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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Machine Learning: Using Technology to Enhance the Practice of Law

I would have loved to have been in the audience when Harry Surden spoke at an afternoon CodeX Speaker Series event a few weeks ago at Stanford Law School. But, you know, California is way over there and I’m way over here. So, although I could not actually attend I was prompted to go back and read his recent paper, “Machine Learning and Law.” And, thanks to the folks at Codex, it turns out the session I missed was recorded and is also now available for viewing.  . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

No Agreement on Legal Aid Funding

Justice ministers from across Canada met in Alberta this week to discuss funding for legal aid, but no agreement was reached.

According to provincial justice ministers, legal aid used to be shared equally with the federal government. However, since 2003 there has been no new funding from the federal government, meaning any shortfall is left to the province. What that means is that in some provinces like Alberta, federal contributions to legal aid have dropped to 16 per cent.

Andrew Swan, Manitoba Justice Minister, said,

I don’t understand how a government in Ottawa that claims to be in support

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

Elementary My Dear Watson …?

Paul Lippe and Daniel Martin Katz offer “10 predictions about how IBM’s Watson will impact the legal profession.”

They note in part:

Many imagine Watson might displace lawyers for legal reasoning. We believe that systems like Watson are very unlikely to displace the reasoning processes of lawyers. But it’s equally true Watson may illuminate how rare it is that lawyers have to solve “bespoke” reasoning problems, and how common it is to apply “proven” approaches in slightly different contexts. But Watson doesn’t have to displace legal reasoning to have an impact.”

Which made me think of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Surge of Requests to Be “Forgotten” Online

Following the European Court of Justice decision earlier this year in Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja González, Google has had a flood of requests to have webpages deleted from their index. More than a third of these requests, or over 60,000 links, come from the U.K.

Google released data today demonstrating where the requests originate from:

To date, Google has evaluated nearly 500,000 links for removal. More than half of all urls reviewed by Google are removed, meaning that there are still many others that they do not.

This data also reveals that the vast majority of . . . [more]

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

Legal Advice Services Cannot Be Automated by Alternative Business Structures

The fact that legal advice services cannot be automated is of critical importance in determining whether the legal profession should accept proposals for “alternative business structures” (ABS’s). They are being promoted by a Committee of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) as a means of lowering the cost of legal services.[i] The “unaffordable legal services problem” afflicts both kinds of legal services: (1) legal advice services; and, (2) routine legal services that don’t require legal advice. ABS proposals have three parts: (1) law firms can be invested in (owned—up to 49% or 100%) by non-lawyer people and entities; . . . [more]

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

Good Intentions and Rhetoric Won’t Suffice

Why is it so hard for the legal profession to act on what we know about the benefits of working in an environment that reflects the diversity of those we provide services to?

As a member of numerous volunteer committees, both inside and outside the legal profession, I’m often struck by the extent to which diversity challenges pervade most every sector. In the social and community services sector where I work and volunteer, I often find myself involved in committees made up largely of women and often failing to reflect the diversity of the service users in that sector. In . . . [more]

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

It’s the 6 D’s Not the ‘60’s: Machine Processing and the Legal Profession

The legal profession should be on notice: the computers are coming.”

Ryan McClead, over on the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, has just finished up a great series of posts called, “The Exponential Law Firm.”* He’s also gathered these posts into a single paper with the added subtitle, “An Exploration of the Technological in Law Practice.”

He begins by attempting to answer the question, “What do we sell?” He frames this question in terms of what lawyers and law firms think they sell and what their clients expect when they seek . . . [more]

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

LPM Initiatives at Large Law Firms: The Road Ahead

Many large law firms in Canada and the U.S. have begun to implement legal project management initiatives, albeit with varying degrees of success.

Jim Hassett’s latest book – Client Value and Law Firm Profitability – provides new insights into why some firms have had much more success than others. Over the last eighteen months, Jim conducted confidential interviews with law firm leaders from 50 AmLaw 200 firms. Forty-two percent were chairs or managing partners, and the balance were senior partners and executives.

Study participants were promised that they would not be quoted by name, which led to some unusually frank . . . [more]

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

#CALLFuture – Canadian Association of Law Libraries Twitter Chat Tomorrow

You are invited to participate in a Chat via Twitter being hosted tomorrow by the Canadian Law Libraries. It will take place from 12 – 1 pm EST.

We are using the CBA Futures report as our jumping-off point. The questions outlined below will be posted by the @CALLACBD Twitter account and we will be using the hashtag #CALLFuture to identify tweets from the discussion.

Please join us!

CALL/ACBD is very pleased to welcome Fred Headon, Past-President of the Canadian Bar Association and Chair of the CBA Legal Futures Initiative, who will be joining us for the first part of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Managing the Transition Through Change

There are two kinds of change – change you want and change you don’t want. That’s an oversimplification, of course, but, according to Tom Meier, an HR consultant speaking at a conference I recently attended, how we manage the transition through change depends very much on whether we view it as a desirable or undesirable change.

Meier laid out a helpful framework for transitioning through significant change – whether it’s a job change or change in the environment in which you work. He said there are four stages in the change process:

  1. Denial
  2. Resistance
  3. Exploration
  4. Commitment

In the . . . [more]

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

The Trust Imperative: Part II

Last week, I published the first half of an interview with Aneil Mishra, Ph.D.. Mishra is a respected author and business school professor who studies the link between trustworthiness, leadership and organizational performance. He discussed the four main qualities of trustworthy leaders – reliability, openness, competence and compassion – and his latest research regarding which of these qualities might matter most in the current economy.

The interview concludes this week with a discussion of how law firm leaders can build trust within their organizations and how this can create competitive advantage in an era when trust in leadership seems to . . . [more]

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

Law Students: In the Midst of Change

The report of the CBA Futures project found, unsurprisingly, that “the legal profession in Canada is entering a period of major change.” From my perspective as a 2L law student, the thought of entering the profession in the midst of such change is both exciting and overwhelming. Exciting because there will be novel opportunities; overwhelming as uncertainty in the profession could make the transition from law student to lawyer a tough one. Many of the 22 recommendations in Futures report have special resonance with students: from admissions, to debt reduction programs, to post-call training.

One such recommendation is the idea . . . [more]

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