally the most important long-term . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Practice Wellness

The business of practicing law has become more demanding and complex since I articled in 1996. The introduction of emails, smart-phones, and text messages has increased the pressure on lawyers to always be available to clients and to respond to queries with alacrity. Long gone are the days when one would receive a letter from opposing counsel, dictate a response, go home for the evening after disconnecting from your practice and return the next day to consider your reply letter after having “slept on it”. More articling students appear to be competing for the same number of positions. Regional firms . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The More That Law Society Committees Change, the More Things Stay the Same

As an exception to the universally accepted view that law society committees are “all form and no substance” in regard to the “unaffordable legal services problem” (“the problem”), there is one Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) committee that has produced a Discussion Paper that has great substance, although some ingrates are so inconsiderate as to say that it’s not “the right stuff”; see: Alternative Business Structures and the Legal Profession in Ontario: A Discussion Paper. It was released by LSUC on September 24th, asking for comments by December 31st.[i] It proposes “alternative business structures” (ABS’s). They have . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Advice for the Reluctant Delegator

Are you a reluctant delegator?

  • You have tried delegating and have been let down time and time again.
  • You have found that no one does the work as well as you, or the way you want it done.
  • You have concluded that it is just faster and easier to do it yourself.
  • Or by the time you figure out that something could have been delegated it is too late.

On a scale of one to ten, one being you have never delegated a thing in your life, and ten being you are a star delegator, how would you rate yourself? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Practicing With My Girlfriends

I once asked a senior woman lawyer how she was adjusting to working in a small boutique firm after spending most of her career at a large national law firm. She laughed and said the difference wasn’t the number of lawyers but the fact that her new firm had all female partners and mostly female associates. I asked her what difference that made. She summed it up in a way that I immediately understood. She said, “It’s like practicing with my girlfriends.”

Most women (at least those who value having women friends) will understand immediately what that means. Relationships, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The New International Outsourcing Standard: ISO 37500:2014

On October 31, 2014, the International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) published a new standard ISO 37500:2014 – Guidance on Outsourcing (the “Standard” or “ISO 37500”) to provide general guidance on outsourcing. It is likely that the Standard will impact outsourcing practices in Canada, both because of the comprehensive nature of the Standard and because of Canada’s role in its development. In this note I want to look at ISO 37500 in more detail. The discussion is divided into three parts:

(i) Part I provides some background to the publication of the Standard;
(ii) Part II summarizes ISO 37500’s approach to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Unconscious Barrier to Equality

Before reading: (1) think of four colleagues (some male and some female), and (2) consider the first adjective that pops into your mind to describe each of those colleagues. Now continue reading.

….

I am a feminist. I know, I just heard a collective internal groan from the internet. But, like most feminists (and most people), I’m not a bra-burning, Thai fisherman pant-wearing, men-hating, razor-neglecting aggressor. Rather, I hold the simple belief that women and men should be treated equally. (And I am happy to report that I am part of a significant majority in Western society.) Unfortunately, I . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law