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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Reflections on Technology Changes in Real Estate Practice

This article is by Maurizio Romanin, President & CEO, LawyerDoneDeal Corp. & Nora Rock, Corporate Writer & Policy Analyst, LawPRO.

Facilitating transfers of real estate has been the bread-and-butter of thousands of Ontario lawyers for generations. Despite occasional market wobbles, real estate business has helped firms to flourish in communities of all sizes, often supporting the delivery of family, estates, commercial and even criminal law services. Healthy real estate practices support both lawyers’ own families and access to justice for their neighbours. But there is danger in taking the bread-and- butter work of one’s practice for granted, and in forgetting . . . [more]

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

Evaluation Time for Unbundled Family Law Legal Services in BC

Back in January, BC lawyers received a host of new resources supporting unbundled legal service. Our organization helped launch the Family Law Unbundling Roster along with a toolkit for lawyers explaining why they should join. Unbundling is well described here.

Since then, conversations and buzz about unbundling has been doing the rounds here in BC and elsewhere:

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

Update on the Alberta Limited Legal Services Project

The Alberta Limited Legal Services Project, a research effort looking at the effects of unbundling on access to justice, was formally launched on 18 April 2017. As described in my earlier post on this subject, the project offers Albertans a roster of lawyers prepared to provide work on a limited scope retainer and aims to gauge lawyers’ and clients’ satisfaction with limited scope work and ultimately determine whether some legal help is better than no legal help at all.

At present, the project boasts a roster of 49 lawyers with offices throughout Alberta, from Peace River to Medicine Hat, . . . [more]

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

Something to Twitter About…

♫ Don’t hold me back I want to feel vulnerable.
Disregard everything that I’ve been told.
Don’t blend in stand out and be bold.
Today’s the day that we break the mold… ♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by Austin Jones.

The Provincial Court of BC will break the mold for the 2nd time and hold a second Twitter Town Hall on Thursday April 6, 2017 between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM Pacific Time. Chief Judge Crabtree will again answer questions tweeted to #AskChiefJudge.

You can expect a lively dialogue with legal discussion provided not only by the Chief . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Lawyer Licensing System in Ontario

A vital part of the Law Society’s legislated mandate is to ensure that all lawyers called to the Bar in Ontario have the demonstrated competency to practise law at an entry level.

There are many stakeholders across the legal profession in Ontario who believe that the current licensing process is unfair and unsustainable over the long term, and needs to continue to evolve. There is no consensus, however, on the shape or scope of that change.

The Law Society understands that any change in the fundamental components of lawyer licensing must be supported by the profession.

In this article, I . . . [more]

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

The Future Is Bright

As I wrapped up my last class at Robson Hall last week, I remarked to that whip-smart group of 1Ls that I hoped they had learned at least half as much in their two terms of Legal Methods as I did in the teaching of the course. This was my first experience teaching in a law school setting and looking back, I know for certain that I learned more than I likely imparted.

You may recall that last fall, my stated intention as I went back to law school as a sessional instructor was to keep a record of my . . . [more]

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

Tweaking Mediation

Civil justice resources should be deployed so that there is a gravity-assisted, downhill run to the courtroom where disputes will promptly be judicially determined, if mediation fails. Unless the parties decide otherwise, failed mediation and the judicial determination step should be linked.

There can be no doubt that promotion of the settlement of civil disputes through mediation, is a wise policy. But it must not effectively be the final step in the civil justice process.

If parties are at the point of emotional and financial exhaustion by the time they reach mediation, it will not be practical for them to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Introducing the Alberta Limited Legal Services Project

Much of the research and writing on access to justice issues in the last five years, including that of the Canadian Bar Association and Julie Macfarlane’s National Self-Represented Litigants Project, has discussed unbundling as a potential, albeit partial, remedy.

The idea here is that the usual full-service retainer, ever so commonplace in civil litigation, makes lawyers’ services unaffordable and prevents many litigants from accessing justice. (Professor Macfarlane’s landmark 2013 study on the issue of self-representation found that “inability to afford to retain, or to continue to retain, legal counsel” was the overwhelming reason why the litigants she spoke to . . . [more]

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

Why Face Time Matters More Than Ever

No, not the Face Time app on your iPhone, “face time” as in one-on-one meetings with direct reports and others in your firm.

As organizations pursue efficiency by automating processes, collecting loads of data and creating “lean” teams, more of us are deliberately disengaging from our work.

And we often blame management when things don’t improve. Bad management, to be exact. A 2014 Gallup poll showed that companies fail to hire proper management 82% of the time. Ouch.

What exactly makes a “good” manager? Harvard Business Review recently published a summary of research done in studies of knowledge-based . . . [more]

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

How Black Is the AI Black Box?

It’s always interesting to me how things can sometimes coalesce and synchronize around an idea. For example, I’ve been thinking about a comment that Nicole Shanahan made in a recent collection of presentations delivered at Codex, the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. She was talking about “lawyering in the AI age” and touched on “predictive policing” where the computer is used to predict human behaviour. Based on her experience with how algorithms and data work Shanahan characterizes this as “not really a rational goal.”

However, she notes, there are products on the market today and, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Fear and Machine Learning: AI and Legal Practice

In late September leaders from legal, business and technology gathered in New Orleans at Clio Con, also know as the Clio Cloud Conference.* Andrew Arruda, ‎CEO and Co-Founder of ROSS Intelligence, delivered a talk called, “Artificial Intelligence and the Law: Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Arruda sets out to clarify some of the misconceptions that surround artificial intelligence and demonstrate how AI is currently being used. He provides examples of AI inside and outside of the legal environment and concludes that if it’s working elsewhere it can work for law too. He then talks . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

“The First Thing We Do, Let’s Poll All the Lawyers”

Courthouse Libraries BC (CLBC) just launched its #CLBClawyersurvey2016. Now we’re looking for sweet, precious survey fuel to reach the moon-like destination of 350 respondents—our statistically significant sample. By “survey fuel” I mean, of course, human lawyers in BC capable of clicking through a 10-minute survey. Eligible takers can start the online survey now.

CLBC has a long history in BC. We have served lawyers and the public for over 40 years in (and beyond) dozens of branches in courthouses throughout the province. This survey is the first of its kind for us, and it should help CLBC evolve  . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology