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Archive for ‘Education & Training’

Why Pro Bono?

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with law students at Robson Hall as part of the Pro Bono Students Canada (“PBSC”) launch event. I had been asked to give a speech on my own pro bono and access to justice work with a view to motivating students to volunteer for one of the many interesting projects PBSC is coordinating this year. In preparing for the presentation, I thought back to my own days at Robson Hall and realized, with some dismay, how little I gave of my time to others at that point in my life.

Because I . . . [more]

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

Law Student Wellness and Mental Health

There’s a new resource that aims to assist Ontario law students with issues relating to “stress, anxiety, and other wellness and mental health concerns.” JustBalance, which received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities, was developed by the Osgoode Hall Law School in collaboration with law faculties at the University of Toronto, University of Ottawa (Common Law Section), University of Windsor, Queen’s University, Western University and Lakehead University.

Melanie Banka Goela, Osgoode’s Student Success and Wellness Counsellor, led this initiative which began with a survey of law students who were asked what they might . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

It’s the Most “something” Time of the Year

Every year at this time I head on over the Beloit College website to see just what the coming year(s) have in store for me and Beloit College produces the very striking “Mindset List”, which never fails to land a few jarring blows. The Mindset List, “provid(es) a look at the cultural touchstones and experiences that have shaped the worldview of students entering colleges and universities in the fall.” And remember even if you are not associated with academia the 1L list are the people that will be applying to work with you in the coming months.

Firstly, let’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Back to (Business) School

Ah, September. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp and most of us feel motivated to learn something new.

Stanford University offers several online learning options for lawyers and legal professionals* interested in sharpening their business skills, especially in the areas of entrepreneurialism and innovation. The videos and podcasts in their Entrepreneurship Corner are professionally produced, available for view at any time and presented by top faculty from several departments. I’ve especially enjoyed the interviews with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs such as Mitch Kapor who talk about lessons learned, developing “people skills” and learning to be comfortable with business risk. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Clio Conference More Than Food Trucks and Yoga

When my company started working with Clio back in 2008, I had a gut feeling they were onto something. But frankly, I never would have predicted the immense success this cloud-based software start-up would see over the next six years. Even without my admitted bias, I think most would agree that today, Clio has evolved into a major player in the legal software sector and one of the most engaged companies within the North American legal community. And by many accounts, they’re also the brains behind one of the most unconventional and enjoyable legal conferences we’ve seen to date. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Miscellaneous

Litigation Coaching by Judges

We often speak of litigation coaching for clients as a form of unbundled services, as one of the new frontiers for providing cost-effective legal services. But I’ve also identified the challenges that young lawyers have in developing the practical skills in litigation, especially given the strong emphasis in the system to resolve issues outside of the courtroom.

At the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Canadian Legal Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland this weekend, I had the opportunity to speak in greater depth with some vendors and discovered a product of interest.

Taran Virtual Associations, a domestic legal outsourcing company who . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Final CBA Futures Report Is Now Available

2 years in the making.

7 key findings.

22 recommended actions.

Those are the numbers behind the CBA’s Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada report, released today.

The initiative was established in 2012 to “examine the fundamental changes facing the Canadian legal profession and to help lawyers understand and respond to those changes.”

The 106-page report identifies seven key findings, the result of thousands of hours of work through commissioned research and extensive online and in-person consultations with “a broad cross-section of lawyers, clients, law students, and other legal stakeholders,” and in-depth interviews with selected innovators. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Competence for the Low-Tech Lawyer

Is saying no to technology even an option for lawyers in modern practice? The Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Model Code of Professional Content defines competence as follows:

3.1-1 1 “Competent lawyer” means a lawyer who has and applies relevant knowledge, skills and attributes in a manner appropriate to each matter undertaken on behalf of a client and the nature and terms of the lawyer’s engagement, including:

(j) pursuing appropriate professional development to maintain and enhance legal knowledge and skills; and (k) otherwise adapting to changing professional requirements, standards, techniques and practices.

If lawyers do not have certain . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Slaying the Internal Giants to Maximize Your Career

At the heart of ancient Palestine is the region known as the Shephelah, a series of ridges and valleys connecting the Judaean Mountains to the east with the wide, flat expanse of the Mediterranean plain. It is an area of breathtaking beauty, home to vineyards and wheat fields and forests of sycamore and terebinth. It is also of great strategic importance.

This is how Malcolm Gladwell begins his new book, released last fall, David and Goliath.

The Shephelah, Gladwell notes, was where John Hyrcanus of the Maccabees fought the Seleucid Empire (he calls “Syria”), before forcibly converting the inhabitants . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Identifying Extra Steps

I have been working with some advisors on a project to map a process that we think could use some improving. An aspect of this is identifying waste.It is an interesting exercise to think about how you do something and identify where waste occurs.

Slawyers will appreciate the acronym DOWNTIME to think about waste in their organizations.

D defects (mistakes that mean something has to be done over)
O over-production (printing 30 handouts for 20 people)
W waiting (delays in the ability to move on to the next step)
N non-utilized talent (both over qualified and under utilized)
T transportation . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

What Access to Justice Can Look Like

In February 2011, Legal Help Centre (“LHC”) first opened its doors to the public. Since then, more than 5000 individuals have been served through the Centre’s drop-in clinics. The sole criteria to access LHC’s drop-in clinic services is household income <$50,000 per year, ensuring that those who are ineligible for Legal Aid but cannot afford private legal services have a place to go for information and support.

The LHC’s pro bono legal clinic model is unique in Canada in two key ways:

  • LHC was started by and continues to be supported by two universities – the University of Manitoba and
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues

Debt and Access to the Legal Profession

Today is the payment deadline for the $3,164 fee levied by the Law Society of Upper Canada to fund its controversial new Law Practice Program, an alternate pathway to licensing for those unable or unwilling to secure articles. Regular readers of Slaw will recall that when the fee was announced in February, law students rallied against it – a petition calling for a more just and equitable model of funding the experimental program garnered more than 800 signatures.

While a few sympathetic benchers spoke up at Convocation in favour of the petition, the Law Society took no action. The chair . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools