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Archive for the ‘Practice of Law’ Columns

A Major-League Approach to New Lawyer Recruitment

Now that baseball season is (finally) with us again, I’d like you to meet Kevin Ahrens. He’s not a lawyer, judge or law professor – he’s a 19-year-old from Houston who has foregone college to start a career as a professional baseball player. Last June, the Toronto Blue Jays chose him with their first-round pick in major-league baseball’s annual amateur draft (he was the 16th overall selection).

Kevin plays shortstop and has been a very productive hitter throughout his amateur career, which consists of three all-district and two all-state selections during his time at high school. He stands 6’2″, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Networking for Introverts

Do you dread networking events? Wonder about what to say? Do you find there is something uncomfortable or possibly distasteful about the seemingly compulsory exchange of business cards? If so then you probably value sincerity and professionalism. Too often networking is reduced to a numbers game of how many business cards you can pass out in an hour. If you are looking for a different approach, one more in alignment with your own professional values, then read on.

The introvert advantage:

Introverts have the advantage. You don’t have to grandstand, shake fifty hands and talk about yourself. Instead, the name . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Inconvenient Truth About Articling

Last week, the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Licensing and Accreditation task force delivered its Interim Report To Convocation [PDF] on the province’s bar admission scheme. I think it’s a groundbreaking report, brimming with indisputable facts and uncomfortable choices about the state of the current system and the urgent need to reform it. Other reports have come and gone, but I think this one will leave its mark.

The main report is 44 pages long, followed by an additional 152 pages spread out over 10 appendices. This is what the report, to summarize briefly, says:

    1. The task force recommends
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Ditch the Resolutions

Welcome to January, the stern sister to December. While December is about gift giving and celebration, January arrives like the dreaded morning after bearing with it bill payments, back-to-work anxiety and of course the latest batch of New Year’s resolutions: “I will lose weight, build up my Linked-In network, post to my blog twice a week, go to the gym, and meet my billable hours target.”

There has got to be a better way to herald the New Year then marching to the orders of our inner drill sergeant.

I’m a professional business coach, goals and resolutions are the heart . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Amazon.law

If you’ve ever ordered an item from Amazon, you know that every time you log back in to the website, you’re greeted with a list of recommended books, CDs and DVDs. Amazon compiles this list based both on your product purchases and the pages you’ve recently browsed. Essentially, Amazon alters its understanding of and relationship with you every time you use its services — whether browsing, adding items to your shopping cart, or actually purchasing something. Every point of contact between you and Amazon is another data point that redefines the relationship’s fluid dynamic.

There’s a lesson here for lawyers, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Mastering the Positive No

Time is at a premium. The pressures of the billable hour and the stress of meeting client needs and expectations are reaching an all time high. With all the developments in communication technology the boundaries between our home and work environments have eroded. We can now be reached by cell phone and email anywhere in the world and at anytime. Setting and respecting our boundaries is more difficult then ever. No is today’s biggest challenge.

So what’s a legal professional to do?

Look no further for your answer than The Power of a Positive No by William Ury. Ury is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Millennial Fever

During the past 50-odd years, the North American legal profession has been notable for a ready supply of labour. The post-war population boom and increased access to post-secondary education, combined with the enduring lure of a legal career, ensured that there would always be a deep pool of lawyers into which firms could dip for talent.

When a buyer’s market lasts that long, the buyers’ advantages become locked into the prevailing culture of the marketplace. Much of what we take for granted in modern law firms — hourly billable targets, ever-increasing workloads, lengthening partnership tracks, client hoarding by partners, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law