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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Bencher Election? What Bencher Election?

The dust has settled on another Ontario Bencher election, but it seems that most lawyers in Ontario barely noticed.

Only 34% of eligible voters exercised their franchise in the easiest, most convenient Bencher election in history; log into the website, then click on candidate names – done in 90 seconds.

Even so, 66 percent of voters thumbed their noses at the entire process – they couldn’t be bothered to vote for even one candidate.

To anyone paying attention, the message is clear:

The vast majority of Ontario lawyers don’t care who is elected as a Bencher.

And the vast majority . . . [more]

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

Manitoba’s Legal Landscape Is Changing

The prairie landscape is notorious for its endless horizons, enabling the traveller to see far ahead. This long view is evident in recent changes proposed to regulation of the legal profession in Manitoba, changes that are clearly oriented toward the future.

As reported on Canadian Lawyer’s Legal Feeds blog last week, the Manitoba government on May 7, 2015 introduced a number of amendments to The Legal Profession Act.

The proposed amendments included in Bill 19 include:

  • Altering the composition of the governing body of benchers
  • Amending the definition of a law firm
  • Permitting the regulation of law firms
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation

ABS v ABS+ for A2J

This post is authored by David Wiseman, Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Common Law Faculty.

A noteworthy aspect of the Canadian debate on whether to introduce alternative business structures into the legal services sector is the emphasis being given to the potential of ABS to improve access to justice. Instead of just assuming it will happen, I think we need to integrate specific measures into the regulatory framework to make sure that it does. We need to create what I’m calling ABS+.

I have argued that while the middle class may benefit from gains in access to justice . . . [more]

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

Women, Wisdom and Wall Street

What’s it like to be the only woman in the room during corporate board meetings? Or the first woman to chair a financial regulation authority in the midst of an economic crisis? Last week, three groundbreaking leaders – all lawyers by training – came together to talk about their experiences as women affecting change in a male dominated industry.

The event was hosted by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Moderated by Ron Suskind, a journalist and leader of the Center’s Project for Public Narrative, the panel featured:

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

Of a Social Media Evidence Checklist and Prepping for Lawmageddon

When it comes to technology, are we not always hearing about the breakneck speed of change? The inexorable pace and ubiquity of it? How technology is revolutionizing law and practice? Our magazines, CLEs and law bloggings are replete with calls to brace for one type of Lawmageddon or another—the imminent (or at least happening really, really, probably, rather soon) confluence of events that will change lawyers’ lives forever. Anything short of fully encrypted communication between lawyer and client will spell negligence. You will become or be devoured by an alternative business structure. Cybersecurity will become the mantra by which you . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

The Unasked Issue in the Benchers’ Election

Our non-Ontario readers will be thrilled that in an hour the polls close and you won’t have interminable discussions about Ontario’s election and its implications. This post responds to and builds on Mitch’s prescient post from 18 months ago, and Alice Woolley and Alan Cliff’s posts which dealt with the Ontario Benchers’ Election which wraps up today at 5 PM

My focus isn’t on the substantive issues that Alice focused on yesterday but rather on an underlying governance issue that no-one appears to be talking about. It’s about convocations, cabinets and the tyranny of geography

What are the most . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Relevant Lawyer – New Book From ABA Publishing

Later this week the American Bar Association will publish The Relevant Lawyer: Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession, a collection of essays on the future of the profession. It includes two chapters written by members of Slaw.

Details of how to get the book itself are here. We’ll publish a full review in Slaw shortly.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading, Reading: Recommended

Share and Share Alike

In this new sharing economy, we are sharing our homes through services like Airbnb, sharing our cars through services like Uber and sharing our meals through social dining services like EatWith.

Those with ideas, whether original or crowd-sourced share them and ask that we support the implementation of those ideas by sharing our dollars through crowd funding.

Day to day, we share our lives through Facebook, our photos through Instagram, what we’ve read through links on Twitter, our CVs through LinkedIn and our music through SoundCloud.

It makes me wonder: What’s next? What’s left that’s not already been shared? . . . [more]

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

Law Graduates Still Struggling in Job Market

An editorial in today’s New York Times highlights the plights of law school graduates in the U.S.,

About 20 percent of law graduates from 2010 are working at jobs that do not require a law license, according to a new study, and only 40 percent are working in law firms, compared with 60 percent from the class a decade earlier. To pay the bills, the 2010 graduates have taken on a variety of jobs, some that do not require admission to the bar; others have struck out on their own with solo practices. Most of the graduates have substantial student

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

Old Wine in New Bottles

Borrowing a well-worn title for this post seemed appropriate. I trust Milton Freidman, Noam Chomsky, the Pacific Lutheran University Wind Ensemble, or the countless others who have used the title before me won’t mind.

I’m spending my Saturday cleaning up and organizing a 4-year accumulation of papers, ideas, knick-knacks and other items that have marked my time at CanLII. To keep me company, I needed to select just the right musical mix and I’m very happy to have set the dial on Songza’s “funky” mood channel. The music offers the ideal groove for the act of . . . [more]

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

Needs and Nerves: Delegating to Part-Time Employees

I’ve had several recent conversations with senior lawyers who are reluctant to delegate work to part-time administrative staff. They don’t want to be perceived as demanding. They’re afraid of confrontation.

They are actually more open to the concept of flexible work arrangements than most people give them credit for, but they need reassurances that part-time staff are just as committed to quality work as their full-time counterparts.

Unique challenges of delegating to part-time administrative staff
With more and more of us working outside the office or part-time, there is less opportunity for face-to-face communication, which means that it takes longer . . . [more]

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