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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

One Step Short of Disbarment

“Just what does it take to get disbarred?” That’s been one of the conversations ongoing this week with law students at Legal Help Centre.

At Legal Help Centre, we provide experiential learning for law students and articles for law graduates. Much of the clinic work is training for law practice. This includes training in substantive law, court procedures, client relations, document management, and of course, ethics and professional responsibility. We work hard to ensure the students that come through our programs learn about competent lawyering with an emphasis on client service and professional integrity.

It was in this context . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

5 Benefits of a Social Media Sabbatical

Have you ever wanted to cease and desist from all social media communication? I have. And I did. Here’s what happened…

…well, actually, nothing happened. Despite dire warnings from bloggers proclaiming the “10 online activities you must do every day to build a valuable personal brand”, nothing bad actually happened. In fact, my business grew.

The benefits of a social media sabbatical

  1. Rest. Being somewhat introverted, I can only handle so much social activity online or off. By the end of December, I felt beleaguered by the pressure to maintain a constant social media presence.
  1. Regained control over my
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

Placing Privacy Over Practicality

Drawing the line between privacy and practicality is not always easy, even for the Justices of the Court of Appeal, who divided narrowly on the issue.

Just before Christmas the Ontario Court of Appeal released a split, 3-2, decision in a case that pitted the privacy rights of judgment debtors against the execution rights of judgment creditors.

The Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”) had obtained a judgment of just over $26,000 against the defendants. The defendants owned a residential property that RBC wished to have the Sheriff seize and sell so that the bank could collect on its judgment. Since . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

20 Tips to Improve the Finances of Your Practice

The demands of individual files can make it a challenge to give your practice’s finances the time and attention they need. From the new issue of LAWPRO Magazine, here are 20 ways you can make or save more money in your day-to-day work. Most are relatively simple and can be implemented at little or no cost. Some are new habits you develop when dealing with clients and billing, and some are new technologies you can incorporate into your practice. While not every item on the list will apply to every practice, we expect you will find at least a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

“Collaboration Is the Key to Innovation”: LawWithoutWalls

LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) is a collaboratory investigating the “intersection of law, business, technology, and innovation.” Launched in 2011 by Michele DeStefano, associate professor at the University of Miami School of Law, LWOW aims to “pull down barriers between business and law.”

In many ways, LWOW has been a response to comments that DeStefano and her colleagues have been hearing about legal education and the business and practice of law:

“‘When are legal educators going to start training our law school students to be the 21st century lawyers of tomorrow?,’ and then at the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Report on the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act Review

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure released the 79-page report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act review to the public on February 13, 2015. Overall, the report indicates that although the government and public and private sectors have shown strong support and commitment to accessibility, the slow implementation of the AODA has resulted in rather modest improvements for persons with disabilities in the areas of jobs and access to goods or services.
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Paying It Forward

When I was a new, fresh lawyer, I often lamented the lack of a network of legal professionals who could mentor and support me in my career development. I came from a rural, agricultural background and didn’t know a single lawyer before I went to law school. As I soon learned, that put me at something of a disadvantage in both job seeking and finding the right career path for me.

In the result, I learned early the value of forging and nurturing relationships within the legal profession and began to work hard at developing my own networks.

These days, . . . [more]

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

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

I’m still thinking about the “great disruption” that John O. McGinnis has been talking about and thought it might be useful to revisit the Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services conference held at the Harvard Law School in March of last year. Specifically the first panel of speakers where Clayton Christensen (author of the Innovator’s Dilemma and Harvard business administration professor) outlined what constitutes “disruptive innovation” in the market place.

Christensen defines disruptive innovation as something that transforms products or services “which are complicated and expensive into things that are so affordable and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Great Disruption and “Computational Jurisprudence”

Last May John O. McGinnis and Russell G. Pearce wrote about the “great disruption” in an article published in the Fordham Law Review. They began by stating that, “Law is an information technology–a code that regulates social life.” They concluded that “the disruptive effect of machine intelligence will trigger the end of lawyers’ monopoly and provide a benefit to society and clients as legal services become more transparent and affordable to consumers, and access to justice thereby becomes more widely available.” They also noted that,

The market for electronic legal services is at a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Implicit Authorization in Ontario of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is hardly a new topic for practitioners, but it continues to be one which many struggle with. Part of the reason they struggle is the lack of clear guidance from the law societies.

The greatest concern tends to be client confidentiality, Rule 3.3 of the Model Code. However, as I stated this past week at the Ontario Bar Association Institute, many of these concerns are largely overstated, and the resistance to cloud computing may in fact compromise other components of professional responsibility, including competence (Rule 3.1) and quality of service (Rule 3.2).

I even take the controversial . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet

Building Bonds and Working Together

Recently, I read this post from the University of Manitoba’s news feed about how pharmacy technician students from the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) are being trained through the university. The two institutions, U of M and MITT are working together in a unique way delivering a multi-disciplinary, peer-led education experience. Here’s how it works:

“…students from Pharmacy, Social work, and Rehabilitation Sciences provided a presentation to Pharmacy Technician students, teaching the role of each practitioner within a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.”

Advit Shah, (B.Sc. Pharm, U of M) Pharmacy Technician Program Coordinator at MITT and event organizer says . . . [more]

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

Robots, Law, Regulation: “Unfortunately It’s Not a Conversation That’s Happening Anywhere …”

Thankfully I can begin by reporting that the statement above is not true. Sam Glover over at the Lawyerist (a blog he created in 2007 so he could “rant about bad legal software”) had a wonderful conversation with Ed Walters. Walters, in addition to being the CEO of Fastcase, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law where he’s recently been teaching a seminar called the Law of Robots. Glover chats with Walters about “Robot Lawyers and the Law of Robots” and “technology’s influence on the future of law.”* . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology