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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Of German Email Encryption Tool Tutanota and Other PETs

I’ve written updates before on encryption for communications and why the legal profession should be interested in tools and trends like encrypted ephemeral messaging, Edward Snowden’s warnings for legal professionals, and the upcoming Chrome extension for end-to-end email encryption.

Much of the whys and wherefores around encryption and Privacy Enhancing Technologies (“PETs”) and their place in legal practice are part of a broader conversation around lawyers’ digital competency — such as what Amy Salyzyn often writes about here on Slaw. This in turn engages the larger topic of internet security (and for a general background see this . . . [more]

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

Lex Machina: Bringing Analytics to Law

Peter Neufield is a J.D. student at the Osgoode Hall Law School and the current features editor of the IPOsgoode blog IPilogue. He’s posted a short interview with Owen Byrd, Chief Evangelist & General Counsel at Lex Machina. Lex Machina started life in 2010 as a partnership between Stanford University’s Computer Science Department and the Law School with some great support from a number of “tech companies and law firms.”

During the interview Byrd describes Lex Machina’s approach as similar to the story told in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball. This is the . . . [more]

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

“Birds Fly. Humans Create”

Last week, I joined some 25 others at a Winnipeg bar for Paint Nite. Many of those present were painting for the first time since elementary school. Nonetheless, two hours (and a few beers) later, we each walked out proudly holding the product of the evening’s work. I posted a picture of my creation online and soon received a lot of positive (and some incredulous) feedback on the painting.

That experience got me thinking about what we mean when we talk about creativity. How is it that a room full of individuals who don’t normally paint could each manage . . . [more]

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

Law Librarians and the Technology-Ready Law Student

Christine M. Stouffer, Director of Library Services at Thompson Hine LLP in Cleveland, has a nice article in the February issue of the AALL Spectrum. It’s called, “Closing the Gap: Teaching ‘Practice-Ready’ Legal Skills,” and talks about the “widening gap between legal education and real-world legal practice skills” and the role that law librarians can play in narrowing that perceived gap.

Stouffer touches on the January 2014 report from the American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. She provides a good review of this report and I would recommend reading this . . . [more]

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

Impact of Litigation on Your Client’s Health

Despite the interdisciplinary nature of law, lawyers rarely turn to medicine to look for the intersection between the two fields.

The exceptions to this would be the endless debate about work-life balance. For example, The CBA Futures report makes several references to health and wellness for lawyers as part of a sustainable practice.

Another intersection would be the recent focus by the Ontario Bar Association’s initiative, Opening Remarks, to promote conversations about mental health in the profession. This is an initiative led by the OBA President, Orlando Da Silva, based on his own experiences with depression.

Occasionally there are . . . [more]

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

The Ongoing Hryniak “Culture Shift”.

Last June I posted on how Canadian courts and creative counsel are using the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Hryniak v. Mauldin to improve access to justice by crafting procedures to bring cases to trial in a more efficient and cost effective way.

Last month in Letang v. Hertz Canada Myers J., invoking Hryniak, delivered a caustic attack on delay and the Toronto “motions culture” (see my post here – “Old Brain Thinking”).

The decision of Myers J. in Pinto v. Kaur last week, applies the Hryniak  “culture shift” in the context of costs.

Pinto was a  . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

“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

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