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Archive for ‘Education & Training: CLE/PD’

Podcasting Legal Entrepreneurship in Action

The education of the practice of law does not happen in classrooms, and some would argue that it shouldn’t. Collecting the anthology of experiences by practitioners is one of the immense potentials of the digital era that future generations of lawyers may yet benefit from.

Some enterprising students at Osgode Hall have launched a new podcast, focusing on legal entrepreneurship. The most recent episode of the Legal Entrepreneurs Podcast interviews me, where I provide some personal insights into sole practice.

The most rewarding aspect of sole practice is the potential for greater control, and if exerted properly, better work-life balance. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Should Mandatory CLE Require Technology in Particular?

Some states in the US, notably now including North Carolina and Florida, require that part of one’s mandatory continuing legal education include education on techology. Florida’s rule requires three hours over three years – so an hour a year, but if one took a three-hour course (which might be a more useful format than three one-hour sessions), one could fulfill the duty. At least in NC, their annual requirement is 12 hours, same as in Ontario.

This is all in the context of the ABA’s Professional Conduct rules – adopted in many states – that expressly requires competence in matters . . . [more]

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

The Pitch Returns to Toronto

In 2016, the CBA hosted “The Pitch” in Ottawa, a showcase of legal innovation in Canada. The event was a natural extension of the CBA Futures Initiative, helping the organization take the lead for innovative change in law.

Winners and finalists in previous years have gone on to make further ripples in the legal industry. In 2016, Loom Analytics was voted the audience’s choice, and has gone into further development at Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone. Blue J Legal continued to develop a partnership with Thomson Reuters. The winner, Beagle, was a winner in the 2018 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Hipster Antitrust’s Potential to Make Competition Law Sexy Again

A renewed scrutiny of corporate governance was inevitable in light of the current political climate and the backdrop of the recent recession and notable market failures.

This revisionist approach towards competition law expands the scrutiny beyond notions of consumer welfare standards into non-traditional economic considerations like fairness, underemployment, income inequality, wealth concentration and broader social contexts. Derisively referred to as “Hipster Antitrust,” it finds its modern roots in America in the 1978 text The Antitrust Paradox by Robert Bork, which has already influenced American competition law. Hipster Axntitrust would go further and reconsider historical assumptions in a new information economy . . . [more]

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

Reinventing Competence

What do lawyers need to be competent for the practice of law today, and even more, for tomorrow?

The critical importance of at least a foundational knowledge of the law, and the ability to conduct appropriate research to find the answers to what one doesn’t yet know, is generally acknowledged. As well, lawyers should be capable advocates, creative problem-solvers and effective counsellors. Also important are communication skills, facility with relevant technologies and business acumen. The list goes on, including both hard and soft skills, developed through law school and articles and then on the job thereafter.

A debate I attended . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Are Components of Competence

What does it mean to be a lawyer?

Is it to possess an encyclopedic knowledge the law? To use this knowledge to make money? Is being a lawyer simply just another way to make money (as some who correctly identify the lack of business skills among lawyers as one of the major challenges for innovation or reform point out)?

What differentiates the law from other businesses are the professional responsibilities imposed on a lawyer, through the Model Code of Professional Conduct and its implemented versions across Canada. Some of these responsibilities, such as the duty to the court and to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues

Asking the Right Questions at the 2017 Isaac Pitblado Lectures

It is said that change is the one constant in life. While personally, I’ve no reason to doubt the truth of that statement, as a member of the legal profession for the past 20(+) years, I sometimes have questioned whether others in the profession would argue against it. We are a profession reliant upon precedent, adept at identifying and avoiding risk and often, slow to adapt to the changing world around us.

Taking on this inherent resistance to new ways of lawyering, I’ve heard Jordan Furlong ask his audiences some variant of the question: If you weren’t already doing it . . . [more]

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

The Mandatory Nature of CPD

Love it or hate it, we all have to do continuing professional development (CPD).

One lawyer hated it so much that he refused to do it at all. When the Law Society of Manitoba automatically suspended him, he took his challenge all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

As you might expect, the lawyer was unsuccessful on his appeal in Green v. Law Society of Manitoba, released this week. The law society was empowered under the Legal Profession Act to achieve its mandate of self-regulation and protecting the public interest. The power to create a CPD scheme . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Courthouse Libraries BC Hosting Webinar for Canadian Lawyers on the Impact of Recent Executive Orders


I feel I must write this quick, as every day the terrain shifts and the battle lines move in the escalating conflict between the 45th POTUS and virtually the entire machinery of justice.

FYI, the ABA yesterday released its resolution 10C calling on Trump to withdraw his order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Less than two weeks ago Trump started the whole mess when he slapped on brass knuckles to deliver not one, not two, but three immigration-related executive orders to finish his first week as President.

The world sucked wind.

Even north of the 49th people . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Strategies for Racialized Licensees

It’s with a tad bit of irony that the professions charged with fighting inequities and combating racism, both explicit and institutional, is itself one of the most regressive communities there is when it comes to these same challenges.

In part this is likely due to the independence of the legal professions, which results in a decentralized industry that is highly autonomous, but also likes to act with impunity. Most legal practices do not have access to best practices in human rights, or how to create an inclusive work environment. In fact, most of these practices are still largely exclusive to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues

An Inside Look at Canada’s First Food Law & Policy Conference

Big news, friends: Canada’s first food law & policy conference is happening in a little less than a month. The Future of Food Law & Policy in Canada is this November 3-4 at the Schulich School of Law in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This conference marks the first time that leaders in the legal community will come together to discuss how to strengthen and improve our food systems, to consider how stakeholders perceive and adapt to change, and to learn better practices and approaches to food law problems for clients, researchers, and government.

I have written previously on both the ups . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Barreau Du Quebec Position on Hourly Billing Report Long Overdue

On March 24, 2016, the Barreau du Quebec (Quebec Bar Association) released a report « La tarification horaire à l’heure de la réflexion » (in French only and translated to say Hourly Billing: A Time for Reflection) calling for an end to hourly billing by lawyers and law firms in the hope of improving access to justice for the public and a better work-life balance for lawyers. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology